Thetford Closed — Eastern Area Championship 2011

From left: Andrew, Norbi, Matt, Rob
Absent: Ndollo

CUJC enjoyed a successful day at the Eastern Area Championship, with everyone who entered medalling.

Rob spent most of Saturday trying to lose fluid, and managed to make weight for the U66 division. His first fight was against a 2nd Dan, with a considerable advantage in experience. Rob came out attacking, but his opponent locked him down and slowed the fight. Rob then naively allowed his opponent to take a dominant grip, and was shortly afterwards thrown for Ippon. Undeterred, he quickly dispatched his second opponent with a footsweep, to take silver from the pool of three. He left with a new lesson on grip-fighting, and a habit of speaking about himself in the third person.

Andrew entered the U73 division, with just one 1st Kyu opponent. After practising judo for just over a year, Andrew was bettered by his opponent’s experience in a best-of-three match. Andrew received a silver medal for his efforts, and left with another day of vital competition experience under his belt.

Matt fought in the U100 division, in his first judo competition since taking up the sport 8 months ago. Matt currently holds the rank of 6th Kyu, and found himself in a pool with one 1st Dan and two 3rd Dans. However he knew from his considerable Jujutsu experience that anyone can win on the day, and therefore he refused to be intimidated by the wall of black belts. In his first fight against the 1st Dan, he used his considerable strength to stay dominant in terms of grips. The fight went the distance, and Matt won by two clear Shidos. His second fight was against the current police judo champion and former GB squad player, who used his experience to tempt Matt into a Tomoe Nage attempt. The GB player then swept Matt’s foot aside, and applied a “bear-like” textbook pin. Matt managed to turn his hips over, but the GB player kept control of his shoulders and held him for Ippon. Matt’s third fight was against the other 3rd Dan. Despite feeling confident on his feet, Matt was thrown by a well-executed Harai Makikomi for Ippon. Matt took silver from the pool of four, and is looking to continue his progress with more competitions in the new year.

Norbi had a tough week leading up to the competition, with a determined effort to make weight for the U90 division. By his reckoning he dropped 6kg in the week, and showed up in a dehydrated and tired state. He lost his first fight against a strong opponent from Norwich. He bounced back however to win his remaining three matches by Ippon, and took the silver medal from the pool of five. Along with his gold medal at Littleport, this is a great result for Norbi, and indicates that all his hard work following April’s knee operation has paid off.

Ndollo fought in the O78 division, in her first judo competition since her arrival at CUJC. She dispatched her two opponents quickly and effectively to take the gold medal from her pool of three. This achievement is even more impressive when you consider that she had worked a night shift the previous night, while the rest of us had been sleeping in preparation.

Well done to all who entered. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Alec and Nick for all their hard work coaching us this term.

Rob Blackburn – President

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