Judo Blog: My Story

​Gary Goltz
Gary Goltz
In January of 2021 Black Belt Magazine approached me to start writing a weekly Judo Blog for their social media division. Since then I’ve submitted more than 100 articles. For those of you not familiar with my own background, I decide to include My Story this week’s Black Belt Blog.

As a Baby Boomer, I grew up during 50’s and the 60’s in Squirrel Hill a middle class Jewish neighborhood which is part of the City of Pittsburgh, home of the Steelers. While sports were big in our town I preferred watching television.

One of the shows I loved to watch was Highway Patrol which starred Academy Award Best Actor of 1949, Broderick Crawford. He played the no nonsense chief on this popular TV series which made an indelible impression on my personality. In fact in 1995, I bought a 55 Buick and converted it to look like the one driven by Broderick on the show. That car of mine has been featured on CNN, written about in the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal and even the subject of a documentary, The Star and the Car, and more.


Another TV show that made an indelible impression on me growing up was the Green Hornet which co-starred Bruce Lee as Kato and introduced me to martial art in the Fall of 1966. The Atlantic June 2020 article on What It Means To Be Bruce Lee focuses on Bruce Lee’s curiosity and quest for learning. These values are inherit in judo as Jigoro Kano it’s founder was an educator and incorporated the quest for learning into judo.

Kyu Ha Kim in 1996 and at Goltz Judo on my 50th Birthday in 2003

So Bruce Lee inspired me to enroll in a judo class at our local community center where I met the late Kyu Ha Kim, grand champion of South Korea. When I first set eyes Mr. Kim I dreamed of the day when I could carry myself with the same level of confidence and poise that he emanated. Today, I hold an 8th degree black belt and run Goltz Judo one of the largest judo programs the nation. I also served as President of both Nanka, the Southern California Judo Consortium as well as United States Judo Association.

Paying respect to Mr. Kim during my recent trip to Pittsburgh last month (with our first & last pictures)

Some of my judo highlights include challenging Jack Black on Conan

And promoting Ronda Rousey

I also created the Winter Nationals which is today the largest judo tournament in the nation

In terms of my education, I graduated the University of Pittsburgh cum laude in 1976 with a degree in Rhetoric and Communications. This served me well in my career which has been heavily sales oriented.

Later I got my MBA from Pepperdine University’s prestigious President and Key Executive Program in 1988.

My business career formally began in 1977 when I was hired as Pittsburgh branch manager what would become Apria, which is today the largest provider of home medical equipment in the country. Prior to that I had worked a number of interesting jobs which included judo teacher, steel worker, cab driver, plumber’s apprentice, and photographer.

Using the discipline developed from judo along with the support of my late father Julius Goltz I turned around the company more than doubling their income and profitability in my first year! I used much of the wisdom found in my father’s four rules of business.

In 1979, I was promoted from Pittsburgh to Chicago branch manager where over the next 6 years I led the development of the company’s largest and most profitable location doing $15 million per year in revenue.

Then in 1989, I founded my own home I.V. therapy company in 1989. At that time all the major accounts which consisted of mostly oncologists and infectious disease specialists were contracted to my competitors in form of being medical directors and other legal loopholes to by their business.

So in response to this market condition I sought out and secured alliances with all the major HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) in the market place. At that time, their business was less desirable due to price concessions they required. In an effort to mitigate this effect I engaged the senior management at these targeted accounts and developed a mutually acceptable new paradigm we called per diem pricing. Under this arrangement we based our efforts on providing a continuum care based on maximum results with minimum costs using the principles of judo.

In 1993, I sold my company for a record 8X earnings to help form Coram Healthcare today a Division of CVS. After working for the newco for two years I launched Goltz Business Development Group a consulting company aim at securing large sales contracts for my clients.

Among these clients was FACIS, a sanctions screening database of healthcare industry personnel and service providers. During this engagement I secured a national contract for them with Walgreens resulting in the company buying me out of my agreement for more than 6 figures. Today, FACIS is known as Verisys, the industry leader in this segment of the business. My current client Nuzuna Wellness, utilizes EMS (Electro Muscular Simulation) to reduce pain and increase circulation during fitness training.

In summary, judo that has been a potent force in all of my life’s endeavors. It helped me develop the self-confidence to try things that were scary, take risks, fail then eventually overcome obstacles in order to prevail, and not let the fear of embarrassment ever stop me! This is why I teach judo, to give back to the community a way of living I learned starting at 11 years old that has enhanced my life.

One of the most important lessons I learned in life came from my beloved departed Sensei Kyu Ha Kim. He would tell Goltz, need to go to tournaments! They are better than 6 months of going to practice and It will make your judo whole. He never talked about winning of losing, just getting out there and doing it. Kinda like another famous judoka, Teddy Roosevelt and his Man in the Arena speech.

Just like in judo in life nothing happens till you make a move, take a chance, enter the arena!

Here is a list of 10th Dan Promotions I recommended over the years:

1.Jim Bregman - 1/19/2018
2.Karl Geis - 3/12/2014
3.Jeremy Glick - 9/11/2001
4.George Harris - 1/15/2010
5.Kyu Ha Kim - 5/17/2021
6.Hal Sharp - 10/31/2020


January - 2023

28th Saturday - Veterans Judo Open, Plano, TX

February - 2023

5th Sunday - New Year's Annual Kohaku Shiai, San Fernando, CA

25th Saturday - Las Vegas Judo Championships, Henderson, NV

March - 2023

5th Sunday - Mojica Early Spring Tournament, Baldwin Park, CA

12th Sunday - Taishi's 13th Anniversary Tournament, Westminster, CA

18th Saturday & 19th Sunday - Youth National Championships, Lubbock, TX

25th Saturday - Shoshinkan's Annual Kosen Tournament, Las Vegas, NV

26th Sunday - Shoshinkan's Shintaro Higashi Clinic, Las Vegas, NV

April - 2023

1st Saturday & 2nd Sunday - High School & Collegiate Nationals, San Jose, CA

15th Saturday - Couchigian Memorial Tournament, Las Vegas, NV

16th Sunday - Amarilis Savon Clinic, Las Vegas, NV

May - 2023

7th Sunday - Nanka Spring Tournament , Westminster, CA

20th Saturday & 21st Sunday - Senior National Championships, Spokane, WA

June - 2023

16th Friday to 18th Sunday - USA Judo Junior Olympics, Shreveport, LA

24th Saturday - Sensei Gary's Birthday Scrimmage, Claremont, CA

25th Sunday - Nanka West Coast Invitational, Westminster, CA

July - 2023

7th Friday to 9th Sunday - USJF Summer Nationals, New York, NY

September - 2023

24th Sunday - Nanka Fall Tournament, Westminster, CA

October - 2023

1st Sunday - Capitol Open Judo Championships, Sacramento, CA

22nd Sunday - Fresno Invitational Tournament, Fresno, CA

29th Sunday - Nanka Team Tournament, Westminster, CA

November - 2023

5th Sunday to 8th Wednesday - IJF World Veterans Championships, Abu Dhabi, UAE

19th Sunday - National Presidents Cup Championships, Irving, TX

December - 2023

1st Friday to 3rd Sunday -Grassroots Judo Winter Nationals & Clinics, Azusa, CA

I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to gary@garygoltz.com.

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