Joshua Hunt, Andrew Tam and Lawrence Rowles were all up in Peterborough this weekend for the Thomas Deacon Judo Club Under 21s Tournament. We earned two golds and one bronze and put up a good display of judo.
From left: Lawrence, Andrew, Josh
First up was Joshua Hunt (1st Kyu), fighting at -66kg. He was pooled with two other fighters who didn’t know what was heading their way. He fought a 1st Kyu in the opening match and after a close contest was edged out by a wazari, getting caught with the nightmare of vertically challenged judokas – Uchi Mata. Steaming with rage, he tore his next opponent apart (almost literally) with a trademark Juji Gatame from a Left O-Goshi. With that win he made it through to the semi-finals. With a berth in the finals in sight, Josh barraged his opponent with a ruthless groundwork that almost resulted in a Sangaku hold. Wishing to win in an ironic fashion, he attempted an Uchi Mata but was countered by a hip thrust. Bronze Medal to Joshua Hunt, good effort.
Next to fight in the -73kg was Andrew Tam (1st Kyu). He was pooled together with two Dan Grades in the Group of Death. In his first fight he squared off with Lawrence’s brother. His opponent attempted a few drop seoinages but had no effect, since no seoinage is fast enough to throw him. Later in the match, Andrew won his fight after his opponent was disqualified for a leg grab. In the next match he put in a good seoinage but over-rotated and was caught in a pin. As the pool was later tied all even, he had to fight everyone one more round. This time, the Rowles brother was quicker and smarter, catching Andrew with an Ippon after two quick successive attacks. Having to win his next match to get a bronze, Andrew then engaged his Dan grade opponent in a colossal battle. After 4 minutes of rapid attacking judo, both fighters were even but Andrew later lost out to a pin, after forgetting that in the new rules, hold-downs are valid outside the competition area. He narrowly missed out on a podium finish, but put up a sterling display against experienced players.
Lawrence Rowles (2nd Dan) was then determined to clinch gold for Cambridge, given that gold is the official colour of CUJC. He first decided to smash the -81kg category, but all but one person was scared off, so straight into the gold medal match he went. Dominating with superior grips, Lawrence scored wazari from a kouchi-gari and proceeded to pin his opponent, winning the gold comfortably. Greedy for more gold, he entered the -90kg category, fancying his chances against heavier opponents. The first guy ‘took ages to dispatch’ but Lawrence overcame him with wazari from an unknown throw, possibly Yoko Wakare. He then followed it up with a ippon win, of course. The 2nd opponent didn’t see him coming with his signature Kata Guruma and was wheeled off the mat. In his final match, he was ruthless on the ground, executing his opponent’s elbow with a Juji Gatame. No mercy was shown that day. He finished the day with two golds for Cambridge, well done.
Overall it was an exciting and fruitful outing, with more valuable competition experience under our young fighters’ belts.
By Andrew Tam