Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Kind of Asshole Sets Fire to a Judo Club?

Years ago, I was at a judo tournament and saw a coach who was too young to have been someone I competed on teams with, but I couldn't get over how familiar he looked. Finally, I went up to him and truly hoping he would not take it as the pick-up line it sounded like, said, 

"Don't take this the wrong way, but do I know you from somewhere?"

He laughed and said,
"That happens to me all of the time. You probably knew my father, Mario Rubio. My name is Greg Rubio."

Well, of course I knew Mario (didn't everyone?) He was that awesomely strong judo player in the lightweight division who was about four foot three (okay maybe a little taller, but not much).

Not only did his son grow up to be a good judo coach, but he is an incredibly nice guy, as you might guess from the story above. That's why I was twice as pissed off when I read the email below:


On April 26, 2011 Five Cities Judo Dojo/Boy Scout Troop 413 Hall was broken into.  The vandals attempted to set fires on the floor, caused a huge mess and wrote profanity on our blackboard.  They also caused minor fire damage to one of our mats.  Both the Judo club and Boy Scouts thought this was a onetime occurrence.  On Sunday May 1, 2011 at around 4:30 am, a fire destroyed the Five Cities Judo dojo along with the all the materials that belonged to the Boy Scouts of America Troop 413.  It has been a devastating loss to us and we do not understand why someone or some individuals would perpetrate this act of hate and violence.  We hope that the individuals are caught and justice is swift as the flames of beloved dojo.  Today We/I reach out to our Judo family to ask if anyone would consider us to either borrow, possibly purchase some used mats or if we can get information on resources to obtain mats any help would be appreciated.  We are a small humble dojo with big hearts and great students and through this we will return with pride and dignity to the up coming May 15th tournament.  Thank you for you time.

If you can help out by donating / lending mats or money,  you can  send them to:

Greg Rubio
PO Box 1007
Pismo Beach, Ca 93448

His email is, and his phone # is 805 440-7308


Samantha said...

They should set up some sort of donation thing. That way maybe 100 people like me can give them $20 (and they'll have $2,000) instead of waiting for one or two rich people (not me) to give them $1000

aglee said...

I'd like to write a check. I assume it should be made out to "Five Cities Judo Club" -- do you know if that's right?

aglee said...

Ignore this comment -- I forgot to click the "Email follow-up comments" checkbox just now.

The said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The said...

I'm sickened by this cowardly act.
I recently was made to feel so welcome and like one of the extended family when I had the help of Coach Vince Skillcorn and the team at Camberley Judo Club in Surrey, England - I'm attempting a challenge in every Olympic sport before London 2012 and they graciously aided me in achieving The Judo Challenge.
I've made some good friends there over the past 8 weeks and it shocks me to learn that others have irrationally taken away the opportunity for other judoka to benefit from similar facilities.
I wish the group all the very best in their recovery and will send this link to the folk I know at Camberley to see if they're able to help in any way.
The Everyman Olympian

Sam lowe said...

Sorry to hear about the damage to your mats & dojo, it's a disgrace! I think the donation system could help you. I've had reasonable success with my own fundraising campaign using a site called however just be aware u lose some money in paypal & pledgie commission charges.

Good luck.

Ken said...


My name is Ken, and I am one of the members of 5 Cities Judo.

Thank you for bringing this situation to light. If you are interested in the latest news on this subject:

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