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  • Writer's pictureRoss Taylor

Gemma Gibbons Masterclass Plymouth @ Drake Judo Club

Hello all,

Well the weekend has come and gone and what a fantastic one it was too! before you read Andy's report, id like to do a few thankyou's,

Many thanks to the Drake Judo Club committee who stepped up the plate for our first big event involving other clubs and outside logistics, every single member played a huge role in making the whole event a massive success(i also include Kieron 'Tony' Murphy in this too)

Many Thanks to Sandra and Juergen Klinger for making the trip from Bath down to support us, for those of you who know me, i am a massive fan of Juergen and his whole ethos on Judo and having one of the worlds top coaches on our doorstep and a pathway for our judoka is a massive motivator to me. Sandra managed to get the event to be a coaching revalidation(even though i told her far too late) which was hugely beneficial for the event as a whole

Many thanks to South Brent Judo club who chose to support the event and bring there elite and rec players en masse, thanks to Andy & Min for picking Gemma up and dropping her at the Airport

Many thanks to Team Gregory, Lyshia for first suggesting the idea and Gary and Cordy for helping run the sessions.

Shout out to Mike N and Kylie A as well

And finally a MASSIVE thanks to all the players(young and old) and parents who turned up in force!

Ill leave you now with the smooth silky writings of Andy Hay


What a couple of days! Friday night in Tavistock was part one of what might be a new take on the “never ending story”: the start of grading for the juniors and some of the seniors. With some 27 judoka, we might be a while! But lots of new coloured belts only served as the warm up for today’s main event. Normally when Ross asks me to pen a report, it's to demonstrate the Drake Judoka's medal winning prowess. Not today. Today was something different. Today was the day that Drake Judo Club became something more; a massive step forward in the club's evolution. A statement of intent, if you will. For those not involved with the Club committee and are perhaps not aware of the background, today's event was due to Ross (in his best North Korean dictator fashion) grasping an opportunity and then everyone on the committee pulling together to make it happen. As chief transport provider to the judo ninja, I've had the pleasure of watching how a "Masterclass" works once or twice and can simply say that Gemma Gibbons is the best. Her engagement with the junior group was superb as was the way she guided the more mature session. Having a female superstar on the tatami (get me with the lingo!) made a noticeable and immediate impact on the girls although the boys made sure that they weren’t going to be shown up. The look on Alanna’s face when she got a bit of one to one tuition was something to behold. Not sure if there was a queue to be Uke for the day, but Cordy wasn’t going to let anyone else have that honour! Smiles all around. All the DJC judoka (of all ages) gave a really great demonstration of the judo spirit and can all be proud of the part they played. A high coach (as this was being used as a coach revalidation event too!) to pupil ratio ensured that the techniques bedded in. We are all looking forward to seeing some of the Harai Goshi and Ko Uchi Gari variations in randori over the coming weeks! Might be worth booking in to watch the Friday adult session as the flying version could be rather spectacular. Good to share the day with our friends from local clubs as well. It is a key aim of the club to reach out and have a positive engagement with our neighbours and events like this can only help that objective. With the TV cameras in attendance (check out BBC Spotlight!), new display banners and leaflets being handed out as fast as we could; the profile of Drake Judo Club has never been higher. Fingers crossed this will bring in some new faces or attract some old friends back. You get the feeling that this is going to be a milestone in the Drake Judo Club’s history. On a personal note, Gemma was rather taken aback at my limited judo experience – I’m sure that Charles’ Uke skills made me look far more competent than I am. Not quite as impressive as Ross’s selfie but a little bit of encouragement that there is life in this old dog yet, even if everything now aches. Who is next, Ross

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