DJC @ The British Championships (Pre-Cadet and Cadet)
Saturday 30th and Sunday 1st of December saw DJC head once again to the EIS in Sheffield for the British Championships.
Again I feel the need to explain that when DJC was founded in 2016 I did not consider that we would be attending these events, as such a tiny percentage of clubs from the UK actually do. This competition is what a lot of players whole year is built around, while that has some factuality from DJC, we go into these championships with an open mind, looking for improvement before performance.
As usual I drove up on the Friday evening and arrived in good time and then on the Saturday morning I headed out to the venue, the first person i bumped into was DJC's Max Gregory, who was having a day off from the centre of excellence and had come up with a couple of his friends to support us(more of that later).
No cadet boys this year so it was a day focused purely on our Pre Cadet Girls.
First up was Charlotte who has been training like a spartan for this last few months and was her typical self pre-competition. Her first contest was against a familiar girl from Rush who Lottie had not beaten for some time. It was then an excellent result as she dominated the contest and took her first win. This was swiftly followed by a 2nd victory in 46 seconds over a girl from Titan which put Lottie into the semi finals, this was a very equally matched affair which went the full 3 minutes, with Lottie just missing out and placing her into the Bronze Medal Final which occurred later on in the day. This contest swayed both ways and both girls were fighting hard it could have gone either way and in the end Lottie missed out by the tightest of margins, a very well earned 5th place.
Tyla, who hasn't been with us very long, was stepping up to Pre-Cadet for the first time and wouldn't you know it, has lost weight and dropped into the U63kg category. Roz was on hand to coach her and it proved to be a very tough day but Tyla went about it in her usual way - determined and focused. A bonus was seeing 'hunk' Max Gregory cheer her on from the side lines. No placing for Tyla but lots to work on and her determination remains, as always, steadfast. I look forward to seeing her at the British Schools.
Alanna was just over 70kgs which put her into the open weight category. This meant she would be fighting girls with some 30kg weight advantage in some cases. Despite this, Alanna went to each contest with determination and a fierce look on her face! She was competitive throughout but looked tiny compared to her opponents. She finished in 4th place again it will be interesting to see her compete in the British Schools Championships.
And that was the first day over with, Pierre from SBJC did very well and picked up 30 Dan grad points and finished in a very solid 5th place.
Sunday saw our Pre- Cadet boys and Cordy in the Cadet Girls.
Jake started the day by weighing in at 42.6kg which meant he was at the very bottom of a new weight group, he didn't lament on this however and certainly looked the part in his brand new suit. Jake has always had a very attacking style of Judo meaning he isn't coy or tactical, it usually means his contests unless they go to the ground end very quickly either in his favour or against, Despite the day not going the way Jake would have wanted he looked upon the whole experience with maturity and logical context, Jake knows what he wants to achieve from his career in Judo and DJC are proud to be riding alongside him
(he managed to get the word ''migrate'' into our conversations about 5 times before his contests, ''studing migration at school are you Jake?'' I mentioned ''Yeah'' was the response)
Bogdan may look at this championships with a little disappointment however Gary and myself were extremely happy with his performance. Since joining the elite class on a Thursday he is 100% a different fighter, his first contest resulted in an Ippon win, something which is becoming more common lately, he eventually ended up in reprecharge where his contest went deep in golden score which sadly he just missed out on. The point here was the improvement we have seen in Bogdan over the last 9 months is amazing and if he continues along this path he will become very successful(one thinks of Max as a perfect example of the hard work and graft methodology)
It still amazes me when Reuben stands next to me at around 5ft 9 and weighing a solid 69 kilos that its only a few years since he seemed to be around the height of my knee and was mostly a mass of curly blonde hair. U73 kilos is a dynamic weight with the players all being 'big uns' but all in incredible physical shape. Reuben lost in his first round to a player he had beaten last year but the boy went on to take silver this year. His next contest was against a player he had lost at the Welsh Championships but this time the result was reversed as Reuben pulled out a huge Ura Nage to take the win. He moved on to the Bronze medal final where he was by far the dominant player and again it was clear to see his move to train on a Thursday night is now starting to pay dividends as his movement and tactical work was fantastic it was very very close contest and could have gone either way but he just missed out, a solid 5th place for Reuben.
Cordy suffers a little in her weight group as she has to fight in the 70+ Open weight, at 77 kilos she can be giving away a lot of weight against girls she will not fight against in the juniors, despite this she does have to deal with the tag of 'Favourite' based on her previous performances which had seen her win 3 British Titles (at all age bands). Cordy's first contest should really have been the final as she took on a girl whom she had lost to in there last meeting some time ago. This then was a different matter as Cordy took control immediately and ended up securing a hold down to take an ippon win, her next two contests were standard Cordelia affairs which were over very quickly, she moved then into the final which in turn lasted about 10 seconds with Cordelia throwing her opponent for Ippon, this then gives her a 4th National Championship and the only National Champion from the Western Area from the entire weekend. No time to rest as she will now compete in the Junior Nationals and the Senior Nationals this coming weekend.
Cordy was the final contest of the day and after the medals were presented it was the mad rush back to Plymouth. Overall the weekend was hugely positive but with lots still to work on.
Coaches for the weekend were Gary, Myself, Ros and Charlie