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  • Writer's pictureRoss Taylor

DJC at Kazoku Red & Yellow Belt Championships

Sunday saw the DJC train pull into Porthtowan along the Cornish coast for the Red & Yellow belt championships.

This was an opportunity for some of our GEN3 players to compete against other players from local clubs from Devon and Cornwall

Drake had an entry of 18 players which was the most on the day, a number of them were making their debut at competition and so there were a few nerves to manage

First up (As is the case usually) was George who was in the girls lightweights, she won her first two fights very routinely and then was matched against Ruby who is a bit of a rival for George, they both traded Wazari's and eventually George just missed out after being held down, though it was the first group of the day, this could have easily been the contest of the day, George came away with a silver and I was somehow persuaded to buy her a cake, something that seems to happen fairly often!

Next up were Isabelle W and Daisy in a small group with one other player who was 4 grades higher than both our girls, Daisy and Isabelle fought each other first a close contest which Daisy won after some good Judo, Isabelle too gave a great account of herself and was then straight back into the action taking on the higher graded girl, Isabelle fought with typical Drake steel and won the contest with a hold for Ippon. Daisy then took her turn against the higher graded girl, beating her quite convincingly to take her first gold medal at competition with Isabelle taking a very hard fought Silver

Next up was Georgia and Paige the latter who was making her competition debut. the group also included Amber from Kingsley School who is well known to DJC players Pheebs and Erin, Georgia took on Amber first losing out a close contest despite having Amber in a hold down briefly, Paige and Georgia fought an all Drake affair with Paige coming out on top after a good throw, which left Amber and Paige to fight off for the gold medal, Paige managed to throw Amber for Wazari and then hold her down for Ippon giving her a gold medal at her debut at competition, not many people have done that! Georgia too showed signs of progress especially on the ground which is becoming more noticeable club wide

Next up came Niamh who since starting to attend Wednesday evenings has made a big leap forward in terms of confidence and ability, even still the prospect was not going to be an easy one with all the girls in her group being quite formidable, Niamh discussed with me tactics and we decided on different things for particular contests which she followed to the T, her first contest against the highest graded player was over fairly quickly following a Tai-otoshi and her next two contests ended just as rapidly with two o-soto-garis (after we saw Naimh had a slight height advantage), a very professional performance from Niamh to take gold.

The boys were up next with Charlie and Joe H who were both in the same group with another higher graded player, both boys performed very well and both beat the higher graded boy which left them fighting off against each other for the Gold medal, it was another close contest with Charlie just edging it for his first gold medal at competition.

We then had to boys making their debuts at competition, Joe P and Dylan, both were in a group with two much more experienced(and bigger) boys both fought their hearts out and both missed out narrowly in their first two contests, they then had to fight each other which was a great contest which was won by Joe P. Both should be very proud taking a bronze medal in their inaugural competitions.

Angus was up next, he has only just moved up from SHO to MON and won his first contest in spectacular fashion with a big throw. He was unlucky in his second contest being countered after going all in but a silver medal is a fab result and the first of many we hope

Just as I was hoping that I might get a break it was the turn of Joe W, now Joe hasn't had the best of luck over the last 6 months, he burst onto the scene at the SB Rumble but then broke his ankle(playing football!!) and returned to competition and suffered some terrible decisions and was a little down about it, today he bodly told me he would be winning Gold, his first contest lasted about 5 seconds finishing with a huge throw that made the whole room go ''OHHH'', his second contest lasted about 1 minute but finished again with a huge throw, at this point I was admonishing Joe for making it harder work than it should be and telling him to keep a cool head, the last contest was over with another huge throw and a couple of coaches telling me Joe is undegraded(he isn't) Gold

The last group for the under 12 was the 'blue ribbon' group with Will, Nate and Oscar from Drake along with 2 other boys, this weight group was very spread out with huge differences in sizes, Nate and Will opened the group with a very technical and cagey contest between the two of them which is not surprising, Nate taking the win, Oscar with his swashbuckling style just missed out on his first contest but continues to improve massively, especially with the use of switching his hips, great to see, Will then had his 2nd contest and was injured when his opponent fell on his ankle in the process of being thrown, Will stood down from the rest of the competition. Will is going to enter the British Championships in September and will now need to make sure his ankle is in good shape, Nate and Oscar had their contest with Nate coming out on top, Nate then held down a much larger boy for the win and then finally just missed out against a bigger higher graded boy despite having a hold down that wasn't called.

We then move onto our 3 over 12 entrants which were Allan, Olivia and JJ

Allan was up first and took the centre of the Tatami, despite his first opponent having great movement and body posture Allan produced a HUGE uchi mata, which he told me he had never used before!(Steve covered the throw the day before) He then had his next contest against a boy who was utilising foot sweeps but was little interested in attacking with anything else, Allan pressed on looking for another Uchi Mata, and won on Shidos - Gold for Allan!

The last group of the day had Liv who came through our Tavistock School class and JJ who has come through our Plymstock School Class, JJ has only taken up Judo 3 weeks ago but has been super keen, Liv only started in September and has taken a number of medals including one recently at the Kent internationals, Liv and JJ had their first contest against each other, it was backwards and forwards contest as both girls were very evenly matched. Liv took the victory. JJ was then up against a girl from another club and threw the girl but with no score moved into Ne-waza, she applied a Kesa Gatame however the girl moved off the mat and onto the floor! the referee very rapidly moved chairs and gave the assessment the hold was safe and so the hold continued! this is the first time I have ever seen this. Liv was next up against the same girl and produced a good throw to take the win. Gold and Silver for our schools girls!

And that was the end of the day, most people headed of the beautiful beach just down the road, Claire Kidd somehow ended getting lost and ended up in Penzance!

Many thanks to Eva and Carrie and all the volunteers, also thanks to Richard, Amber and Darren who refereed very well despite my usual chirping and thanks to Chris and Andy Scott for running the event

Final tally for the day was 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 5 Bronze medals

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