Successful Freshers’ Fair

Thank you all for a fun, highly successful freshers’ fair! So many new names on the mailing lists. Do come to our taster session this Saturday (10th) from 17:00 to 19:00 at the University Sport Centre.

If you can’t make this, the beginners’ course runs during the Thursday night class throughout Michaelmas term.

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Start of Term

BUCS 2014-15 team photo

“The start of the academic year is approaching very fast, and coming with it, all its associated excitement: new members, beginners course, competition season and more socials…
We will be present at the fresher’s fair on Tuesday/Wednesday 6-7th October and have enthusiastic people ready to recruit new judoka, beginner and veterans alike!
On the following Saturday (10h October from 4:30pm), we will hold a taster session. This will involve getting on the mat, doing a judo oriented warm-up and some technical exercises. We will get advanced players to demonstrate throws and randori (sparring) that normally constitute usual judo sessions.
A beginner course will be on in Michealmas term. £35 all included: Judogi (judo uniform), BJA licence and mat fees. Beginners will be able to get the basics of the sport, pass their first grading and start sparring by the end of the term. All members are encouraged to participate in these sessions, especially higher grades to revise the basics and help out with the new-comers. They are the future of the club after all and if they train well, they’ll fast become good randori partners!
If you are a confirmed judoka, no need to wait for the taster session to come and train with us, we are already in business! Just turn up to a session! See training times here.
Please get in touch with anyone from the committee if you have any question.

Looking forward to another judo year!!”

Marine Dupoiron – President

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Easter Area Open – 3 Star Ranking Tournament

Following on from the juniors on the Saturday Thetford welcomed a host of senior Judoka to compete for honours as well as ranking points.

Cambridge University took 4 players today. With the girls being given the honour of starting, Marine and Suvi opened on Mats 1 & 2.

Marine having the largest group of the day with 9 and the only knockout tournament. Marine starting with a bye along with 7 other players.

Marine’s first competitive fight of the day was against a tough Pinewood opponent. Marine was thrown for a wazari quite quickly before she could settle in. As Marine was beginning to find her way back into the fight she was caught with a reaching maki komi and the continuation was scored as the second Wazari to secure the win. This put Marine into the repêchage and after a long wait fought hard but eventually losing out ending her day earlier than we all hoped.

There were four other players in addition to Suvi in her category. In her first fight Suvi scored a quick yuko with a left drop-seoinage, and not long after this, she continued her opponent’s seoinage attempt into a strangle, winning her first fight with an ippon. Unfortunately, Suvi’s following opponents – two GB and one Northern Ireland squad player – were stronger than her. In her second match, Suvi found herself repeatedly cornered by her opponent’s strategic use of the boarders, and was eventually thrown by a seoi-makikomi. In her third match Suvi got controlled to the ground after a throw, and could not free herself from the strong hold. Suvi managed to score a yuko by kouchi-gake as counter in her last fight, but was caught after several minutes by an ippon-worth tani-otoshi. The results of the day leave Suvi looking forward to one more fight to win for her back belt points!

After a long wait the -66 were called to Mat 2 and Giovanny began his group of 4 of familiar faces by facing the eventual gold medallist. Gio took Kyle all the way but eventually lost to the 29 year old GB player.

Giovanny’s second fight was a full five minute battle with a very good 17 year old up and coming GB squad player where Gio went quickly behind by two shidos. Relentlessly the judo went on and finally scoring a yuko to negate the shidos Gio finally had the edge. With time running out Gio’s opponent pushed on and on the buzzer Gio threw with a great ogoshi for ippon. He then faced an old adversary from the Varsity Cambridge Oxford tournament where after a tough battle lost this fight by an ippon throw.

With all the fights over the silver medal position was shared by 3 players and a fight off soon ensued with Giovanny having to refight the oxford adversary which he won with a spectacular ippon sieo nage and true to the throws name secured an ippon. Giovanny went back on the mat with only two minutes rest – I must say by his own choosing (mad man) to face the feisty and strong 17 year old. Yet another mammoth battle was undertaken and Giovanny eventually lost this fight to secure the broze medal. A very tough day for a group of 4. Well done Giovanny

Greg’s group being the last group of the day in the over 100 kgs. The group consisted of 5 and was a fought as pool meaning 1 person was going home without a medal. Greg started the day against a 49 year old 1st Dan. Throwing quickly with a drop sieo nage for wazari Greg controlled the fight and within 2 minutes Greg counted a weak attack with fast feet and kosoto gari controlling his opponent to the ground for a straight ippon.

Greg’s second fight was against a 3rd Dan GBR badged player where it was a battle of wills. Greg catching his opponent with a fake sieo nage to ouchi gari and being scored a tough yuko. With 2 minutes remaining Greg moving around his opponent’s tusri komi goshi took a massive blow to the nose requiring medical attention but refusing to give up continued to push on. With his opponent chasing hard to find a throw eventually injuring himself and having to retire from the competition with 10 seconds on the clock.

Two wins up and confidence ever growing and Alec doing a great coaching job from the chair Greg faced a very brave 6th Kyu. Greg took control using the edge of the area to his advantage to push his opponent and the inexperience kicked in and he pushed Greg back very hard. With speed and agility Greg dropped for an ippon sieo nage to win by ippon.

Now fighting what was the final Greg used his speed to evade a weak attack and counter with a kosto gake for a Wazari and with speed scooping his opponent in to a hold down to win by two wazaris and take the Gold for Cambridge.

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Thetford Four’s Competition Report

Recently four of CUJC’s fighters went down to Thetford for the Thetford Four’s competition. After a number of year since a proper individual competitive event, Greg Viney came out of retirement. Up against a pool of 3rd dans, he won his first fight in a blistering 30 seconds with a fake uchimata into kosoto-gake combination. His luck (skill?!) continued in his second fight, which was against a member of the GB masters’ team, when Greg threw and then pinned him with mune-gatame for an ippon. Greg’s final fight was against Richard Blaniss, an old friend of the club. Greg was giving away 30kg to his opponent, who used this to their advantage to dominate the fight, leaving Greg with a well-deserved silver medal and 20 points towards his 3rd dan.

Josh Hunt and Rio Xin-Chen, ending up in the same pool, fought each other in their first fight. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rio won quite quickly, throwing for waza-ari and finishing off with jugitame. Josh also lost his second fight, against a very strong 1st kyu who caught him with a tai-otoshi. Thankfully, he upped his game for the last two fights, winning with a rolling strangle and an armbar. This was enough to get him the bronze medal, having tied for points with the 1st kyu who beat him.

Having beaten Josh in his first fight, Rio went on to win all three of his other fights in style with his strong osoto-gari, netting him a well-deserved gold medal.

Suvi Hokkanen also entered, hoping to gain those elusive last 20 points towards her 1st dan. Unfortunately, a minute or so into her first fight her opponent was disqualified for having an unremovable ear piercing. Suvi was only ahead by a yuko by this point, so sadly came away with no points – and even worse, this was the only woman who had entered the competition. It was a bit of adisappointment, but she came away all the more determined to get her points next time!

Overall, all of us that fought came away feeling like they’d achieved something (and hopefully learnt something!) and ready for the next competition.

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Varsity report 2015

Group photo of the Oxford and Cambridge teams

The most difficult thing to grasp about Judo is the fact that a match can last anything between five seconds and five minutes. The platitudes that make up pre-match preparation can only do so much once you step onto the mat and everything in excess falls away, honing your focus into a razor’s edge.

The annual Cambridge-Oxford Varsity Match embodies this spirit, ending a training year by celebrating another year of top-notch Judo in both institutions.

We started the day tentatively confident, hoping to retain the Men’s B, Women’s and City team trophies for a third year running as well as to give it our best to bring home the Men’s A trophy. Backed by this year’s success in competitions including the recent BUCS competitions where for the first time in memory, not just one but two team medals were bagged by the Men’s and Women’s teams, we were confident of giving Oxford a good run for their money and ready to give our best on the mats.

This is the third varsity that I’ve attended, but I’m never quite prepared for the level of stress that can be experienced in less than two hours. Nail biting doesn’t quite cut it, the competition is indeed heart stopping, and I’m sure many an Oxbridge judoka has wondered if they would have a heart attack during the game.

It started out easily enough, as it always does, with the City team taking the lead. From there, things went progressively downhill, picking up speed during the roller coaster that is the annual Varsity Match. Many have wondered what may happen if Oxford and Cambridge each won four matches out of a team of eight and this was tested this year when at the end of eight matches, the score stood at 4-all. Down to the wire, the Judges were forced to count the points, with the difference between a shido and a waza-ari securing the win for Cambridge.

With one down and three matches remaining, the Women’s team next took to the mats, with Oxford one player down, it looked good for the Women’s team, and they pulled away with a clear 4-1 win for Cambridge. The Men’s B team followed closely, and included a stunning display of skills from lower graded judoka home grown by CUJC; they finally came away with a 6-1 win.

Finally, the Men’s A team was up. The most closely contested and final competition, tension in the air was palpable as the team from Cambridge faced a physically larger team. Six fights later, the score was still a very close draw, with each side rallying behind their team. Alas, the final fight went to Oxford. But with the level of skill and determination showed by both teams, losing was no shame, especially considering the fact that the fight has been closer and closer each year. This year, we came within a hair’s breadth of the trophy with a 4-3 win to Oxford.

With Cambridge coming away with the City, Women’s and Men’s B trophies for the third year running and Oxford taking the Men’s A trophy, the formalities were dispatched with. Both teams headed for the annual Varsity dinner and post-dinner social. The consumption of much alcohol ensued, along with the swapping of stories, solidification of friendships and the solid win by Cambridge of the Boat Race.

This year, the Judo Varsity Women’s trophy (affectionately named ‘The Fruit Bowl’) turns 50. With another Varsity over, we are reminded that CUJC has much to look back on and even more to look forward to. Each and every member of CUJC, past and present, is part of a club with a rich heritage, many legendary stories, and the platform upon which numerous friendships have been formed.

—Madeline Ang, President

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