Obituary: Bob Thomas

We are extremely saddened to announce the passing of Bob Thomas, 8th Dan.

Bob was a well-known and much loved judoka both in Scotland and Great Britain, as well as internationally.

Bob was originally born in Wales and arrived in Glasgow as a teenager, where he initially trained at the Kozimikai Judo Club in the east end of Glasgow, under the tutelage of Tam McDiarmid, Scotland’s first black belt.

After enjoying a successful competitive career in the 1060’s, including becoming Scottish champion on numerous occasions, alongside representing Great Britain internationally, Bob began his teaching career at the Paisley Samurai Judo Club where (amongst others), he coached the future World Bronze medallist, Joyce Heron.

During this time, he also developed his interest in Kata, where he rose to become one of Britain’s foremost Kata experts, serving on the British Judo Association (BJA) Kata Commission and also undertaking judging roles at Kata competitions internationally.

Bob lived and breathed Judo and was always ready to help judoka by sharing his knowledge and giving wise words of advice.

I fondly remember practicing with Bob at the Bellahouston Judo Club and learning of both his and Scotland’s judo history throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. He will be sadly missed within Scottish Judo community.

My sincerest condolences to his wife Margaret and daughter Wendy.

Rest well my friend,

Ronnie Saez, 6th Dan
Chairman, British Judo Association