From judo champion to police master

The former Spanish judo champion Ramón Domínguez left behind his time in professional sports 48 years ago, when he decided to replace the tatami with a police badge. The Miller Bajo Police Station now recognizes his work as a self-defense teacher until 2018 with a sign in his name that decorates the doors of the gym where he taught hundreds of officers for nearly five decades.

Ramón Domínguez began his work in the body of the Local police of The Gran Canarian palms 48 years ago, leaving behind a world of national and international competitions of judo which earned him the titles of champion of Spain and the Canary Islands. After a time of traveling around the world that allowed him to train with the guard of the Japan Imperial Palace, began his new stage at the police station with reluctance, but the tasks he carried out on the street and as a self-defense teacher ended up becoming a key part of his life. On the occasion of honoring the work he did until 2018, the doors of the gymnasium of Miller Bass where he taught, they now display a plaque in his name.

Domínguez began his career in the police force at the end of 1974, while teaching physical education classes at the Loyola College, since when he started “you didn’t earn to live, in fact, 90% of the police had two jobs,” explained the former professor. In his early years, he patrolled the entire city and it was precisely in his street work where he lived one of the experiences that most marked him, after using his defense skills to stop a boy who had violently robbed a bar. . The two met again two years later and the detainee thanked the police officer because the experience had helped him straighten out his life, get married and have a daughter. «Being stopped by someone you’ve knocked down and shackled to thank you makes it a nice service because you can see the long-term result of your work.», he assured.

However, his true passion within the body came to light four years later, when he opened the Lower Miller Police Station Gym giving the first self defense classes. The sports activity began in a small tapestry of 58 square meters, which over the years has changed its place and increased its dimensions.

Brand new tatami

Ramón Domínguez’s relationship with the sports field began to be established in the canary wrestling, where despite his light weight he began to stand out in his first competitions on the island. It was not until he had the opportunity to try judo in the Olympic Gymnasium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria who decided to change the arena for the tatami and consecrated himself in the new discipline just fifteen days later, when he obtained the title of champion of the province.

His fame in Japanese sports took off when he obtained the title of Spain champion, which he achieved in Vitoria with one year and six months of practice. Of the five matches he held that day, he was victorious in all of them in less than five minutes. “I have always played sports to have fun, not to win, what happens is that I have always won more than I have lost”, clarified the judoka.

“I play sports to have fun but I have won more than I have lost”, clarified the former teacher

The most significant journey the martial arts professional undertook came when he discovered Japan, the cradle of this sport. It was the first incursion made by the members of the Spanish team to the Japanese country, where they became one of the few people in receive classes by the guard of the Imperial Palace. “Here the police who worked at the congresses at that time were heavily armed and there they only carried a stick,” described the former teacher. The members of the guard only practiced judo and kendo, but the harshness of the classes brought tears to the retired policeman as he left the sessions. “I entered the country one way and left another,” he reflected.

However, the economic uncertainty involved in the practice of sport at a professional level and the fact that he had to support his son led him to start teaching, which eventually became his passion. After only one year in the force, he decided to spend 15 days training to be a teacher in Madrid, where he coincided in the exams with the members of the national judo team. To complete the formation, the students were able to compete against each other and Domínguez beat three of the team members.

Back on the island, the former judoka has become a key figure in the sport over the years, which has allowed him to give classes across the country. The plaque that decorates the doors of the Miller Bajo police station gym is one more way to commemorate the work of one of the most renowned teachers in the force.



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