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2008 Dick Soliva

Employed as a sign writer (wall dog) since 1955. Currently only semi-retired because of 
demand for hand lettered signs. Married to Patti for 32 years. He is the Father of 7; 6 boys and 1 
girl, 4 becoming Judo players. Dale, the oldest, still doing Judo in California and Randy in 
Sweden.

Started Judo with Neal Rosenberg in January of 1957 at Milwaukee Central YMCA at age 
19. Competed locally and nationally until 1985, winning local, state and regional black belt 
divisions. Three time first place winner in National Masters Division, last being in Detroit, April of 
1985. 

I was the head instructor at the Eagles Club, in Milwaukee, Shorewood High School,
Chang Ju and Mengho Judo Clubs. Central YMCA instructor for YMCA programs from Fond du 
Lac, Kenosha to Madison. I also instructed air police from 1957-1963 while in the Air National 
Guard and taught various police departments, hospital staff, security guards and correctional 
officers throughout the Milwaukee area. Also taught Kata and Judo techniques in Sweden on a 
couple of visits to my son. 

Dick developed a full contact self-defense routine with Tom Firle and demonstrated 
throughout the Midwest. His favorite techniques are Ippon-seoi-nage, Obi-otoshi and Ashiwaza, 
specializing in Ne-waza and winning most matches with arm locks and chokes. 
I served as Promotion Board chairman for North Central Judo and Chairman for AAU 
Wisconsin Judo while member of J.B.B.F. My last instructor was Byong Dae Suh, Wilmette, IL
and Seoul, Korea. I co-ran his school and training camps with Tom Firle. My last club was 
Wisconsin Judo Club with Leland Roth.

I hope my commitment to Wisconsin Judo and my love of the sport have made a positive 
influence on other Judoka throughout Wisconsin and beyond in both their endeavor of the sport 
and their personal lives.
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