Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church 
48 Greene Avenue, Sayville, New York 11782
Office: (631) 589-3202 - Fax: (631) 589-1419 - E-Mail:
Rev. Brian Noack, Pastor


Sensei Jeffrey Balzer, Sandan USJA, Nidan KDK
Sensei Jeff started his pursuit of Judo in 1968 under Sensei Hank Kraft, at the Queens & Island Judo center. He progressed to Blue belt in 1973. Under Sensei John Brisbois he achieved Purple belt in April of 1973 at the Smithtown YMCA Judo Club. He continued his Judo path at Waseda Judo club with Yamashita Sensei from 1975 to 1980 receiving his Shodan in August of 1980.
A keen and very active Judo competitor he played in many local & regional Shia’s, YMCA, Promotional, Yoshida Cup and the Junior Olympics. Playing with many great local and national Judo talents.
As many of us Judoka, Sensei Jeff continued his Judo while in College, at George Washington University while achieving degrees in Electrical, BS and Nuclear engineering, MS. During this time he taught Judo at the Georgetown Boys Club in Washington, DC.
During the time from 1980-2000 he played when time did permit. He was working in the nuclear field and left in 1985 to work in and now currently the owner of a family business, Woods Lock and Door, Inc.  in Valley Stream.  He married his wife Wendy in 1987 and started a family in 1988.  They have two children Morgan now a Cardiac Nurse in Memphis, Tennessee and Tyler is a student at Farmingdale State College graduating in Business Management in December 2011.
Judo again finds a place in his life in July of 2001, when he is “put under the ether “ by Sensei Clifford Wolff at the Boy Scout Explorer/Venture Crew 1882 BSA Judo-Kai, in Bay Shore, NY. His teaching responsibilities were that of Kata Coordinator, Tournament preparation and special training techniques for adults, boys and girls of the club. 
During this time his wife Wendy came to see what this Judo “stuff” was all about. There were some young girls whom returned home from their college education and came back to again play judo. Well, watching her first randori she got to see the both of them taken away in ambulances that night. Sensei Jeff calmly told her that does not happen every night. They were fine without any real injuries except to their Gi pants being cut off and their pride.
Sensei Jeff achieved a long over do promotion in November of 2001 to Nidan.
Currently a co founder and Senior Sensei of Judo Dojo Yukidaruma, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sayville, NY. He is responsible for many aspects of teaching and promoting the great sport of Judo to a new cadre of judoka. He has completed child protection training, background screening, CPR & First Aid training.
He enjoys more frequent travel with Wendy now that the children are older and enjoys exercising on a regular basis.
If you would like to contact Sensei Jeff he can be reached at (631) 804-7828 or



Sensei Joe Schneemann, Sandan USJA, Nidan KDK

Sensei Joe found his way to Judo in 1968 under Sensei Laurence Rotkin at the East Jr. High School Judo club in Brentwood, NY. He found a long-term love for the sport. He played off and on through out Jr. & Sr. high school at several local Shia’s in Suffolk and Nassau. A favorite time was the workouts on the beach at Robert Moses state park. In 1973 Sensei Joe started college at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he played on the University Judo team, under Sensei Betty West. He competed very often in the Dixie states Judo conference. Throughout the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and Louisiana he attended many weekly and monthly college judo tournaments. His best competition record was to receive a bye, a competitor he was not. He was promoted to Orange belt in 1973. He left Alabama and in 1974 married his Junior & High school sweetheart Kathy and lived in Islip, NY. As with many Judo players time came and went, children, college, and jobs. He worked a local hospital and was able to help Kathy become a nurse and she allowed him to pursue a career in orthotics & prosthetics. Their children both live locally Brian a banking /IT person, and Erin a paralegal, Admin asst. Sensei Joe was very active in Islip little league Baseball& softball, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Church youth group and local business service clubs. Scouting is where he met Sensei Clifford Wolff. Throughout the many years of scouting there would always be talk of an old love Judo. In 1995 as Brian was finishing up his requirements for Scouts Eagle award Sensei Wolff “put him under the ether” and began to start a Boy Scout Judo club. In 1996 Sensei Wolff and Sensei Joe co founded with Sensei Walter Ing as the advisor, Post/Crew 1882 BSA Judo-Kai. This was an Explorer group for boys and girls. Both Brian and Erin found they too liked the Gentle Way and both progressed to Brown belts. Through the years Sensei Joe practiced and was promoted to Nidan in August 2003. He found that he was a much better instructor than a competitor. Highlights included a club with members of almost 30 students, club participation in many local tournaments, demonstrations and self-defense classes for local groups. The club was active in relief for the first responders for ground zero in 2001. Sensei Joe even got to visit the National USJA training headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. During his time with the Post, Sensei Joe also helped Sensei Wolff write his book “Sensei Sez”. The comedian Louis Black stated “ writing a book is like Sunday night in school and knowing the big report is due in the morning and it’s not finished yet, EVERY DAY” Again work and personal responsibility took control and Judo again was put back on hold and Sensei Joe left the Boy Scout Club. In 2009 he found his way back to the mat as a guest instructor at Arigatai Dojo in Manorville, NY a PAL Judo club. Sensei Joe has been certified by the USJA as a Coach and a Naga no Kata instructor, AAU coach certification, CPR, First aid. Youth protection by the BSA, and YMCA holds background clearances. In 2010 after discussions with Pastor Brian Noack of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sayville, NY and a summer judo club was started at the Church in June of 2011. Judo Dojo Yukidaruma was expanded to a weekly outreach for the Church in September 2011. With co founders Sensei’s Jeff Balzer and Kurt Walz and Sempai Erin Schneemann, our new club is bringing Judo to young and old alike. Contact Sensei Joe on his cell 631-579-0391 or Email at




Sensei Kurt Walz, Sandan USJA, Shodan KDK    
                                                         Sensei’s Bill Fortunado and Walter Ing first introduced sensei Kurt to Judo in 1969 at South Shore Judo Club in West Islip, NY. As a junior judoka he studied and he progressed through the ranks and was awarded Blue belt in 1977. During this time he was active in many local and state competitions. High school, College and career paths took Sensei Kurt away from the mat. He went to Suffolk Community, and St. Joseph’s College and earned a degree in Business Administration. He has been at Motorola technologies in Holtsville, NY, since 1994 and enjoys a very challenging position planning materials needed for worldwide repair operations in his position as a Sr. material Planner & customer service logistics analyst. In 1997 Sensei Kurt found his way back to Judo when a good friend, and fellow judoka suggested he check out a Boy Scout Judo club in Bay Shore, NY under the direction of Sensei’s Walter Ing and Clifford Wolff. He was back in the Judo fold and studied and assisted teaching both young and old alike. In June of 1999 he was promoted to Sankyu, a Brown belt, and became Post/Crew 1882 BSA Judo-Kai’s second Sempai. Here was a position he excelled in and was happy to share what ever he could. Thru diligence and hard work Sensei Kurt was awarded Shodan in June of 2002. He was indeed reluctant to join the Yudansha ranks…but with a little cajoling and outright threats he became Sensei Kurt! Continued studies and receiving training as a Nage-no-Kata instructor, and attended Regional referee seminars, youth protection and is background cleared, he was also active in many demonstrations and self-defense classes to the local community and aided 9/11 first responders in 2001.  In August of 2007 he was again recognized for his Judo skills and awarded Nidan. In 2007 he co founded with Sensei Doc Watson, Arigatai Dojo in Manorville, NY a PAL Judo club, where he is currently the lead instructor. In April of 2011 a personal milestone year for Sensei Kurt, he was re recognized by the USJA with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”.  Always looking for more time on the mat Sensei Kurt joined as a co founder with Sensei’s Jeff Balzer and Joe Schneemann Judo Dojo Yukidaruma in June of 2011 for a summer judo class. A community program offered at St. John’s Lutheran Church Sayville, NY. With Sensei Kurt’s assistance the club now has a yearlong venue. “Judo has been a welcome part of my life, and lessons learned on the mat have helped through personal, and professional life. I hope in some small way to pass on the art, and help to keep Judo alive.” Two Yellow Labradors keep Kurt busy, as well as motorcycling, racquetball, and scuba diving. If you would like to contact Sensei Kurt he can be reached on his cell 631-456-1735, or Email at