Revelstoke judokas test their skills against Okanagan clubs

Revelstoke Judo Club hosts 55 athletes at tournament on Saturday.

Clara Kenyon and Ryder Litke battle during the Revelstoke Judo Club tournament on Saturday.

Clara Kenyon and Ryder Litke battle during the Revelstoke Judo Club tournament on Saturday.

Contributed by the Revelstoke Judo Club

Even though it was opening day at the ski hill, the Revelstoke Judo Club managed to entice 55 competitors to fight at their annual tournament last Saturday. Judokas came from Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Vernon to test their skills against Revelstoke locals.

“This was definitely a record year for participants,” said Revelstoke sensei Cornelius Suchy.  “We had 27 locals fighting, and would have had even more but Sunday was the BC Games trials in Vernon so some older kids were saving themselves for that event.

Our tournament has grown by 10-15 kids each year, so we’re going to have to look at hosting it at a bigger venue.”

Currently it’s hosted at the Legion, which has graciously accommodated our club for many years. “This tournament is really geared towards kids, especially new kids and those who have participated for a couple of years,” said Suchy.

Judo involves throws and grappling, but is also an Olympic sport and is a great way to improve balance and fitness and, last but not least, self-confidence and respect towards your opponents.

The encouraging theme about this event was that each Revelstoke child won at least one match, with most kids having three to four, and some up to eight matches.

Although we kept score during the matches and assigned winners, there was no overall tally of winners because the main point was participation. “It’s a Randori [a sparring bout], not a Chiai [a competition fight].”

Having 27 local competitor means there are too many names to list, and it’s impossible to single out any athlete because each kid fought hard and showed huge improvement since September and the past few years. On Dec. 7 we are sending three or four experienced fighters to Burnaby for a major tournament, a real Shiai.

The Revelstoke Judo Club has grown to 42 members, partly due to an increasing number of volunteers and parents stepping onto the mat. Our U-10 classes are full, but there is still room for 10-15-year-olds and adults to join. These classes run on Mondays and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Legion. Please call 250-814-7184 for more information.