The Cobar Judo Club (or Dojo) celebrated 15 years of practising “Judo in the Bush” over the weekend.
Invitations to all members past and present, as well as long-time supporters were issued to go along and participate in training sessions on the Friday and Saturday, and for the more adventurous, there was a shiai (competition) on Sunday.
The Cobar Judo Club in its current incarnation, started with only one instructor and two students in early 2000 and has seen in excess of 200 or more members come and go over the past 15 years.
The club has enjoyed success at home and away at competitions, having participated in state and national titles as well as participating at the Outback Games in 2006.
For a number of years the Cobar Dojo had successfully held the ‘Red Earth Judo Tournament’ title, a competition started by the Cobar Dojo that was open to small remote dojos in the area, including Broken Hill, Orange and Wellington.
In more recent times, the Cobar Dojo has had a rush of students graded to the higher echelons of the Judo hierarchy, with two members being graded to Sho-dan Black Belt this year.
The club has had its praises sung by some of the highest ranking Judo players in Australia including Shihan Denis Byrnes Roku-dan (6th Dan), who is a regular visitor to Cobar and Shihan John Whipp Shichi-dan (7th Dan).
It also has a very good reputation with members of a Dojo in Osaka Japan after a visit by some of the Cobar students in 2013.
The following members were graded to new ranks within the Cobar Judo Club over the weekend: Corey Bishop was awarded a Junior Yellow Belt; Betsy Chandler and Jessica Sinclair—Senior Orange Belts; Marshall Anderson and Michael Mitchell—Senior Blue Belts; Brandy Shepard—Senior Brown Belt; Nickolas Mitchell—Sho-dan Black Belt.
Marshall and Brandy were also recipients of special belts awarded by Shihan Byrnes for outstanding effort in training over the past year.
The club held its end of year competition on Sunday with the following results: Mons U10 years – 1st Clancy Harvey, 2nd Corey Bishop, 3rd Ansuman Shrestha; Yonens U13 years – 1st Clancy Harvey, 2nd Dylan Houseman, 3rd Ansuman Shrestha; Shonen U16 years – 1st Josh Hunt, 2nd Brandy Shepard, 3rd Andrew Roberts; Sienen 16+ years – 1st Jack Sinclair, 2nd Nickolas Mitchell, 3rd Michael Mitchell.
Special awards were handed out at a presentation barbecue on Sunday night including the Attendance award which was collected by Clancy Harvey and Sue Duell Memorial Trophy which was collected by Marshall Anderson.
A new perpetual trophy on offer this year was an amalgamation of the Best Bout Awards and Best Ippon/Full Point Scorer Award.
The Peter Fairbank Perpetual Trophy was shared by Corey Bishop and Ansuman Shrestha (Best Bout) and Michael Mitchell (Best Ippon) for 2015.
A great weekend was had by all.
The Judo Club has finished training for 2015 and is set to return to training in February 2016.—contributed