Obituary: Ian Raine

Thank you to Adrian Harding, Respect Judo, for providing this kind obituary for Ian Raine:

In remembrance of Ian Raine (09/11/1953 – 20/03/2021) – Coach and Treasurer at Koizumi Judo Club 

Ian had his first taste of Judo as a young child but schooling soon got in the way and Judo became a found memory. Then about 30 years ago Ian found himself back at the matside giving instruction to his children on how best to conduct themselves on the mat. Witnessing this Alan Dodd, who at the time was running the Darlington club, suggested he came on the mat as he clearly had so much to say and give to the sport.

By 1974 Ian was a regular at the club, helping run the training sessions for the children, developing his own Judo skills and becoming the Club Treasurer, as the club was affiliated to the BJA, and established its constitution. Like many a community club Koizumi Judo Club was established to give all access to the sport of Judo no matter what their background or financial means. Through his dedication to the club and through his treasuring skills the club grew steadily and many a child was supported in their Judo career.

In December 1999 Ian gained his 1st Kyu and official recognition as a British Judo Coach. By now he had become a good tactician on the mat and was well known for his Ashi Waza.

Through its history the Club has had to move venues starting in Larchfield Street, then Branksome Community Centre, then moving to the adjacent secondary school and then more recently into a town centre location.

Ian Raine, back row, centre

I first got to know Ian in February 2012 when I came back to Judo to fulfil a promise I had made to my coach when I was 18. Ian spotted me sitting in a quiet corner watching the training session, he came over to me with a jacket and white belt in hand and before I knew it I was on the mat with him being put through my paces.

Ian was a stickler for technique and getting it just right, so all his students were always well prepared for gradings.

In the last training session before Christmas, Ian would always turn up with carefully wrapped selection boxes for all the children to make sure that no child would have a Christmas without a present. A similar ritual would take place at Easter but this time instead of a selection box it would be an Easter egg. Each recipient would have to give a formal bow to their coach before receiving their gift.

Whilst I was preparing to become a L1 and subsequently L2 coach, Ian would insist on reviewing my session plans with me. His attention to the detail was great and many a coaching mistake was avoided because of his diligence.

At the start of 2021 Ian was diagnosed with terminal cancer and by March he was critically ill. I was fortunate enough to get some time with him and true to who he was, all he wanted to do was to make sure I had the club sorted ready to restart Judo when COVID allowed and to make sure I was committed to keeping the ethos of the club alive.

How do you fill a Judoka’s Zoris like Ian’s – dedicated to Judo until his dying day. We will miss you. Thank you for your service.