The Sydney University Judo Club was well represented on the 10th of July in the first Senior KYU Grades & Masters tournament of the year. The club came out with 6 golds, 6 silvers and a bronze, even though this was the first-ever competition for many of our members.
So a big congratulation to the first-timers; you have taken your rite of passage as a judoka, getting that adrenalin rush and fighting on the mat like a warrior. Some of you gave massive ippons, most of you however, got smashed and were victims of massive ippons. But don’t let this deter you, many of us aren’t born to be Olympic grade judokas like some of the old fellas in this club. With a bit of hard work and consistency, you’ll get your wins. Without further ado, here are some highlights from some of our newbies!
One of our strongest beginners, Anna Lee, realised that there wasn’t enough people to defeat at her level so decided to compete against the Blue & Brown belts as well. Unfortunately, her first fight ever was against a Blue belt, who took advantage of Anna’s lack of experience. Her opponent went for a drop seoi-nage, straight from the grip scoring yuuko and then transitioning into an arm bar for ippon. With this loss, Anna was out for vengeance. She won her next matches against fellow club members Koh, Cissie and Danielle all in under 10 seconds and for ippons with osoto-gari, o-uchi-gari and osaekomi. However, her killing streak ended by another orange belt from UNSW with a tai-otoshi. Nevertheless, she proved her worth fighting above her grade, finishing with silver.
Another Lee, Daniel Lee, similarly showed off his strength and technique despite doing judo for 4 months. His first opponent was fellow club member, Peter, who started off the fight with a strong osoto-gari but Daniel unexpectedly countered it with an uchi-mata scoring a yuuko. A minute in, and Daniel’s fitness was apparent as he was still going strong compared to Peter. Daniel almost managed to return a brilliant osoto-gari back to Peter but just didn’t have the follow through. However, from the transition into groundwork, Daniel won ippon with a strangle. Daniel’s next fight was against another club member, Alex Gilleran. Alex demonstrated his experience, convincingly beating Daniel with an osaekomi. In his next fight, Daniel discovered one of the strongest throws against other guys, the ‘ouchie’ mata. Despite being in pain, he still soldiered on but his efforts weren’t effort, as he lost to tai-otoshi immediately afterwards. His last fight however demonstrated his strength. He had complete control over his opponent with an over grip to the belt, almost winning with an o-goshi. However, his ability to transition into groundwork was his highlight, winning ippon with a strangle.
A special mention to Jonathan Lim. Unfortunately, his only opponent was me and I wasn’t going to let a newbie beat me. Even though Jonathan lost to a ura-nage in 5 seconds for his first match, with some pep talk from Kurt Lewis, he was better prepared in the second fight. Jonathan become more aggressive, dishing out relentless attacks, blocking my ippon-seoi-nage, using osoto-gari to force me onto the back foot and then scoring a wazaari with a push. It could’ve been an ippon maybe, but bad luck. 😛
Another honourable mention to Rachel, even though this wasn’t her first tournament she had improved significantly from her last one due to her hard work and consistency, giving out a big ippon while her club rival, Lily, was walking backwards, achieving the gold.
Once again, congratulations to the 20 members who competed and special thanks to Solomon and Adelina who came to spectate. The upcoming Senior KYU grades tournament is on 7th of August. For those newbies who didn’t participate in this one, we expect you to put your body on the line for this one. For those new green belts, lets see if you really deserve it by wrecking your orange belt opponents.
For everyone else, I’ll see you on the mats.
- First competition for many of our newbies, some rekt face while others saw the mat too many times, but fair effort nonetheless!
- Orange belts seem to love osoto-gari. Green belts: ask Kristof for those osoto-gari Orange belts: the first throw you ever learned, isn’t necessarily the best technique in every situation 😛
- Lots of fights with our newbies lasted less than 30 seconds. Hopefully, our new fighters realised that competing is quite different from randori. No one is going to play nice and they’re all going for blood. Don’t get surprised when your bestie, whom you always have a nice chat or have a dnm sesh with during randori turns out they want to rip you to shreds at a tournament. So for the next tournament remember these words,