Meet Budokai’s Head Judo Instructor

Born and raised in North York, Ontario, Judo Instructor Ray Litvak holds the rank of the 3rd-degree black belt since 1997.  He is registered with Judo CanadaJudo Ontario and the Kodokan Judo Institute of Japan.

Ray is a student and judo instructor that attends judo seminars to keep up with the latest techniques and rule changes in judo competition.

Competitively, Ray won his division at the AM-CAN International Judo Challenge in 1989, represented Canada in the 1989 Maccabiah Games in Israel and competed and medaled in other competitions throughout North America.

Ray has done judo since 1972 under sensei James McNeilage. Following a brief hiatus, he started again in 1979 at the original Budokai Judo Club. Since then, he has participated in judo as a competitor and coach at the regional, provincial and international levels.

Ray has trained under Sensei Chris Toule, a 5th-Dan. As well, he trained under Sensei Frank Hatashita, an 8th-Dan and Sensei Robert Varga, a 7th-Dan at Hatashita Judo Club in Toronto.

After competing, Ray turned to teach judo so he could share his knowledge with others interested in learning Kodokan Judo.

Ray has overcome many challenges in his day-to-day life, including being bullied as a child as a result of Judo. He continues to give back to the sport that has given him so much as Budokai’s Head Judo Instructor.

He believes that Judo is a potent form of self-defence that helps builds character, confidence and courage. His experience and compassion have made him a friendly and patient instructor to his pupils.

Ray acquired most of his early experience as a judo teacher at the original Budokai Judo Club as well as at North York Parks & Recreation, where he was program director for two years running at their Martial Arts Camp.

Ray is an original instructor at the former North York YMCA Judo Program. And has taught Judo at Grant Brothers MMA, Thornhill Ultimate Martial Arts, Toronto Judo Kai, and private & public schools and community centers in the GTA.

His students have reached their black belt level and have achieved great success in provincial, national and international judo competitions.

Off the mat, Ray owns & manages Writing Web Words Inc, a Local SEO Copywriting company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.