The Venue


The New York Athletic Club is a private social club and athletic club in New York City. It was founded in 1868 and has approximately 8,600 members. The club has two facilities: the City House, located at 180 Central Park South, and Travers Island, the summer home, located in Westchester County.


The NYAC can be considered the foundation for amateur athletics in the United States by establishing the definition of an amateur. It was the first organization to compile and apply a code of rules for the government of athletic meetings, the first to offer prizes for open amateur games, and the first to hold an amateur championship.

In 1866, William Buckingham Curtis, Harry Buermeyer, and John C. Babcock opened a gymnasium on the corner of 6th Avenue and 14th Street in their New York City apartment, after discussing the rapid rise of organized athletics in England. Interest in their gym grew, and the three men decided to found the New York Athletic Club on September 8, 1868. Their goal was to sponsor athletic competitions in the New York area and to keep official records for different sports. In the beginning there was no initiation fee, but $10 was required for the first six months of dues.


NYAC members have won more than 230 Olympic medals of which more than 120 have been gold. Presently, the NYAC has top-ranked competitors in wrestling, judo, rowing, fencing, water polo and track and field, among other sports. Forty NYAC members competed for three countries at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, winning 16 medals.

New York Athletic Club 180 Central Park South, 6th Floor New York, NY 10019

The Club

The Club Today

The New York Athletic Club (NYAC) Judo program is a unique blend of elite athletes, businessmen, students, stockbrokers, doctors, and lawyers. The team is comprised of world-class athletes, regional champions, and former national champions who come together twice a week to fight, have a beer and share in the camaraderie that sets the NYAC Judo Team apart from all others.

The development and support of elite athletes is the central goal of the NYAC, and this is certainly true of the Judo Program. Sensei Matsumura is the head instructor for 33 years and ably assisted by Teimoc Johnston Ono, Aziz Bendris and Olympic medalists Jason Morris and Jim Pedro to attract and develop elite athletes for the NYAC.

The club also offers a children's program, designed to give the sons and daughters of NYAC members exposure to, and basic training in judo and the self-discipline and self-esteem that is the byproduct of good Judo instruction. The NYAC continues to this day its commitment to all phases of Judo, including the mission to sponsor athletes to participate in the Olympic games, which we have been successful in with 8 medals won by our athletes.


Kevin Earls, Judo Club Co-Chairman NYAC Championship - New York Open

The NYAC hosted many Metropolitan AAU Championships. It was a fiercely fought tournament due to the high level of Judo in the city and tremendous depth in all divisions. The NYAC was the perennial winner of the Team Championship in this tournament. The NYAC was also the site of the military Championships and the Pan-American trials, but the NYAC did not have its own tournament until 1983.

Through the efforts of the former Joe Casale and Vinny Ursone, the first annual NYAC Judo Tournament was born twenty five years ago. From humble beginnings come great things. The years have seen this tournament grow, first from a regional, then to a national event. Mel Appelbaum, John Walla, Arthur Canario, the judo Chairmen and many, many others have taken what was one of the premier contests in the nation to a full scale international event. Competitors from over 20 countries regularly travel to NY to compete here. You will find Olympic and World medalists fighting here, and not always winning. The NY Open has become the most competitive international competition held in North America.

The Chairman

A special note for the strong willed energetic men who built the NYAC Judo Team:

First and foremost there is Charlie Lambur who was the Founding Father and driving force of the NYAC Judo Team for almost 20 years. If it were not for him there would not be a Judo program. Joe Casale picked up the torch and added greater depth to the program in the 70’s. Vinny Ursone and Ed Musikantow then took the team through the 80's adding elite athletes to an already strong program. They began the prestigious NYAC Tournament easily the finest in the US. Kevin Earls piloted the program through the outstanding growth of the 90’s passing the torch to Owen Tunney when Kevin was elected the only judo competitor to serve on the NYAC Board and later became NYAC Captain, overseeing all sports. The judo club is now in the excellent hands of Owen Tunney and Andy Blumenthal and will continue to grow and move forward, building on the successes of the predecessors.