James Bregman to receive promotion to 10th degree black belt in Grand Rapids

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 19:31:02-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- James Bregman won the bronze medal in Judo at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo Japan.

Saturday he will be promoted to 10th degree black belt in Judo, a very rare achievement that fewer than 15 people in the world have accomplished.

"It is a rare honor and experience to have revived this award" Bregman said. "There are very few people who have accomplished that and I do not feel worthy of it I feel I am a good fifth degree black belt but apparently my peers feel differently so frankly I think I am a little embarrassed."

Bregman is in Grand Rapids this weekend as part of the Junior Judo National Championships at the DeVos Place that runs through Sunday.

Many of Bregman's peer's are here for the ceremony as well and credit him for peaking their interest in the sports.

"He is a hero of mine and made me believe that I could have a dream in Judo too" 1988 Judo Olympian Steve Cohen said. "I was fortunate to follow that dream and make the olympic team but it all started with Jim so it is one point for me that was significant."

"There is no American, there is no North American that I can think of that would be ahead of him" 1980 Judo Olympian Jesse Goldstein said. "To get to be 10th is almost impossible to have Jimmy get it was easy, there was nobody else."