Judo is a sport centered around the “Ippon,” a perfectly executed throw of your opponent that scores an automatic win during a match. To achieve perfect form, techniques for hundreds of throws are practiced over and over again, in repetitive exercises called “Uchikomi”.

The late Sensei Haruo Imamura brought these lessons to the Central Valley from Japan, becoming a national champion for Fresno City College in 1960 and leading multiple local Judo clubs for decades after. His sons, and their lifelong friend Sensei Larry Tsutsui, have continued passing down this knowledge to their daughters, who are Fresno Judo’s newest leaders and the future of the club.

After the passing of Sensei Imamura in 2017, these female Judokas now look forward as they lead the charge in expanding their team to its largest size yet, relocating their dojo, and preparing their players for competition and life.

This is “Ichi, Ni, San, SHE! (How to Throw Like a Girl),” a film by26-year-old filmmaker Hans Steele.

Born and raised in Fresno, Hans has a great passion for both film and history, combining them to tell stories about the Central Valley.

Hans started his creative journey in downtown Fresno with graphic design, then photography, and now filmmaking. Generational education plays a big role in both this film as well as his training as a filmmaker. “I’m totally self-taught,” he says.  “No college education, but [I] have learned lots from older filmmakers and creatives who I’ve worked with or for.”

Hans has worked closely and directly with a few big names in town, including Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Cresco Restaurant Supply, and some local City Council and Mayoral races. Although he started by working for other studios, Hans recently started his own small business in video production and began taking on his first clients this year.

“I’m super interested in this project because I feel that it’s a small way that I can contribute to a great movement that’s happening across the US. I’m excited to use this video as a vehicle to help new voices be heard, without inserting my own, and to tell a story that I hope will empower women who hear it!”

Enjoy the premiere of “Ichi, Ni, San, SHE! (How to Throw Like a Girl)” at The Big Tell Showcase on Friday, October 19 at 7 pm at the Tower Theatre in Fresno.

The Big Tell, presented by Bank of America, is a regional filmmaking initiative for ten Central Valley filmmakers creating 5-minute mini-documentaries about incredible people, places, and events in the Central Valley.

All ten films will be screened at The Big Tell Showcase: Walk the red carpet starting at 6:00 pm before the show at 7:00 pm. For more information and to reserve a seat for this free, all-ages show, visit www.thebigtell.org.