December 2015

The year finished with some fun and games at our annual Christmas Championships & Prize Giving event.  Once again we organised a mini-team championship and then some team games with a festive feel to them.  Junior members were split into 4 teams and competed for medals against each of the other teams.  Once the team event medals had been handed out and after a small break for some party food and drinks we handed out our annual awards for 2015.

This year’s award winners were;

Judoka of the Year                    Thomas Ledger

Best Attendance                        Ethan Watkin

Best Competition Results          Thomas Ledger

Best Girl                                   Wiktoria Gmiterek

Best Boy                                  Will Rolfe

Congratulations to everyone.

November 2015

The biggest event we organise each year is our International Training Camp in November and this year's event was fantastic once again and saw great numbers coming from France and Holland as well as from our own club.

Over 105 judoka took part across the two days and our special guest Coach this year, 6th Dan Dave Quinn did an excellent job on the Saturday.

Dave also returned in his role as an Elvis entertainer to provide the main part of our evening entertainment at our Saturday night party.  Dave was excellent as ‘Elvis’ and had everyone joining in and singing along.

Our team of volunteers worked really hard before and during the event, preparing and making 100’s of lunches and breakfasts over the two day period.

This annual event is one of the biggest events we organise and it is always great to see so many club members taking part.

Our hard working catering team consisting of Kerry, Sam and Heidi worked really hard in buying, preparing and then clearing up after catering for 100’s over the weekend.

October 2015

World Judo Day 

In October we organised another event for World Judo Day in the school half term holiday.  This worldwide event sees judo clubs from around the world organising events to celebrate the fantastic learning aspects of judo and is held on 28 October each year, the birthdate of the Founder of Kodokan Judo, Jigoro Kano.  Eddie Orgee and Sam Riley ran the event, assisted by Jordan Weeks with around 28 juniors taking part. We even got a mention on the World judo Day website and were the only British judo club featured!

September 2015

World Judo Championships - Veterans 2015

Four of our regular club members travelled to Amsterdam last week to compete in the World Judo Championships - Veterans.  The event attracted over 1,300 of the world’s top veterans (30 years plus) judo players and our fighters had to be there from 21 and 24 September.

This is the most important event any of our club members have taken part in and the chances of coming home with a medal was always going to be slim.  They all gave it their best shot and came away having had a great experience and having learned a number of useful lessons.

First up was Lee Cahalane (M3 -90) who fought Holger Hanbauer, AUT in the Preliminary Round.  Lee put in a good effort but following a couple of Shidos for steeping out and passivity his opponent latched on for a big Maki Komi, driving Lee to the floor and holding for Ippon.  Lee had possibly lost too much weight too quickly in the run up to the event and noticed the difference in power of his heavier opponent.  This was also the category that former Olympic and European Champion Mark Huizinga had entered, just showing the level of competition at this top event.  Huizinga eventually went on to take the Gold and World Veterans Champion title.

On Wednesday both Ranj Atwal and Eddie Orgee took to the mat.  Ranj (M4 -90) fought Anthony Verdaud, FRA in the Preliminary Round but was unable to get under the shorter Frenchman.  The fight lasted the distance with the Frenchman closing the fight down and Ranj losing on penalties and a small score.  The Frenchman lost his next fight and so Ranj was unable to come back in the Reprecharge Rounds.

Eddie Orgee (M5 -66) was next.  He met Arturo Esposito, ITA in the Preliminary Rounds and won by Yuko, slipping the Italians left O Uchi Mata with a right Uchimata Sukashi.  This took Eddie to the next round where he met Hermann Schoelzer, AUT.  Eddie lost this to a hold down after a failed Yoko Tomoe Nage attempt from Eddie took them both to the floor.

Following the Austrians move towards the finals with his next wins, Eddie came back into a chance for a Bronze through the Reprecharge Rounds. Here he had a Bye into the next round where he then met Andreas Arendt, GER.  The German had been throwing opponents all day with a big Uchi Mata and Eddie suffered the same fete.  With Schmoelger going on to take a 5th place and Arendt a 7th Eddie was more than happy with the end result.

Last up on Thursday was Caz Rawlings (F1 -57).  Caz was placed in a pool of 4 with the eventual group winner Emile Lecigne, FRA an experienced judoka and the eventual winner and Marina Mangiola, SUI who went on to take 4th place.  However, Caz got off to a flying start by defeating Nancy Brochard, FRA with a huge Tani Otoshi for Ippon.  It had been a hard pool to be in but a great effort in her first event of this level. 

It had been a great experience for the clubs fighters and in such a tough event there were lots of positives to take away.

The live coverage can still be seen on Ippon.tv.  

Eddie, Caz, Lee and Ranj at the event

June 2015

Lyminge Inter-Club Championship

Six young members of Walderslade Judo Club travelled to the Lyminge at the weekend to take part in a friendly club tournament and did really well.

First to the mat was Rebecca Ledger. In her first match up, in a group of strong fighters, Rebecca fought hard, and after a good yuko was scored, she transitioned well into newaza, managing to turn her opponent into a tight hold down for an ippon. She was unlucky not to repeat her performance in her next fight, losing to the gold medal winner. Rebecca's tenacity on the mat really impressed the judges who, as well as receiving a silver medal, awarded her the trophy for best overall girl's performance.

In a very technically adept group Thomas Ledger, the current Kent Champion at -30kgs, had three really tough fights. In his first bout, Thomas managed an audacious escape from kesa gatame and was unfortunate to end up losing the fight. With a high work rate, and good attacking throughout he was unlucky to lose his next two fights. Especially the last, with a technique moments after the buzzer, which would have scored him the win had it been before the end of contest time. Thomas came away with a well-earned bronze. Daniel Stringer, of Lyminge Judo Club, who often trains at Walderslade, took the silver in the same group, demonstrating some great judo.

In the most interesting group, with 20kg separating the heaviest and lightest judoka, Walderslade brother and sister Alyssa and Sean Green faced off against each other, alongside two other boys. On what was her contest debut, Alyssa put in what can only be described as a gold medal performance, and she was rightly rewarded. A brilliant tai otoshi, followed into a strong hold gave Alyssa her first win. Groundwork was the order of the day for Alyssa, gaining her second ippon over her brother Sean. Strength and movement took her over the line to win her final fight to take top honours. Before his loss to his sister, Sean was beaten on the ground by a much bigger fighter. Undeterred, he fought hard in his third match up, which upon winning put Sean on an equal points footing with his first opponent. This meant a fourth fight was required to decide who would take the runner up spot. In a bout that went all the way to golden score, Sean fought his heart out, and won the match with a deserved waza-ari scored in overtime.

In the final boys' group a familiar Walderslade match up was to be seen, with Lex Hyde and William Rolfe facing off. All niceties were left at home, with both fighters performing some good attacking, aggressive judo, but with neither player being able to breakdown the others defence, the gold medal had to be decided by golden score. With both players giving it their all, Lex took the win with a great counter technique for the score. William, having dislocated his toe in Lex's final attack, was unable to fight again and settled for his silver medal with Lex taking the gold.

Surrey Open

Walderslade senior club member, Katt Arnold, travelled to the Surrey Open and earned a well-deserved Silver medal. Katt Arnold, in only her second event since starting judo less than a year ago fought really hard to gain a Silver medal at the well-attended event. Katt had three fights in her group and won two of them convincingly just losing in the final to secure her silver medal. This was another excellent result for a relative newcomer to the sport and shows just what can be achieved with the right coaching and a commitment to learn and train.

Kent International

The Kent International was held in Kent for the first time in many years following its move from Crystal Palace. Three Walderslade members stepped up to the mark for this tough event and although there were no medals for club players on this occasion all of the them fought hard and did themselves proud in just entering such a high class event. Emma Summers was our only junior competitor and she fought well in a tough pool, as did senior members Chris Carr and Lee Cahalane.

International trip to Holland

Twenty three of us travelled to Holland over the weekend of 13 and 14 June as part of our ongoing exchange programme involving Dutch club Mahorakan and French club Monsois, from Lille. Several club members decided to make an adventure of the journey and took the overnight ferry from Harwich straight to Hook van Holland whilst the rest of the group travelled out on Friday evening, stopping for a night in Dunkerque before making the three hour drive to Maasilluis on Saturday morning. We arrived just in time for the first judo session of the day, which was led by former Dutch Champion and Dutch Olympian, Rob Henneveld who runs the Mahorakan club. This was a really good session and everyone seemed to pick up the techniques being shown.

After a break for lunch the group was treated to a second session with former European Champion Francoise Harteveld, who also introduced the group to the Japanese sport of Sumo wrestling, which went down really well with the juniors who threw themselves into the practice bouts that Francoise organised. The evening was spent having an outdoor dinner in the woods and then navigating around a survival course near a local scout centre. The English, Dutch and French participants were split into groups and had to climb and swing themselves across, over and under various obstacles in order to get to the end. Many of the obstacles had the disadvantage of being over muddy water which provided a great number of laughs as many people ended up splashing down into the cold water below. It was an excellent evening’s entertainment to finish of what had been a long and tiring day. The Sunday morning session was led by another former European Champion, Anthonie Wurth, who took a very good class and interacted with the juniors really well, hopefully inspiring them to go on and do great things in judo. After the session and farewells the group all headed home, some via the Hook Van Holland ferry to Harwich and others via Dunkirk again to Dover. It had been an excellent trip and one that was very well run by our Dutch hosts.

The trips the club organises are for all levels and abilities and are always great value and good fun. The trips are run at the cost price and the club even subsidises some trips, so they are very worthwhile thinking about attending if you want a fun and active weekend away with a difference, involving a sport you or your children enjoy. We are looking forward to inviting the French and Dutch judo clubs back to Walderslade on 28th and 29 November and plans for our event have already started to be made.

Put the November dates in your diary now and join us for what should be a great weekend of judo and fun at Walderslade later in the year. Our Facebook page has links to lots of photos from the weekend. Take a look at see for yourself how much fun we all had.

May 2015

High Wycombe Masters

Club members had an excellent day at the High Wycombe Masters, with Chris Carr, Caz Rawlings and Katt Arnold all fighting well and bringing back Gold medals following excellent performances. Bronze medals were won by Lee Cahalane and Neale Arkley after some tough contests. Technical Officer Training Session In May we hosted a Training Session with Regional Technical Officer Sam Dunkley. Sam chose Walderslade Judo Club to deliver the first of a series of Open Sessions aimed at providing an opportunity for players from different clubs to get together and share ideas and train together. The session was very well attended by Walderslade club members and also visitors from Sittingbourne, Lyminge and Riverside judo Clubs.

Inter-Counties Team Championships

Two club members were selected to represent Kent following their success at the Kent Closed in April. Thomas Ledger and Emma Summers earned their place in the Kent squad by becoming Kent Champions in their category and travelled with the team to Portsmouth for the 4 way team event. This is always an exciting affair and Kent has done well in recent years. This year was no exception with the Girls and Boys teams both taking Silver medals and the Men’s and Women’s team taking Gold and Silver respectively.. Thomas and Emma both fought hard and did themselves proud.

April 2015

Kent Closed Championships

Seven club members took part in the annual Kent Closed Judo Championships at the weekend and three of them finished the day as new Kent Champions.

The Gold medal performances came from Rayna Jobson, Thomas Ledger and Emma Summers.

Rayna (- U70kgs), was taking part in her first event back since she was forced out of competition last year due to injury and pulled off a fantastic counter for Ippon to take Gold in her event.  Emma Summers meanwhile, in her first event for a number of years, did an excellent job of picking up a Gold in the -63kg category.

The third Gold of the day came from Thomas Ledger in the U30kg category.  Thomas showed fantastic skills, and composure throughout the day winning all of his fights with style and finishing with a spectacular Ippon with a dropping Ippon Seoi Nage to secure Gold and his first Kent Champion title.

All three Walderslade youngsters will now get the chance to fight for Kent in the forthcoming Inter-Counties Championships between, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.

The clubs last junior to complete was Lex Hyde, who was entering the event for the first time in a new weight category of U42.  Although he fought really hard he was unable to match the height and power of some of the other young fighters.   However, he pulled some great techniques out of the bag when pushed hard and still managed to earn a hard fought for Bronze medal.

Lee, Chris and Dean

Lee and Chris with their medals

Meanwhile, Walderslade seniors were also in action.  Brown Belt, Dean Pocock took part in the lightest of the Men's events the U60kg category, despite still giving away 4 kilos.  To make things worse Dean had two very experienced fighters in his preliminary group and although he put in a good effort he was overcome by the power and experience of his opponents and went out in the preliminary stages.

Chris Carr, fought in the Men's U73 kilo event and put in a spirited performance against strong opposition, securing a Bronze medal with some strong attacking judo in the bronze medal play-off finishing strong with a good Maki Komi to score Waza-Ari throw and finishing with a hold down for Ippon to gain the 3rdplace Bronze.

Lee Cahalane, meanwhile did even better, taking Silver in a tough U100 kilo group.  Lee weighed in just 0.3 kilos over the limit for the U90kg event, so was giving away a lot of weight to some experienced opponents.  However, Lee dug deep and used his speed and power to score a number of thumping scores with big throws against his initial opponents before going into the final against a strong Dartford Judo Club player, who had previously been a Slovakian National Squad member and is now living in the UK.  Lee had no answer to the Slovaks power and weight advantage and on this occasion had to settle for a hard earned and well deserved Silver medal, along with an additional 20 points towards his 1st Dan Black Belt.

It had been another great day for the clubs members and although not everyone had come away with a medal, there was still plenty to show from the outing.

Rayna, Emma, Lex and Thomas with their medals

Club session fees to rise on 1st May

At its last full meeting the club’s Committee agreed increases to club fees which come into effect as from 1 May 2015.

This will be the first increase in fees for 5 years and only the second increase in the last 10 years and is in response to the rise in hall hire costs as well as the extended training times of the senior class.

We hope you will agree that even after the increases, our lessons at Walderslade Judo Club still provide exceptional value for money, especially as club still does not require members to pay an annual membership fee and only charges for those lessons that members actually attend.

Hopefully these increases will not cause any problems for families attending the club but we are always willing to speak to members if that is the case.

All funds collected are used to improve the running of the club and the equipment we use and go towards our key ambition to create a permanent judo facility for our members at the Greenacre School.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind club members that all of our Coaches and helpers are volunteers.  With this being the case, you can be sure that every penny raised through the club goes back into helping run and improve the club for all our members.      

JudoFit session fees to be introduced

Our one-hour JudoFit sessions have to date been provided as a free additional benefit of club membership.  However, the Committee feel that now is the appropriate time to make a small £2.00 charge for this class.  Once again these increases apply as from 1 May 2015. 

Session fees applicable as from 1 May 2015 will be as below;

Junior judo  £3.00

Senior judo  £4.00

JudoFit  £2.00

Little Kano  £2.00

March 2015

Grading News

We held our first club gradings of the year last week and lots of club members gained promotions to higher grades, so well done to everyone who passed. Many of those included our newer members who gained promotion to 1st Mon, taking their first step on the judo grading ladder. At the other end of the grading scale we are pleased to announce the Walderslade Judo Club now has another Black Belt member. Jevgenijs Anisimovs (AJ) gained his 1st Dan Black Belt in style at the regional Dan Grading in Dartford on Sunday 22nd March. He won two fights in his pool, which earned him the right to attempt a continuous line-up assessment where he would have to defeat a further three Brown Belts one after the other and all by Ippon. This he did in great style to become the club's latest Black Belt. Well done AJ. Check out the clubs Facebook page to see AJ's winning fight.

Lex gains Silver in Kidderminster

On Saturday 21 March, Lex Hyde travelled to Kidderminster for the Samurai Green & Under Championships and came away with another excellent result, taking a Silver medal in style. Well done to Lex who adds that to his growing medal haul.

International News

The clubs annual trip to Lille in France took place this month, with 18 people taking part. Once again the event was very well run by Judo Club Monsois and the training was excellent, with the Sunday special coach being a French 6th Dan. Because of a change in French schooling times we all had the opportunity to go to a trampoline club on Saturday morning rather than do judo and this proved to be great fun. We still trained on the mat on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning and on Saturday the evening entertainment was an Irish folk band. They even tried to get us to learn some Irish dancing but I don't think that was very successful as most of us seemed to have two left feet !

Our next trip abroad will be to Holland on 13-14 June. These trips are open to all club members, but obviously younger members will need a parent/carer with them, and great value for money. We are awaiting final details of the Holland event from the Dutch organisers but put the date in your diary now and keep an eye on the notice board for details when they come out.

Our next big event is probably the Kent Closed Championship in April, where we hope to once again have a good showing from club members. Entry forms are on display at the club so make sure you get your name down soon.

January 2015

It was smiles and Gold medals all round as 2015 got off to a flying start at the Kent Kyu Grade Open Championships held at Dartford on Sunday. Following some superb displays of attacking judo all three judoka who train with us at Walderslade Judo Club earned themselves a top slot on the podium.

AJ struck Gold in the Mens -100kg category and gained 20 more points towards his Black Belt after an impressive display of judo. Lee Cahalane once again took Gold, following up his success at the British Masters last year, this time taking the -81kg category by storm.

Caroline Rawlings from Sittingbourne Judo Club, who trains with us twice weekly at Walderslade, also powered her way through to Gold in the ladies lightweight event to kickstart another great year. All in all it was a fantastic beginning to 2015 for members of our fast growing senior class, which saw 29 players on the mat for our first sessions back and is growing week by week. Anyone wanting to train with us is more than welcome to do so and the website has full details of all class times.

Gold medal winners Caroline (Caz), AJ and Lee

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