Omar Perez / Chief Illustrator
Manifested within every human physique is the adamant and infinitely remarkable spirit of the fighter.
Ocean waves crash onto the pier in a crushing, violent display. Crisp winter air briskly cuts through the grass and drowns out the mechanical noise from nearby roads. Few could be seen strolling or jogging down the renovated bicycle lane in this type of weather.
Soon, however, Japanese chants and the slap of the mat could be heard echoing throughout the lightless Anderson Amphitheater. Though temperatures bordered the low 60s on that challenging Wednesday night, students as young as five would rough the elements, barefooted, to attend “Sensei” Patrick Durbin’s Bushido Judo class.
As a “judoka” judo practitioner, Durbin brings a rarely seen asset to Corpus Christi’s recreational agenda by offering classes free of charge. Judo, meaning “gentle way,” is a Japanese code of ethics and martial art that originates from Jujitsu.
Durbin explains that truly understanding the art entails “being able to apply any of the techniques without using any force.”
Created officially by Dr. Igor Kano in 1882, Kodokan Judo is an Olympic sport that focuses on balance and subduing the opponent with grapples or joint lock maneuvers.
Durbin began studying the art of Bushido Judo when he was five years of age. Despite the fact that his parents divorced, they both agreed that facilitating his judo career was a priority.
By the grace of their love and support, his father funded his education and his mother drove him to tournaments within Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Texas. He began his role as a judoka at the age of twenty-three, which quickly became his life long passion.
When asked what inspires him to teach his class for free, Durbin intensely remarked, “I believe Judo is an art and not a business.” By teaching selflessness, discipline, and emotional control through the gentle way for which judo is defined, Durbin’s goal is for students to apply these fundamentals to real life situations.
Jean-pierre Lametrie, Durbin’s highest ranking student with a brown belt, assists in teaching his classes by instructing proper form and by demonstrating techniques such as “ogoshi” and “tomoe nage.”
The physically demanding portion of this demonstration is allowing Durbin to perform the techniques on him. Lametrie does not mind taking part in this display, namely because he “loves the heat of competition and fast paced fighting.”
He has been taking Durbin’s classes since he was a sophomore at Ray High School and recently graduated in 2012 with permanent honors.
Now eighteen years of age, Lametrie currently attends Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and majors in electrical engineering. Under Durbin’s wing, he aspires to be among the ranks of the top judoka and to be the first 73 kg male to win gold in the Olympics for the U.S. Furthermore, a childhood dream of his is to become a Navy SEAL. “That’s the life for me,” he proudly adds.
Activities offered by Durbin include weight training, running, swimming and judo technique. These are all parts of his competitive training regime.
For the most disciplined students, they are given the chance to travel to competitions. At the end of each evening and after motivational speaking, the instructor finishes with a round of “randori.”
Two opponents compete against one another for a harsh, physically demanding five minutes, using their judo technique. The winner of the round then moves on to the next challengers until he or she loses.
His fiancé, fundraisers and donations fund Durbin’s judo program. Classes are held Monday through Thursday, 6-10 PM at Cole Park. To learn more, you may visit the facebook page “Corpus Christi Bushido Judo.”