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  • Ross Taylor

DJC @ The Somerset Open


Well fellow Drake members and people who read our news January is now a distant memory and we find ourselves somehow almost half way though February, It has been without doubt the busiest period for DJC since we formed and this continued on Sunday with a quick trip up north for the Somerset Open at Glastonbury,

The competition itself is a very good one well organised by the usual faces, this one in particular is organised by Bob Vickery and his wife. Normally the event fills up rather quickly due to its location, being almost exactly half way between Plymouth and Bristol, therefore there was a good representation of 'northern' Western Area clubs, including most of the Bristol guys, Poole, Bradley Stoke and many many other clubs. From our neck of the woods, Kingsley School, Ourselves, South Brent and PJC were the Devon clubs in attendance, a couple from Cornwall also made the trip.

We had a smallish team consisting of 5 juniors and 1 senior, which if I'm honest is slightly disappointing given the opportunity to fight some 'new faces' i think perhaps that next year we will promote this event a little louder and encourage a larger group of players to attend, that being said our numbers were respectable and infinitely more manageable for yours truly

The morning started with Nate whom was his usual jovial self despite Wales suffering defeat at the hands of England in the 6 nations on the Saturday(Swing Low) I was not quite as jovial when i saw his group which consisted of 2 orange belts and a 6th Mon(Nate is a first mon and only turned 8 a few months ago)

Nate is a very instinctive Judoka and his first contest took some feeling out but resulted in him taking the win from a ground hold

His 2nd contest finished the same way albeit this time even quicker and it seemed he was in cruise control, his last contest we knew would be tough against the clear favourite for the group but again we studied him beforehand made note of a few things and Nate went into the last contest with a plan, which worked!, 3 out of 3 and another good medal to add to the collection.

Jake was up next fighting a couple of huge tall boys from Cheddar Judo Club(who knew?) Jake who is bottom of the weight at U38's dispatched his first two opponents with ease and as always gave the taller boys a run for their money, lots to learn from these contests including having faith in himself and that when he allows himself to relax Jakes judo is beautiful and flowing, when he is frustrated it becomes stiff and predictable, Jake made several adjustments and came away with a fighting bronze medal

Lottie renewed her rivalry with Charle Whitfield from Bradley Stoke in a very very closely fought contest which included multiple shidos for Charlie and Lottie in the dominant position in Ne-Waza for most of the contest, Lottie lost out by a single Wazari.

Her other contest were pretty much routine, winning her second contest by shido and her 3rd by ippon, again Lottie listened to advice made some adjustments and performed very well, I'm sure her persistence will prove to be a big benefit for her moving forward.

A quick jump across to mat one and we found ourselves with Bogdan who is still finding distractions disturbing his Judo at times but produced a very professional performance including winning his first contest by ippon, his last contest involved (through planning) a switch to left handed which was working before impatience caused him to revert to orthodox and he lost to a new rule which allows throwing in Ne-Waza. A silver medal to add to his collection of 38 medals he has won at competition in his 5 years he has been competing!

This gave a break in the action, the opportunity to have a quick toilet break before running back to matside for Jack Murphy's contests, i cannot tell you how proud i get sitting matside for Jack, he was a tiny little thing when he first came through the doors at the life centre to join Charles and my Saturday morning class, fast forward a few years and he is 5ft 8 U60kgs and our club captain and since fighting u16's his attitude to competition has been fantastic, he knows in several instances he will be up against it in competition but he always formulates a plan and deconstructs each of his contests post to see where he could improve, a Bronze for Jack on the day - well deserved

Our lone senior was Dan(who else?), who took his usual swashbuckling Judo style onto the mat and came away with Gold in a best of 3 contest against a tricky customer, Two Wazari throws in his first contest gave him the win and a ground hold which became too uncomfortable for his opponent who tapped gave him the 2nd, thats Devon and Somerset Champion now for Dan, when is the Cornish...?

In other contests Tia and Kira who also train with us fought well to earn a bronze medal each.

All in all this competition gave me the opportunity to work closely with some of our players and certainly there were reasons to be pleased, room for improvement certainly, especially on the mental side of Judo(we used some of Charles ''forget it and let it go'' techniques) but overall I'm satisfied, we still need to keep working on our turnovers although everyone today did at least try to execute them, we just need them to work!, Thanks as usual to the wonderful support network that travelled with us including 'Team Morgan' who are relatively new but are a firm part of Team Drake, thanks to Andy who took these photos and did more time keeping this time for the Somerset Judo Association

We are 42 days in the new year and i believe we have already won around 50 medals, the momentum continues in 2 weeks time for the SB Rumble and the Truro Competition, see you there

Go Drake


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