It’s been a cold winter in 2017 but on the mat the warmth of our judo family continues to flourish growing in number, competitive success and significant club milestones. Only closing for a week over Christmas with renovations to the club including the new cafe/dojo window, sports injury clinic and recording studio as well as the new club website we we’re able to hit the ground running in 2018.
Starting back in 2018
Starting back on the 9th January after our break we began developing more competitive judo including the introduction of the advanced class to the weekly schedule.
On the 24th January, junior members Stephanie Garner and Grace Scott-Jervis traveled all the way up to Middlesbrough to fight in the British Schools Qualifier for the National Championships. Competing in the respective older age group categories and nine contests between them, the girls returned with a GOLD and BRONZE medal and much more experience. Along with her medal, Stephanie Garner also qualified for the British National School Championships held at EIS Sheffield in April 2018.
On the 30th January saw mild celebrations and at the club as it was exactly 2012 days since the London 2012 Olympic Games and the inspiration behind an acorn of the idea of our club. Following a small Sport England grant to purchase our mats, we are very proud of what we have built together and accomplished in such a short space of time. The club is very quickly growing in all ares and shows no sign of stopping becoming a very strong and sturdy oak tree for all.
February began with another foray into competition for our juniors with Louie Anderson, Stephanie Garner and Grace Scott-Jervis fighting in the West Yorkshire Championships. Taking the next step up in competitively, with over 11 contests there was some great effort and performances returning home with 2 SILVER and 1 BRONZE medals. The second week in February saw the arrival of the Coloured Belt Championships held quarterly in Kendal. With good organisation and guaranteed contests for all competitors, this is a popular event and one in which we try to support with 8 of our junior members and one senior member competing. It was a tough day for the team including some of our juniors taking the step up in age category fighting much taller, stronger and more experienced competitors. Despite this, each member fought valiantly with resilience and character returning home with 8 medals including 1 GOLD, 2 SILVER AND 5 BRONZE. A special mention goes to Rachel Brown winning GOLD with some excellent technical judo.
After Kendal followed the Craven Open Championships with 5 juniors and 1 senior traveling into the lake district to compete including Anaya Harris, Alfie McCulloch, Louie Anderson, Kieran Moorfiled and Joe Nordoff. With some excellent performances the team returned with 2 GOLD and 4 SILVER medals with Annaya Harris winning both her own age/grade group and the age/grade group above. It ended was has been a great foray into competitive judo for some of our junior and senior players in a short space of time and showed that if you set a goal and work hard you can succeed.
In addition to individual success, the camaraderie and support for each other during each competition was magnificent with many of our members and parents celebrating the success of others more than their own victories.The core value of our club is to support the development of an individual both on and off the mat, supporting their development as a person psychologically, physically and socially through judo. We’re very proud of how well each member performed and how they conducted themselves with excellent sportsmanship towards opponents and in support for each other.
As well as the juniors, senior members Vicky Taylor traveled south to Gloucestershire chasing the remaining 20 points needed for her Dan grade. After calling and confirming ahead that there would be 4 fighters, sadly only 1 other female competitor turned up. After the 2.5 hour drive, Vicky went to task throwing and armlocktng her opponent in under 60 seconds. Leaving on 10 points and theory examination to complete her journey to Black Belt. Also traveling southwards, Senior member Tom Nagle began his UKCC Level 2 Coaching Course to become a fully qualified club coach. Building on from his Level 1 award Tom will continue to support Luke but also lead a number of session as part of his portfolio of experience for his final examination in March.
At the end of February senior members Vicky Taylor and Jess Martin travelled up to Blackburn to compete at a regional Dan grading. With 2 contests each Jess gained 10 points towards her dan grade with Vicky winning both contests completing her 100 points. Vicky completed her dan grade theory and kata examination on the spot and became the first Leigh Judo Club female Dan grade Black Belt.
We can still remember Vicky arriving with her son Robert at our old venue, walking on the mat for the first ever time in black leggings and a borrowed club jacket, apprehensive and nervous wondering what judo was and seeing whether she might enjoy it. Becoming part of our judo family, growing in confidence, strength and skill. With an openness to learn and support others, Vicky is a shining example of skill, technique, dedication, determination and perseverance in accomplishing her goals and living an active, healthy life. It highlights the end of a rewarding journey for Vicky and marked a significant milestone in the club’s early history.
Nage-No-Kata course: Part 1
On the same day Vicky competed achieving her Dan Grade, 7 of our senior members traveled to Manchester Judo Club to complete a BJA certified Nage No Kata course. It was a well organised and enjoyable course that everyone learnt something new and was able to demonstrate the quality of their techniques. With the National Kata Championships to be held in April, we may be putting on extra sessions for those who wish to compete as well as prepare for their Kata examination in May.
As well as completing the kata course, senior member Jason Cossey successfully completed his technical Dan Grade and Kata examination necessary for his Black Belt. Having tried judo when he was younger but dropped out due to life circumstances. Jason returned back to the sport keen on introducing and instilling judo values in the lives of his children. Jason fought in a number of Dan gradings during 2017 collecting the points necessary to complete the competitive element of his Dan grade. Though Jason likes to keep us hanging as it took another 10 months for him to get around to his theory. It had been 23 years since Jason last stepped on a judo mat before joining our judo family. He has grown in technical ability, understanding and skill and highlights the impact and benefits judo can have on your life. Well done to both Vicky and Jason with their significant achievements.
#Kata #Self-defense #Origins
Senior and Junior club grading
March 4th saw another successful club grading with many of our members demonstrating excellent technique, skill and progress. It was a wonderful, enjoyable day with many of our dedicated members progressing in grade. Thank you to Jason and Emma Cossey who helped keep Luke organised, Paul Jervis for stepping in taking pictures to capture the day as well as club coaches Tom Nagle and Stuart Holden for delivering an engaging and fun junior session.
We would also like to thank everyone for your continued support as the club continues to grow and flourish. A huge thank you to club coaches Tom Nagle and Stuart Holden in supporting the delivery of coaching maintaining our high standards. To our resident professional photographer and now videographer John Jacques @CJL Photography and Lindsay Collbeck (@LC Communications) who consistently help us communicate and provide content for everyone. If you ever need professional PR, Photography or Video work, we couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Congratulations to everyone who graded, in particular junior members Leo Sheldon and Thomas Haylett achieving their Yellow belts as well as senior member Joe Nordof in achieving his Brown belt starting his journey to 1st Dan. The grading was made even more special presenting Vicky Taylor and Jason Cossey with their new black belts.
When many people see a Black Belt they see dedication, discipline, hard work and skill. What is hidden and woven into the fibres of the belt is consistent support and co-operation of an Uki (training partner). A good uki challenges you to be better each session and puts your needs above those of their own. Without an Uki there would be no practice of throws and techniques and no opportunity to learn, develop and grow as an individual and judo player. Thank you to all of our uki’s, each are a fibre of every belt.
Without you, there is no judo.
See you back on the mat!
Luke and the LJC Team