Grappling for Gold

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Ranvir Singh 1/3/2013

Kalare Judo

It’s that time of year again when the world of Jiu Jitsu takes a break from the norm and tries its hand at Judo. Forget about showing off the perfect technique and the ‘gentle art’ at its very best and concentrate on the one-on-one competition and trying to throw your opponent flat on their back. Having won the Atemi nationals in November, LUU Jiu Jitsu went into this event on a high and although Judo is not their forte, they still showed the spirit that has made them champions and didn’t walk away empty-handed.

Three of the clubs members managed to get through to their finals whilst another two fought for bronze medals. The first medal came courtesy of yellow belt Will Davison in the ground-fighting discipline. Having only started Jiu Jitsu in September, Davison has shown incredible talent and stormed through his qualifying matches falling just short of claiming the grand prize. Nevertheless, it was a fine effort to bag a silver medal in his debut tournament.

Having won silver two years ago, orange belt Jack Davy was determined to go one better and fought like a man possessed, he (almost literally) crushed his opponent to take home the gold medal he felt was rightfully his.

More success came courtesy of two of the club’s female blue belts. Light blue belt Kathryn Atkinson and dark blue belt Jo Brocklesby had to compete in a mixed grade blue and brown belt category against much more experienced Jitsuka. Atkinson picked up a bronze medal in the standing discipline whilst Brocklesby claimed silver in a hard fought final.

Representing Leeds Jitsu Club, light blue belt Edward Everett fought tenaciously to win a gold medal and almost claimed a second medal, narrowly missing out on bronze in the standing competition. Former LUU Jiu Jitsu member David ‘J’ Atkinson also had something to celebrate claiming his first ever medal by taking home a silver medal in the standing discipline.

The competitions weren’t just for the students though. As usual, the club’s instructors got stuck in and competed for their club as well. Sensei Luke Bishop (1st Dan) added a third bronze medal to his list of achievements in the black belt ground-fighting discipline. His day wasn’t finished there though as, along with Sensei Simon Pickersgill (brown belt) and current Club Captain Nathaniel Rowland (Jitsu green belt, Judo brown belt) he took part in the men’s Open competition. Senseis Luke Bishop and Simon Pickersgill fought valiantly but failed to progress. Nathaniel won his first round bout in what it is believed to be the quickest match in the Open’s history, just eight seconds. However, he was eliminated in the second round.

The Open competition is normally reserved for higher grades therefore it was very brave of Kathryn Atkinson, Jo Brocklesby and light blue belt Juniata Bellham to enter the women’s Open and they certainly did their club proud. Juniata fell short of reaching the second round whilst Jo lost to eventual winner, Sensei Gabriella Rossetti who was an irresistible force as she dominated the competition for a third successive year. Kathryn however did win her first round match which was an incredible achievement for someone who has never done Judo before. A roar emanated from the club’s members when she was announced as the winner.

The overall competitions was won by University College London who came into the competition as favourites having had their name printed on the shield more than any other club; now an impressive nine times in total.

LUU Jiu Jitsu now looks ahead to the Atemi Nationals in November where the club aims to retain the club shield and continue to be able to not only claim to be the best Jitsu club in the country but have the credentials to back it up.


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