The British Judo Association are saddened to announce that Malcolm Collins, the final Founding Member of the British School Judo Association has passed away over the weekend.
The 6th Dan, was described by those closest to him in the sport as “the perfect representation of a judoka – a gentle touch, a great friend and a real gentleman”.
Alongside his great friend, Ken Webber, the pair founded the British Schools Judo Association and oversaw the competition programme that featured thousands of young judoka taking to the mat over the course of the programme.
The British School Judo Association was originally a subsidiary of the British Judo Association, before the BJA took the programme under their leadership. This saw Malcolm continue his support by taking up a position on the British Judo Board – a position he held for over 10 years.
As well as his busy role in Schools Judo, he was also one of the founding members of Sandwell’s 3K’s Judo Club back in 1964 which is still running to this very day. Malcolm was a big supporter of judo in the Midlands Area.
Close friend Eddie Awford fondly recalled, “Malcolm would take teams of young judoka to compete around the world and always set the very highest standards. I can still remember him saying “If they didn’t turn up in the correct uniform and tie, then they would not compete on the mat! The gent was the epitome of judo. He would have judo running through his veins.”
British Judo Chairman, Ronnie Saez, expressed his sincere condolences to Malcolm’s family and friends: “I was deeply saddened to learn of Malcolm’s death, he was extremely respected and a fantastic contributor to both British Schools Judo and the BJA.”
“I personally valued Malcom’s input and advice and would like to pass on my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
“Malcolm was a remarkable man and I am well aware of the difference he made in the lives of many people both in Judo and in his private life. Many will miss him across the judo family.”
The following tribute was sent to us by John Cooper, Original member of Karu Kyoshi Kan (3K) Judo Club:
I remember back in the early sixties as a callow youth, a friend asked if I would like to go to Judo with him. This was a pretty exotic suggestion at the time as the sport was virtually unknown. I arrived with trepidation at the ‘Karu Kyoshi Kan’ (3ks) Dojo, a semi derelict air raid shelter adjacent to a public library, complete with straw palliasses covered with a threadbare canvas. Two black belts were trying to bury each other into the straw. They stopped fighting and I was introduced to Malcolm for the first time. For the next two hours he gave us his undivided attention, showing us various breakfalls and a throw called Osoto-gari. Then we had a go at judo, first with each other and then with Malcolm. I moved around the mat trying my newfound skills, suddenly Malcolm stumbled and went down on his back, “Wow! that’s brilliant for your first time” he exclaimed. I felt ten feet tall my first lesson and I had thrown a black belt “this game was easy”!
Of course I had been conned and I had been HOOKED! I have remained so till the present day. That was the magic of Malcolm’s teaching he made everyone feel special.
It is no exaggeration to state that using his gift of making people believe in themselves and their abilities, Malcolm positively influenced thousands of young minds throughout his Judo career. Indeed he made Judo education his career.
His involvement with young people and his contribution to various judo related bodies, including the BJA are far to numerous to list, but his influence was massive.
For Malcolm it was never just about the winning, he believed in Jigor Kano’s philosophy that Judo was a way for self-improvement and social betterment. A principle he put into practice by creating the right environment for anyone to practice judo. In the early seventies he succeeded in introducing Judo into the secondary school’s curriculum in the Sandwell area. He then qualified as a schoolteacher and went on to play a key role in the ‘British School’s Judo Association’, becoming its Chair. Latter he became the Chair of the British Schools Commission. His passing represents a huge loss to grass roots Judo in Britain.
It’s an old cliché that Judo is not just a sport but also ‘A way of life’. Nobody better embodied it than Malcolm.
I think I can speak for the past and present members of the 3Ks when I say “We may have lost our Sensei, but all who came into contact with him will remember him with fondness and respect.” To us he lives on in the example he set.
Thank you Malcolm.
Details for Malcolm’s funeral are as follows:
Friday September 28th at 1 pm.
Sandwell Valley Crematorium
Donations to: British Heart Foundation.