After 67 years of teaching Judo, 94-year-old Jack Hearn has no plans of stopping any moment soon. Fondly called “Judo Jack” by everyone who knows him, this legend has vowed to cultivate the principles of Judo in his disciples and has been a huge source of inspiration for all of his students, then and now.
Jack, who hails from Cramlington, Northumberland, is a great-grandfather, a former dockworker, and a war veteran. At the delicate age of 94, this incredible man currently holds the record as Britain’s oldest Judo sensei!
While other men of the same age as his usually get trapped in a wheelchair at this delicate age, Jack proves time and time again how he is still capable of teaching Judo the art to students of all ages. He even recently claimed his 9th Dan black belt, a feat that is difficult to achieve!
It all started in 1951, when Jack got fascinated with the said form of martial arts after his brother, Bob, decided to join a Judo club. Before that, Jack used to be a racing cyclist, but after undergoing an operation for appendicitis, he was advised not to pursue cycling anymore.
An athlete by heart, Jack found another way to be active through mastering the art of Judo. He instantly fell in love with it that he and his brother decided to open their Judo school in 1954. And now, after almost 70 years, the Judo school that the brothers built is still going strong with “Judo Jack” as one of the legendary masters teaching the students.
Jack believes that Judo is the secret behind his youthful body. Because it is a martial art that requires extensive work-out, Jack has trained his body to be well-accustomed to exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
“I fell in love with judo right away, I just took to it like a duck to water and now I’ve been doing it for 68 years. I would say it is the secret to a long life. It’s a very active sport and you have to do a lot of physical training like push ups, sit ups and knee ups,” he told Metro.
Staying fit has made it possible for Jack to remain active as a Judo sensei, even if he was a few years shy of 100 years old. His drive to continue a life of discipline is truly inspiring.
“I can still touch the floor with my hands flat and I still get on my back with my legs cycling in the air. I walk up and down the stairs a number of times just for the exercise,” he shared further.
His career of almost seven decades as a Judo sensei was a truly fulfilling part of his life. He has taught so many students that he has lost track of the actual number of students he has seen. He has been a Judo master for three generations of students, some of them even competing in international competitions.
However, Jack says that winning trophies is not his main focus. He fell in love with the art and history of Judo, and it is his advocacy to inspire people of any age to take up martial arts and staying fit.
Currently, Jack is working on getting his 10th Dan black belt which is the highest anybody can get as a martial arts instructor. He is also traveling around Europe to meet other Judo masters and to promote the benefits of taking martial arts when it comes to living a healthier life.
Jack is living proof of this advocacy, and we truly hope that he continues to be an inspiration to other people who wants to live a longer and healthier life.
Watch Jack’s incredible story in the video below.
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