The National Film Board of Canada’s Judoka (1965) is one of the reasons why I like Alistair Overeem’s documentary series, The Reem, so much. The Reem reminds me of Judoka’s story of a burly, friendly giant foreigner pursuing the martial way in Japan, and recalls the NHB short’s dramatic black and white cinematography. Killer soundtracks, too.
If you’ve never seen Judoka, take the time to watch it below. The film follows Doug Rogers, a Canadian living in Japan and winner of an Olympic silver medal and two Pan Am gold medals in Judo. It features lots of great footage of Rogers training under Masahiko Kimura, one of the all-time top judokas. (The “kimura” arm lock in BJJ is named after him.)
Canadian film history and martial arts history all at once.
Part 2 of 2 below.