Instructor Inducted into Martial Arts Hall of Fame

Bob Bell

Bob Bell

Las Vegas, N.M. – The United States Martial Arts Association inducted a Highlands University instructor into its 2015 Hall of Fame in June.

Bob Bell, an exercise and sports sciences instructor, began teaching judo at Highlands in 2014. The retired chiropractor and 7th degree black belt has trained in judo for 30 years, teaching and coaching 28 of those years.

“Judo encompasses spiritual strengthening, an attitude of perseverance and discipline, physical fitness, and good nutrition,” Bell said. “Judo is a martial art that relies on using maximum efficiency and minimum effort for the mutual benefit of yourself and your opponent. You work out to help each other advance rather than to demoralize each other.”

Judo is a martial art that derives from the ancient Japanese martial art tradition of jujitsu, which is much more combative. Jigoro Kano, a Japanese jujitsu practitioner, developed judo in 1882. Today, the International Judo Federation has 187 member countries and regions and judo is an Olympic sport.

In 1985, Bell enrolled his teenage daughter in a judo class and said he got hooked himself. Over the years, he competed successfully in numerous regional judo competitions in the Midwest.

“I was a disabled veteran with a back injury and was told I could only walk and ride a bike, which was boring and not physically challenging. I wanted a more active lifestyle and got hooked on judo because it was always challenging, with something new and different to learn. For instance, there are 120 specific throws,” Bell said.

He said judo involves circular moves designed to bring your opponent off balance and under control so that they can be brought down to the mat on their back, which marks the end of a match.

At Highlands, Bell teaches introductory and advanced judo. He established a Judo Club at Highlands in 2014 that includes 15 – 20 students. In 2015 the NMHU Judo Club competed at tournaments in El Paso, Texas and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I’m very proud of my Highlands students’ progress, competitive poise, and leadership. Isaiah Howze, our Judo Club president, and Donna Constance, our vice president, both won third-place medals at the Olympic Training Center tournament in Colorado Springs,” Bell said.

Bell graduated in 1995 from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Missouri. He operated Bell Chiropractic Clinic in Joplin, Missouri until his retirement in 2013. Bell was also a longtime registered nurse, working in intensive care, emergency rooms, and other settings.

“Research shows that good judokas – students of judo – increase their study skills in other subjects. Sports physicians also ranked it as the safest full-contact sport. I invite students of all ages and physical abilities to come observe our judo classes at Highlands and see what we do,” Bell said.

For more information, email Bell at robertbell@nmhu.edu