Larry Wiley

Larry Wiley is a Sansei hapa born and raised on the Chicago’s south side. A longtime judo practitioner, he helped found the largest Judo Dojo East of the Mississippi River and has won seven national medals in the “over 30” masters competitions including three gold medals. Working in the construction industry for the past 25 years, he has received several accolades for numerous projects including “2006 Best New Construction under $10 Million” by the Chicago Building Congress for a new Montessori school. Larry is currently managing an 18 month Historical Renovation of the Ludwig  Mies van der Rohe designed Federal Center in Downtown Chicago. A divorced father of three, he has lived on the city’s north side since 1985, a White Sox fan adrift in a sea of Cub mania.

Updated December 2010

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Voces de Chicago

Do You Know Kung Fu? - Part 2

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The summer after 4th grade, 1971, it was somehow decided that my older sister, my younger brother and I would become members of the local YMCA. We all took up swimming and judo. I really wanted to do Karate (in those days I don’t think there was any other martial art besides Judo and Karate) but those classes did not start until 8:00 pm. My grandfather dutifully walked us to and from the “Y”. I was not a bad athlete but not particularly gifted either. Kind of short and stocky, I was pretty shifty and strong ...

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Voces de Chicago

Do You Know Kung Fu? - Part 1

I was born August 19th, 1961 at the University of Chicago Lying-in Hospital, on the south side of Chicago. My father, Joseph Earl Wiley, hails from a prominent family in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. His father, Joseph Elias, graduated from Tuskegee Institute, class of 1914, and served with distinction as an officer in the 92nd Infantry in WW I.

My mother, Frances Sumiko Yoshida was interned with her family in Poston, AZ in WWII. She grew up in Lindsey California the sixth of nine children of an Issei farming family. Her eldest brother and sister married the eldest sister and brother ...

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