Members of the Cobar Judo Club attended the Australian Judo Union (AJU) National Titles in Toowoomba last weekend.
Sensei Ray Chandler said the Cobar members acquitted themselves very well.
“The weekend started on Friday evening with a Kata competition.
“Kata is a set of 15 to 20 techniques (depending on the Kata being performed), carried out in a particular order to demonstrate the intricacies of the various techniques learnt and performed in Judo,” Sensei Chandler said.
Kata competitors are expected to demonstrate their techniques ‘perfectly’.
Competitors are marked down for infractions such as mixing up the order of the techniques, or lack of intensity, or even something as simple as not having their hand in the right spot at the right time.
“Cobar Judo Club has an already high level of Kata practiced by its members very early in their Judo careers, so it was no surprise when the club’s assistant instructors Kaitlyn Raffaele and Jack Sinclair took the Gold at Toowoomba for this part of the competition,” Sensei Chandler said.
In doing so, they surpassed many of their more experienced competitors.
On Saturday the Cobar participants engaged in the Shiai, or competition aspect of the weekend.
For one Cobar member, Brandy Shepard, the Toowoomba competition was the first time she had competed in Shiai outside of Cobar.
“Despite her lack of experience, Brandy made her more experienced opponents work for every point.
“By the end, her opponents knew they had been in a fight.
“Brandy walked away with a well-earned 3rd place in her division,” Sensei said.
Marshall Anderson, who has only just returned to Judo after a six year absence, also made his mark.
“Having started back at the end of 2014, Marshall was determined to get back to the level he had previously achieved and then build upon that foundation.”
While Marshall had previous Shiai experience, this was however his first major competition.
“He came out strong, making his opponents realise he wasn’t going to make it easy for them,” Sensei Chandler said.
It took a much more experienced state representative from Queensland to put a stop to Marshall’s rampage of the division, who later admitted he had to change his entire strategy when it came to competing against Marshall.
“Marshall walked away with the Silver medal from the competition.”
Jack Sinclair also made a return to competition and like Marshall, it was also Jack’s first major competition.
Jack started strong, showing determination against his more competition savvy opponents.
“Jack won his first bout convincingly, however he injured his shoulder in the process and was unable to compete at full capacity for the rest of his division.
“Despite the injury Jack, still managed to take it to his opponents and hold his own and held on to win Silver in his division.”
A late inclusion in the Cobar team, Michael Mitchell hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to train this year due to commitments elsewhere.
He unfortunately had to retire from his division after his shoulder was injured during a submission technique.
“Prior to this Michael was virtually unstoppable, only having been defeated by Marshall Anderson and the Queensland State Representative.
“All in all it was a great weekend and we all look forward to getting back to training in term three,” Sensei Chandler said.