The McDaniel Family

Gordon Family YMCA


We are the McDaniel family: Matt, Marjorie, Jojo, and John. My husband, Matt, started judo when he was eight-years-old at Highline YMCA. Originally, his parents put his older brother in the class to learn to protect himself from bullies. They noticed that judo taught their kids more than just self-defense; it also taught them discipline, character building, recreation, and exercise. Soon all the siblings were involved in judo.

Matt competed both nationally and internationally. He has been sharing his passion for judo with his fellow judoka by volunteering for many years in different clubs. Now he’s back to where he started the YMCA with his younger brother Tim sharing his passion for judo with the Sumner community.

My kids and I soon joined in, too, and judo became a family affair. Our daughter, Jojo, has grown so much through judo. She, who was once too scared to get on the mat at first, is now competing fearlessly at the national level. The sport helped her gain confidence, physical, and mental strength, while having fun. John (16 months old) is starting to get comfortable on the mat and is enjoying the presence of other kids and family.

It's a good way to spend time together, learn skills, get some exercise, and make friends.