Thanks to the sexist belt system of Judo, Keiko Fukuda had to wait 30 years to move beyond 5th degree black belt. Now she's 98 and she's one of only 16 people to ever earn a 10th-degree black belt in the combat sport of Judo. She is the first woman to be promoted to Judo's highest ranking.
"The Kodokan was old fashioned and sexist about belts and ranks," Fukuda said. "They just decided women didn't need any ranks over fifth degree. I was fifth degree for 30 years. This was the Kodokan's sexism." Fukuda still teaches Judo three days a week. She's devoted her life to the discipline. "All I did was Judo...this was my marriage. This is when my life destiny was set. I just never imagined how long this road would be."
She's an example to all martial artists, women and Judoka. She took Master Kano's imperative to teach Judo around the world seriously and made martial arts her life.