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OBC Judo Team

Since 1964

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Dale Lehman - Founder of OBC Judo Team

   To begin with Dale was born at a very young age ( Sorry but that date is top secret ) in Davenport, Iowa, where he attended school and began wrestling when he was a sophomore in high school. His senior year Dale won 3rd place in the heavyweight division of the Iowa High School Wrestling Championships and 1st place in the Iowa A.A.U. Wrestling Championships. Upon completing high school Dale entered the United States Air Force.

    It was there that he was first introduced to the sport of Judo in 1960, while stationed in Roswell, New Mexico. During his tour of duty he won several Air Force Judo Championships. In 1960, his first year of Judo, Dale became the Strategic Air Command Novice Champion and the 15th Air Force Novice Champion. By 1963 he became the All Air Force Open Judo Champion. Dale was also the New Mexico State Champion in 1961, 1962, and 1963. In 1963 Dale received his honorable discharge from the Air Force and moved to Odessa, his wife's hometown.

    After arriving in Odessa, Dale went to work as an apprentice plumber and is now the owner of  "City Plumbing". In the fall of 1963 he started a Judo Club in Odessa and later in 1964 with the help of Harry Wilkerson, Dale became the Sensei of the famous Odessa Boys Club Judo Team or as it is well known across the nation as OBC Judo. During Dale's first year as our Sensei, he won the title of Texas State Judo Champion in the Open Division and also the Overall State Champion every year from 1964 through 1972.  In 1968 Dale was the National YMCA Champion and the first Texan to place in the U.S. Senior National Judo Championships.  In 1969 Dale was chosen to represent the United States in the World Pan Am Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico and he placed 3rd in the Open Division.

    In 1970 Dale was chosen 1 of 15 to represent the United States in the World Judo Tournament in Mexico City, Mexico. Dale was also voted "All American in Judo" and chosen as "Judoka of the year" in 1969 and 1970. Dale has placed 5 times in the United States National Championships and has directed 5 National Championships here in Odessa, Texas. Dale currently holds the rank of Shichidan, 7th degree Black Belt.

    Dale Lehman's work with the youth through Judo was recognized in 1968 and 1972, when he was presented with the "Boy's Clubs of America Golden Boy Award " by the Odessa Boys Club.  Dale was awarded the Volunteer Leader Award for 12 years straight from 1972 to 1985 by the Odessa Boys Club. Dale Lehman has made such an impression  on citizens here in Odessa, that a special award was named after him in 1998. They call this award the "Dale Lehman Volunteer of the Year Award". This  is awarded each year to an individual that stands out as a volunteer. Dale has served in the past as Referee Chairman and Promotional Chairman.

   After 50 years of being Odessa's Judo Coach, Dale Lehman has retired from the daily responsibility of teaching Judo at the club. You can bet he will still  be around to give us advice and keep us all in line. We all love & respect Dale like a Father.