The Kosen tournament held at the Newington Armory on the 31st of January was the first tournament that SUJC attended this year. However this tournament, came with a twist; standard judo rules would apply but if the bout came to ne-waza, matte would not be called even if there was a deadlock. So with this in mind, could a team filled with students, full-time workers and judokas who did it for the hell of it, take advantage of the special rules to compete against members of the state squad, pro athletes and national champs?
The first set of matches were the team knockout rounds, with Gary Fong, Andrew Roberts, Kuba Marosz, George Hohlov and Martin Doyle representing the men’s SUJC team. Their first fight was against the infamous team from Zenbu Judo. Zenbu had Britain’s national champion who had announced earlier in the day, “I can’t do groundwork for —-”. Despite these words, his fortunate opponent, Kuba, had the balls to take him head on, where the real judo happens, in tachi-waza. Though whether that was the right decision remained to be seen. A minute in and an amazing, graceful throw for ippon against Kuba but I think we can all appreciate Kuba’s courage . The overall, the team resulted in three losses, one draw and one win even though Andrew, the team captain, had expected more.
In the women’s team event, due to the lack of show by other girls (ahem), Gaby Marosz formed her own team with women from other clubs. Although Gaby had lost her match, she managed to hold her ground quite well against her black belt opponent.
The next set of events were the individual fights. The structure of the tournament placed players in pools of three and the winner of each of those pools would proceed to the knockout stage. Here are some highlights!
George’s second fight demonstrated his strength in ne-waza and tachi-waza. The match started slow and sluggish (unsurprising for such big fellas) but when the fight moved into newaza George was quick and turned his opponent over. Whilst his opponent managed to escape, he was left unsettled, being more cautious when they returned to tachi-waza. The fear started to creep into his eyes when George won waza-ari with a kosoto-gari and the fight returned to its slow pace. George, however, was patient, and when he felt his opponent moving sideways, he continued his opponent’s off balance for a big tai-otoshi scoring ippon.
Although Gaby’s first fight she was faced with a black belt, it was obvious that her opponent was outclassed. Once hajime was called, her opponent grabbed her grips and attempted an o-goshi. However, she clearly had underestimated Gaby who had countered her attack with ura-nage, scoring yuko.Then on the ground, Gaby proved the effectiveness of SUJC’s groundwork training regime. She had total control of her opponent with dominating their right arm despite being in a sticky situation after transitioning.After standing up and another few minutes in, her opponent tried a osoto-gari but Gaby was quick, catching their poor balance, countered with what seemed like a gentle push (it could have been osoto-gari) and falling with her opponent, winning ippon.
Andrew’s second fight showed Randall-sensei’s much loved drill of ‘throwing and transitioning into groundwork’ in practice. Andrew’s opponent, weighing under 66kg attempted to play the fast game, moving Andrew around in hopes of finding an opening to turn into. However, Andrew took advantage of his movements and one misstep to the side by his opponent allowed Andrew to score waza-ari with ashi-guruma. On the ground, Andrew took control of his opponent’s legs but couldn’t find the position to move into osaekomi. When back in tachi-waza, his opponent failed his poorly timed drop seoi-nage and not turning enough into the throw. Andrew seized the opportunity, quickly transitioning into ne-waza and immediately held his opponent down with osaekomi-waza to eventually win the fight.
Everyone else fought extremely well. Despite Will’s lack of stamina he tried to play his strengths on the ground. Martin had thrown someone spectacularly with uchi-mata. In one fight, Kuba took advntage of the extended ground time to slowly dig his hands into his opponents neck, winning with shime-waza and Gary had some decent attempts with his uchi-mata.Two players, Andrew and Gaby fought extremely well to reach the knockouts but both lost their first match in that stage.
The next tournament the club will be participating in is the ACT international held in Canberra on the 19-22 of February. Currently, Andrew, Kuba and Gary have shown their intentions of competing so wish those players best of luck for the weekend! This tournament is used for state squad selection so if you’re keen for that, be sure to contact Gary.
- Kosen tournament, rules similar to normal competition but you don’t stand up from ground
- Andrew and Gaby made it through to knockout stage
- Don’t —- up your drop seoi-nage, otherwise it’ll be sleepy/cuddle time
A good feed of Korean fried chicken after a day of competition