In Japanese, "judo" means "the gentle way." But members of Florida International University's judo club were anything but gentle when they tangled with a carjacker last month in Los Angeles.
In town to teach self-defense seminars at a convention for Latina women, members of the club had just stopped to fuel their rented minivan when Tyrone J. Hogan drove into the gas station, fresh from carjacking a Toyota, the police say, and tried to go two for two.
Nestor A. Bustillo, a second-degree black belt who is the club's instructor, says the fray was intense but brief. Mr. Hogan demanded money of Mr. Bustillo, menaced him, then jumped in the van to steal it. The club members inside -- including students, Mr. Bustillo's wife, and his 18-year-old son -- dragged Mr. Hogan out of the van, pummeled him, and subdued him with a bone-twisting armlock.
What followed, Mr. Bustillo says, was like a "scene out of Police Academy." The police pulled up and, guns drawn, approached the empty Toyota.
"We said, 'Relax, we got him right here,'" Mr. Bustillo says. "They had to laugh because we had him folded up like a little pretzel." A bruised and battered Mr. Hogan was charged with carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery, and held on $1.2-million bail. He could not be reached for comment.
After the incident, the judo-club members appeared on national television shows, and one even got calls about an acting career.
Mr. Bustillo has used the publicity to draw interest to judo, which is part of the university's Asian-studies program. He has also talked up the martial art's less violent and more therapeutic applications; for example, one student is teaching judo to children to help them deal with hyperactivity.
"The attention that we have gotten has been nice," Mr. Bustillo says. "But the news stories so far have just scratched the surface."
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Carlson, Scott. "Judo Justice." The Chronicle of Higher Education 49.03 (2002). Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Dec. 2009.
United States Judo Association - USJA
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