Photo courtesy Elise D. Parker
Last night we had our semi-annual family night, kohaku shiai, and promotion ceremony. It was well-attended by students and families and the kids got to show their parents some of what they've been learning. In the shiai we had a total of 30 matches of rooster-tail randori and newaza randori amongst 16 competitors. The winners were:
- 1st Place: Tanner Humphries (6 wins)
- 2nd Place: Andrew Kelly (5 wins)
- 3rd place: Luke Fortenberry (4 wins)
Note the demographics of the winners: one kid who is middle-of-the-pack size and age-wise, the one kid with the least amount of judo training time, and one of the youngest and smallest players - Validation for the gentle art of judo. Congrats, folks on a great contest and great attitudes - but congrats especially on your new belts:
- Whit – has become a great little technician, honing his outside leg sweep, his leg picks, and his ability to fight from the bottom position on the ground.
- Mason – is a force of nature on the ground. Sheer willpower often sees Mason through a match. Mason has improved on pacing himself and working through frustration.
- Zack – Shows good positive aggressiveness in groundwork and standing randori. He will be a force to be reckoned with next year after he learns some more technical aspects of judo.
- Nick – Has shown leadership and good sportsmanship in playing well with the younger and smaller kids while making great progress, especially in groundwork.
- Tanner – has shown great progress in his technical skills as well as his competitiveness on the mat.Good sportsmanlike conduct on and off the mat.
- Knox – has also improved greatly in his attention span and his ability to do repetitive drills. This has shown itself in his ability to use the outside leg sweep in competition. Both Knox and Whit are nearly impossible to turn from their bellies onto their backs.
- Quin – has shown improvement in his attention span and his ability to approach randori as a fun experience regardless of the outcome of a match. It’s frustrating being the smallest guy in the pile.
- Luke – has done very well in both standing and groundwork drills and exercises. Luke tries hard, stays on task, and will make great strides in his judo skills during the next year.
- Brandon – has the best technical knowledge of anyone on the mat. He thinks and tries new things in randori. Keep it up!
- Laurie – is so focused and aggressive both on the ground and standing that she is hard to beat.
- Stephen – seemingly calm and quiet, Stephen bursts into motion in standing randori, seeming to be everywhere at once! Stephen has done a great job of playing well with the smaller and younger players.
- Christopher Lee – has improved in his ability to focus and participate in repetitive drills. Christopher will soon be one of the best technical judo players in the group.
- Dylan – another well-built athlete, Dylan is a good size to make a great showing in judo competition. Dylan has improved on his focus and attention span.
- Ethan – is another of our best technicians, placing in competitions despite being toward the smaller end of the line. Keep coming and stay focused and you will become great at this sport!
- Sara – is most competitive with her brother, Ethan, and she has improved greatly in her attention span and ability to drill skills needed in competition.
- Shelby – has fun practicing and drilling with Knox and Quin. Her judo will blossom in the next year or so.
- Jake – a natural athlete, Jake has obviously watched and learned from jiu-jitsu competitions on TV. The combination of athleticism, aggression, and some technical skill is hard to beat.
- Andrew – another athlete. Andrew came into class late in the year and took the class by storm, shaking up the developing pecking order of who usually beat whom.
- Mick – Has shown improvement in attention span and has picked up a couple of good moves that will serve him well when he returns to judo after baseball season.
- Matt – Has shown terrific improvement in his ability to deal with anger and frustration when things don’t go his way on the mat. Matt will be great in judo next year.
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