Congratulations Sensei Tina Takahashi

To all my fellow Martial Artists,

The Go2 Karate Team is excited to announce this quarters winner of the Go2 Karate Lifetime Achievement Award, we are thrilled to honor Tina Takahashi, as an esteemed member of the martial arts community. Born on January 13, 1960, in North York, Ontario, Tina Takahashi hails from a renowned Judo family in Canada, where martial arts run deep in their veins.

Her father, Masao Takahashi, is a living legend in Judo, not only inducted into Judo Canada's Hall of Fame but also decorated by the Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his lifelong dedication to the promotion of Judo in Canada. Tina's mother, June, is a formidable 6th-degree black belt, and her older brothers, Phil and Ray, are three-time Olympians in Judo and Wrestling, respectively. Her brother Allen also holds a high-level black belt, making the Takahashi family synonymous with Judo in Canada.

From a very young age, Tina carried the weight of her family's legacy as she stepped onto the Judo mat. Over the past five decades, she has not only filled those big shoes but has soared above all expectations. As a 6th-degree black belt, World Champion, Olympic coach, writer, and successful business entrepreneur, Tina Takahashi has left an indelible mark on the martial arts world.

Her journey began at the age of five when she started competing, often against boys until the age of 12. Determined to forge her own path, Tina excelled on the international stage, earning medals in over fifteen international tournaments across three continents. Her crowning achievement came in 1984 when she became the World Champion at the World University Championship.

While Tina retired from competitive Judo before it became an Olympic sport for women in 1988, she left behind a legacy that remains unmatched. Her accomplishments include:

  • World University Championship Gold Medal: 1984 France
  • Pacific Rim Gold Medals: 1981 Japan, 1980 Hawaii
  • Senior Canadian Nationals Champion eight times: 1976, '78, '79, '80, '81, '82, '83, '84
  • Junior Canadian Nationals Champion three times: 1975, 1977, 78
  • Pan Am Championships, Silver and Bronze Medals three times: 1980 Venezuela, 1982 Chile, '84 Mexico, '85 Cuba
  • Pan Am Games Bronze Medal: 1983 Caracas, Venezuela

Tina's journey didn't end with her competitive career; she transitioned seamlessly into coaching, guiding numerous athletes to become National Champions and Olympians. With degrees in Education and Physical Education, it was only fitting that she was chosen to coach Canada's National Women's Judo Team.

From 1985 to 1988, Tina led the team through twenty World Championships, Pan Am Games, and various international tournaments across the globe. Her historic moment came in 1988 when she became Canada's first Olympic Women's Judo coach at the Seoul Games.

Despite her phenomenal achievements in the martial arts world, Tina's journey continued. She embraced family life with her husband, Sean MacFadyen, and their three sons while remaining active in various pursuits. Tina co-authored a Judo text, "Mastering Judo," with her family, and she inspired young girls as a speaker for the Female Athletes Motivating Excellence program sponsored by the Ontario Government.

Throughout her illustrious career, Tina received numerous honors and inductions into various Halls of Fame, including:

  • Life member of Judo Ontario/Judo Canada
  • Ottawa Citizen's List of Sports Icons of the 20th Century
  • International Achievement Award, Sport Federation of Canada (1980)
  • City of Nepean Wall of Fame (1986)
  • Judo Canada Hall of Fame (1998)
  • Judo Ontario Hall of Fame (2002)
  • Certificate of Recognition, Pioneer of Women's Competitive Judo (2006)
  • Female Coach of the Year Award, Judo Ontario (2010)
  • Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame (2016)

The legacy of producing elite athletes continues in Tina's family with her three sons excelling in various martial arts disciplines.

As Tina entered her fifties and her family grew, she embarked on a new chapter in her life by becoming an entrepreneur and opening her own martial arts school in 2013. It is clear that Canada's female Judo legend will continue to inspire and take on challenges for many years to come.

Tracy Lee Thomas
8th Degree
Go2 Karate Recognition Board Member
Founder | Go2 Karate

Tracy Thomas

Matthew Guse

1st Degree Black Belt, Owner/Instructor at Changing Lives Martial Arts

Changing Lives Martial Arts

Virginia Beach, VA

Congratulations on an extraordinary journey of triumph and dedication in the world of Judo. From your early days competing to becoming a World Champion and pioneering the way for future athletes, your legacy is unmatched. Your transition from a fierce competitor to an esteemed coach and now an entrepreneur showcases your unwavering commitment to excellence. Your impact extends far beyond the mat, empowering countless individuals and advancing women in sports. Your resilience and passion are truly inspiring, and I have no doubt that you will continue to inspire generations to come. From all of us at Changing Lives Martial Arts, we extend our congratulations to your remarkable achievements and the lasting legacy you have created.

Congratulations on being honored with the Go2 Karate Lifetime Recognition Award. Your remarkable journey in martial arts and your significant contributions to our community are truly inspiring. Your dedication not only elevates the art but also embodies the spirit of true leadership and community service. You have set standard for others to follow, and your role as a woman of inspiration in martial arts is a beacon for future generations. Thank you for your unwavering commitment and for the positive impact you continue to make.

Denise Morin
5th Degree
Go2 Karate Recognition Board Member
Go2 Karate Editor

Sensei Tina Takahashi is famous for being a Gold Medalist and incredible martial artist but she has accomplished so much more than that in this field!

As the founder, with her husband Sensei Sean MacFayden, of Tina Takahashi Martial Arts and Fitness she has been training students and champions in Canada for decades. The results of this have been multiple championships and expert instructors not just in Judo but also impressively: Karate, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Wrestling, Brazilian jiu Jitsu, Kendo and Sambo.

As she’s developed her school, it’s built the community around her as well. She’s known on the news, in media and… well.. pretty much everywhere in Ottawa in leadership and character development at a high level. Her work has helped literally thousands inside and outside of her school.

I have personally been able to work with Tina and her school for quite a few years now and I can tell you that she is one of the highest character martial artists I have met in our industry. Both in terms of her impact on training quality of students and how she impacts the community in Canada. Sensei Takahashi is an incredibly deserving recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Go2 Karate! Congratulations Sensei Tina Takahashi!

Greg Moody
8th Degree
Go2 Karate Recognition Board Member
KarateBuilt Martial Arts


Frankly, it’s extremely rare for any martial artist to excel in multiple realms.

Extremely, high level of achievement in the sport is extremely rare. More rare still is the ability to move from Athlete to coach at the highest level. It’s rare that an athlete in any sport but, especially in martial arts master’s both. However, this martial artist has gone beyond those two to rise to be one of the top Master Instructor’s in North America and, one of the top flight Martial Arts School owner/operators as well.

This award is richly deserved as a top 1% school operator, top 1% martial arts Master Teacher and, world class competitive player and coach.

Stephen Oliver
9th Degree Black Belt
Go2 Karate Recognition Board Member
Founder Mile High Karate and Martial Arts Wealth Mastery

Stephen Oliver

Congratulations Tina! Your career and life is inspiring. As a child in the 60's and 70's, martial arts was a very male driven sport. You carved out an incredible life and career, paving the way for so many young women to follow in your footsteps. I appreciate your spirit of competition from childhood through today. You are what all martial artists should aspire to be!

Laurie Peterson
6th Degree
Go2 Karate Recognition Board Member
Senior Counsel

Laurie Hunter Peterson