Grace Jividen – Head Instructor
7th degree black belt
I began my Judo career at the age of 3. Throughout my childhood I was provided continuous lessons in this the second most participated sport in the world. A natural facility in the sports, coupled with a superlative work ethic and strong determination to excel, led to a string of successes in competition. To date, I have accumulated 44 medals in international competition. 20 Gold, 12 Silver and 12 bronze medals.
I participated in the 1992 Olympics, the first year women participated. I came in 7th place. I was an alternate for the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics as well.
Senior Nationals Judo Championships
Placed in the top three 1981 through 91, 1994, 1996, 2000 through 2004
Named Outstanding player 1985 and 2003
Collegiate National Champions Gold Medal
1983, 1984, 1985 Outstanding Player
1984 1st Women’s World University Championships Strasburgh, France – Silver medal
1988 World University Team Member, Tiblisi Russia – Gold Medal
US Olympic Festivals
1981 Bronze, 1983 Silver, 1985 Silver, 1986, 89,90,94 Golds
2000 Master World Championships – Gold Medal
2001 Police and Fire World Games – Gold Medal
2011 Police and Fire World Games – Bronze Medal
2015 Police and Fire World Games – Silver Medal
Board of Directors for USA Judo 2004-2008
Head Coach International Tournaments from 2007-2008
1981-2004 US National Team
1996-2008 Volunteer Coaches local Judo clubs in Denver Area
2009 est Gracie Judo Club, Littleton, CO
Employed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 24.5 years
Former member of Special Operations Response Team – FCI Englewood, Colorado
Current member of Command Center Team – FCI Englewood, Colorado
Jerry Armstrong – Competitive/Youth Instructor
6th degree black belt
Jerry Armstrong is a sixth degree black belt (Rokudan). He began judo in Michigan at the age of 12 in 1962. After many competitions nationally and internationally, he was granted a Kodokan certificate for his first degree black belt in 1968. He attended Wayne State University in Detroit where he was captain of the WSU judo team and competed in many collegiate and other tournaments.
After getting his degree in Criminology, Jerry moved to Florida and continued competing and teaching at several dojos in Florida. He founded three different dojos in Florida; Renshindo Judo Club, Daruma Dojo, and Ronin Judo Club as well as coaching at the Miramar Judo Club. During this time, he trained and coached several national champions and competed in many tournament and Kata competitions.
In 1981 he was invited to run a summer camp at the Olympic Training Center for the U.S. and Scottish national teams, which he did. He moved to Colorado Springs in 1983 and was named the senior coach for the National Judo Institute. During this time, he served several terms on the Board of Directors for the United States Judo Association.
In 1989 he was appointed Head Coach of the United States Air Force Academy judo team. In 1999, he started working and living overseas for his work (IT Security consultant) for extended periods of time. Since then, he trained in Brazilian Jujitsu in Aurora, Colorado. He has also trained in judo clubs wherever he lived around the world including Puerto Rico, Sweden, France, and the Netherlands. He is now mostly retired and is very happy to get back into coaching and training eager judoka.
Graeme Strachan – Adult Instructor
4th degree black belt
I began judo in Scotland back in 1978 at the age of 5 where my father was an instructor. I received my 1st Dan (Shodan in 1992) whilst training and fighting at college. I medaled many times individually at both Scottish and British University levels and also lead my University to a Scottish gold medal, a British bronze medal and lead the Scottish University team to a gold medal.
I was ranked in the under 220lbs weight division in Britain and finished up with a bronze medal in the 2003 British Finals – where only the top 8 in each weight are invited. Whilst competing at that level I earned my 3rd Dan (Sandan.)
Having competed nationally and internationally across three decades I have now brought my kids into the judo family and am excited to see them grow and develop as both judoka and as young men.
Judo is as much about life skills as it is in becoming proficient in Judo itself – and this is the approach I take whether I’m working with kids or with adults. We can all find ways to improve. It’s my aim to help the students at Gracie Judo (as well as myself!) find them.
Joe Greene – Kata Instructor
2nd degree black belt
I began my Judo training in December of 1980. I was studying for my brown belt in Shuri-ryi karate at the time, and my Sensei required all brown belts to have attended a certain number of Judo classes.
By May 1981 I achieved my 3rd Brown in karate and my adult yellow belt in Judo. I moved to full time Judo training thereafter under Sensei Ed Sheets at the Hobart Judo club in Hobart Indiana.
Green belt and 3rd Brown were awarded during 1982. US Judo Federation rank of Nikyu in June 1983, awarded by Sensei Charlie Hooks. US Judo rank of Ikkyu in May 1984, awarded by Charlie Hooks and Virgil Bowles. In April of 1985 I attended the US Senior National Judo Championships as Uke for Nage No Kata competition.
By May of 1985 I left Indiana, did some traveling, moved to Colorado, began to travel for work, met my wife, got married in 1989, and began a family.
In 1998, when my son Aaron was 7, we began attending judo classes at the South Suburban Judo Club under Sensei Jim Johnson. By 2000 we had move up to the Northglenn Judo Club for their renowned junior program under Sensei’s McGuire, Baptist, Otaka, Agena, and many more.
In May of 2002, at the age of 48, it was my great honor to be awarded the US Judo rank of Sho Dan by Guy Towle and Jack Oliver as a member of Northglenn Judo.
I continued my Judo journey as an assistant junior and youth instructor with Northglenn until 2005.
After another break, of 10 years, my son Aaron and I have returned to Judo and are now training at Gracie Judo Club, with head instructor Grace Jividen.
I am proud to have competed in my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and now 60s (five decades).
I have received 11 medals (2-1st, 4 2nd, and 5 3rd place, from my competitions in Club, State, and Regional tournaments.
Travis Humburg – Toddler/Youth Instructor
1st degree black belt
Front Range Community College: Westminster, Colorado
Fall 1998, Fall 1999; Dennis Mercer, Sensei
Hyland Hills Judo Club; Westminster, Colorado
Spring, 1999 to, Summer 2001: Kari Gabrielle and Dennis Mercer, Senseis
College Park Judo Club: College Park, Maryland
Spring, 2010 to Spring 2011; Kurt Tamai and Karl Tamai, Senseis
Gracie Judo Club; Littleton, Colorado
July, 2014 to present; Grace Jividen, Graehme Strachan, Bethany Ogzewalla Holmes, Senseis