Islington judoka from the Sobell Judo Club have just returned from the 2019 Bilzen Judo Open held in Belgium, with 4 international medals in tow!
The North London based team took the 10 hour drive to Belgium Saturday night in preparation for the competition on Sunday. The event is an annual international judo competition drawing judoka from Belgium, the UK, the Nederlands, France, Germany amongst other countries.
First up from Sobell was Sam Sampson in the senior men’s -81kg category. Sams first opponent was a Dutch judoka and a close fight took it to golden score. After a hard fought golden score (sudden death) - that lasted a full 20 minutes! After the long battle, Sam was eventually caught by a stumbling wazari and handed a loss. Next, Sam was up against a fellow British Judoka, travelling with a different team, and this time was able to catch him with a Juji Gatame to score Ippon and take home the silver medal.
Next up was Saad Sid and Sasha McClean in the men’s -90kg category. In this category it was our British Judoka who came out on top, with Saad Sid using his trademark Ogoshi to take gold, Sasha McClean using fast Ne-Waza to take Silver over their Belgian opponents.
Lucien Buleandra stepped up next in the men’s -81kg Kyu grade category and was on fine form as usual. Up first he took on a British Judoka, taking him out with strong Katame Waza. Next, he dispatched of his Belgian opponent with a huge, showstopping Ogoshi to take home gold.
The Sobell judoka travelled with the Judo for All United Kingdom team, alongside fellow judoka from Club Judoka in Worthing. The full team came away with 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze.
Members of the Sobell Judo Club, London, travelled to the All England Fred Turner Memorial Championships last weekend and dominated the podiums to come away with an incredible 10 medals.
Starting the day was Magic Maceij in the Kyu grade -73kg category. Maceij was not fazed by the aggression of his opponents and opened up the day for Sobell with an enormous Ippon Seoi Nage / Kata Guruma combination. Moving into his next fight Maceij followed form and used effective gripping strategies to set up another big ippon seoi nage to take gold.
Next up the Zeynep in the -78kg and Caterina in the -57kg took to the tatami. Caterina started her contest scoring a quick wazari with a drop seoi nage. Shortly after, she scored a clean Osoto Gari to finish her category and take gold. In an effort to get more fights, Caterina entered the ladies open and used quick ne-waza to defeat her heavyweight opponent than her with effective ne-waza to score ippon. Unfortunately, following that win, the other ladies withdrew from the contest leaving Caterina with a thirst for more fights, which will have to be quenched another day.
Sobell’s Zeynep took on her first opponent and throughout a rough exchange unfortunately fell short to a wazari which cost her her opening fight. However, determined to make up for it she went after her next opponent with force and executed shime-waza to score ippon. In the final standings, Zeynep actually came out on top as a result of points however a clerical error on the sheet meant Zeynep had to settle for a silver medal on the podium, but a gold medal in principle.
Karl Summerbell and Alex Charalambous were up next in the men’s -66kg category. Karl faced tough opening fights and despite putting up a good fight and nearly catching his opponents, unfortunately had to walk away with a bronze medal in hand. Alex Charalambous however was certainly hungry for Ippons, producing some of the best throws of the day, bulldozing through his opponents to top the podium and come away with Gold.
Lucien and Ilyas took to the tatami in the men’s Kyu -81/-90kg amalgamated categories. Lucien opened up the contest with a strong showing of Ashi-waza, executing clean Uchi matas to make his way into the final. Ilyas followed similar form, despite only training judo for a few months, and used both tachi-waza and shime-waza to create an all-Sobell final between the two clubmates. In this case, experience proved to be the deciding factor as Lucien claimed gold and Ilyas claimed silver.
Mikey Barton stepped up shortly after and took on a tough category of experienced dan grades in the Mens middleweight Open. Starting his contest well against a strong opponent, Mikey scored a Yuko in the opening exchange, nearly scoring an ippon in ne-waza. However, unfortunately succumbed to a wazari as a result of a Tomoe nage in the latter end of the fight. Mikey kept his heart strong in his following fights and each time was on the edge of securing the win, however his opponents used their experience in their favour, leaving Mikey with a well-fought bronze medal. However, still hungry for more, Mikey entered the men’s open at the end of the contest and this time scored a handful of ippons to bring home a silver medal.
Jack Fairbairn was sobell’s final judoka of the day in the men’s lower Kyu -73kg category. Jacks opening contest saw him face up against a blue belt and despite only training for 3 months, Jacks determination paid off as he scored two clean wazari‘s start of with a win, unfortunately two consecutive losses came next, however still eager, a final win saw him earn a bronze medal.
A superb performance by all who truly represented the club to a supremely high standard, with many compliments regarding Sobell’s judoka given. Also attending was Sam Sampson, who withdrew due to illness and instead focused on coaching and supporting the team.
Congratulations to members of the Sobell Judo Club, London, Sam Sampson & Zeynep Sun who took part in the BJA 'We Will Remember Them' tournament on Sunday 4th November 2018. Zenynep started the day in the U78kg category and took on a big pool, dispatching of each of her opponents - including a dan grade! - to take home a gold medal and add to her growing collection of first place commendations.
Sam Sampson was next in the well supported U81kg category and worked his way through the knockouts and into the semi final. Unfortunately, a loss at this stage put him into the repechage, however he was still determined and managed to win his next fight to secure 3rd place.
Well done to both of you for your results!
On Sunday 28th October the Sobell Judo Club and JFAUK celebrated world judo day, on the anniversary of Jigoro Kano’s birthday by hosting one of our regular Randori sessions at the Sobell Judo Club.
A big congratulations to Sam Charalambous who took a silver medal at the BJA North West Area Open last Sunday. A great result, especially considering he was fighting up a weight category!
This weekend a team of 33 Sobell Judoka travelled to the South coast to participate in the annual JFAUK Worthing Summer School, a two day judo course consisting of 14 hours of judo led by Sobell head coach and JFAUK President Sampson Sampson; and assisted by Sobell coaches Sayed Abdoljalil (7th Dan), Bob Bushnell (6th Dan), Farid Nemouchi (6th Dan) and Samuel Betu (6th Dan), as well as a number of other instructors. Well done to all who took the time to travel to the event! Read the full write up below:
This weekend saw the annual JFAUK Worthing Summer School take place. The second of the two annual JFAUK judo summer schools, the Worthing Summer School followed suit of the JFAUK Borders Summer school which took place a few weeks earlier, however covers southern region of the UK.
Jointly hosted by Worthing Judo Club and Club Judoka, the course saw a number of judoka from various places across the UK flock to the south coast for two days of high quality traditional judo.
The Summer School was an exemplary display of traditional judo in not only the techniques on display but in the conduct, etiquette and attitude of all on the tatami. With numbers on the rise since last year, the course is looking to go from strength the strength and is something that every judoka should be putting in their annual calendar as a place to share ideas, knowledge, meet fellow judoka and also a place to test their skills.
Led by JFAUK President and Vice Chairman of the WJF Technical Committee, Sampson Sampson (8th Dan), the first day began with a competitive focus, looking at how to break down an opponent who is facing you with a Kenka Yotsu (Asymmetrical Grip) stance. Sampson dissected tactics, looking at what hands to grip with first before showing a plethora of techniques such as multiple variations of Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi and Ippon Seoi Nage; all of which focused on clean technique, accurate positioning and of course, Kyushindo movement. Next up was Sayed Abdoljalil (7th Dan), a new member of the JFAUK team hailing from Iran. Sayed spent time looking at how movement and body position affected Kuzushi and the power of nage, emphasising true kyushindo movement and clean technique before it was time for lunch.
Following lunch, the second half of day one saw a series of Ne-Waza techniques on offer from Sampson, looking at the finer dynamics of rollovers and how quick transitions can be utilised to ensure that even if a technique fails, an ippon can still be achieved. Finally, the day was finished with a good amount of randori, giving the hoard of judoka a chance to test out their skills against one another in a friendly environment.
Day two was once again initiated by Sampson Sampson (8th Dan), who warmed up the eager students with a re-cap of day one, ensuring their aching bodies were well activated for a new day of judo. Sampson then spent time using the same principles of Kenka Yotsu and Kumi Kata strategy to showcase the effectiveness of Kata Guruma, an extremely well received technique which many of the visiting judoka had not practised in many years due to rule changes by their governing bodies. Of course, in JFAUK, most leg grabs are perfectly legal. Sampson looked at various entries and variations, as well as variations that comply with all rulesets, ensuring that even visiting judoka had something they could take away and use in their everyday practice. Next up was JFAUK National Coach Farid Nemouchi (6th Dan). Farid seamlessly followed on from Sampson’s techniques, showing even more ways to enter Kata Guruma and Ippon Seoi Nage based on the same Kenka Yotsu stance, emphasising disorientating twitches and explosive entry. Finally, JFAUK Head Referee Samuel Betu (6th Dan) showed his own variations of Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi, looking at combinations and varying entries, complimenting the techniques shown earlier.
Following lunch, the judoka were treated to a buffet of judo knowledge as a number of our high graded instructors took to the tatami to dish out their experience. First up was JFAUK Chairman Bob Bushnell (6th Dan) who woke up any tired judoka with some dynamic rollovers that utilised Shime Waza to break down uke’s defence. Next up was Farid Nemouchi who followed suit from Bob, showing a number of Shime-Waza focused rollovers. Following on, Sayed Abdojalil began to look at how to break down an opponents defence when placed in between the legs (dō-osae). Next, was JFAUK Southern Area Representative Chris Cooper (5th Dan) who also looked at rollover techniques, showing some extremely powerful strangles once again based on Kyushindo and circular movement for all judoka to add to their repertoire of techniques. Before passing over the teaching slot, Chris ended his session with a number of escapes from do-osae. Following on from Chris was Samuel Betu, who utilized similar techniques to Chris, re-emphasising the finer details of how to escape from dō-osae and transition into shime-waza. Finally, JFAUK International Referee Rob Elliot (5th Dan) showed a unique rollover technique based on Sangaku Jime which resulted in a neat Juji Gatame to finish off the days judo.
To conclude the course, a social BBQ took place on the Worting Seafront, giving all a chance to re-live the weekends judo and socialise before all headed their separate ways.
We would like to thank all who made the effort to attend this course and hope that each and every one of you enjoyed the weekend of judo. We would like to thank all instructors and officials who shared their ideas on the tatami. A special thank you goes to Chris Cooper and Ross Elliot who have been working together to grow traditional judo in the south coast and have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that this course was a success. Another thank you goes to all others who worked behind the scenes, also ensuring the success of this course.
All footage of the course will be released on Sampson Judo in due time, so please do keep your eyes on the channel.
We now look forward to the JFAUK National Invitation Championships which will be taking place in October before we end the year with some Open Randori Sessions.
Members of the Sobell Judo Club recently travelled to Greece to participate in the 2018 WJF European Championships.
Sobell Judoka Alexis Bardini, Karl Summerbell, Hannah Chesham, Sam Sampson, Samuel Charalambous, Benjamin Eriksen and Sebastian Eriksen left for Greece alongside team JFAUK to represent the country at the prestigious event; the team were extremely sucessful coming away with a number of medals. The full breakdown is below:
Alexis Bardini: Gold (Mens -75kg)
Karl Summerbell: Gold (Mens Para -66kg)
Hannah Chesham: Silver (Womens -78kg)
Sam Sampson: Silver (Mens -83kg)
Benjamin Eriksen: Gold (Boys -55kg)
Sebastian Eriksen: Gold (Boys -40kg)
Sam Charalambous: Withdrawn due to injury
Alongside the team, Sobell head coach also travelled to the tournament as Chairman of the WJF Referee Comitte and played a key role in helping to ensure the standard of refereeing was upheld. Alongside Sampson also travelled Sobell Coach Samuel Betu, playing his role as an international referee to assist in the running of the tournament.
Full write up:
Successful day for JFAUK at day 1 of the 2018 WJF European Championship coming away with 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.
First on the tatami was Karl Summerbell defending his Para-athlete European Title. In his first fight, Karl used an Osoto Gari, scoring a Wazari before transitioning info a Kesa gatame, then Tati Shiho Gatame and then finishing of the fight with a clean Juji Gatame. Coming into his next fight, Karl managed to rotate out of his opponents throw, then once again secure the win with Ne-Waza with a Tati Shiho Gatame. Superb work by Karl who is now 2x WJF European Champion in the para athlete category!
Up next was Jason Baird in the Veterans -79kg category. Coming up against a Bulgarian in the first fight, Jason was unlucky in the early stages falling short to a Wazari. However, as the fight continued Jason worked extremely hard in Ne-Waza before attempting a flying Juji Gatame in the final seconds. Jason succeed with applying the technique, fully extending his opponents arm, however as his leg went over, his foot cut his the Bulgarians head, which bled immediately, and in the confusion Jason’s technique was nullified and not counted, resulting in Jason unluckily losing his fight. Next, Jason was up against a Greek judoka and utilised transitional Ashi Waza to score an Ippon. Afterwards, Jason was up against another Bulgarian, unfortunately losing to a Juji Gatame himself. Finally, Jason found himself against another Greek judoka in the Bronze Medal contest and was sure not to leave empty handed this time as he took over the Greek judoka to score an Ippon and put his hands on the Bronze Medal.
Next was Hannah Chesham taking on the Womens -78 kg category. In her first fight, Hannah took on an Italian judoka, unfortunately falling short to an Ippon throw mid-way through the fight. Next, Hannah found herself against a Greek Judoka, and motivated by her first loss, scored an enormous Tani Otoshi to claim the win, and silver medal.
The first of the Juniors, Benjamin Eriksen made his way to the contest area next. Benjamin made short work of his first opponent, using transitional judo to stifle his opponents attack and move into ne-waza, holding his opponent down with a Kesa Gatame to secure the win. Following this, Benjamin utilised a a big Ippon Seoi Nage to throw his next opponent and claim the gold medal.
The final Judoka of the day was Sebastian Eriksen who was keen to follow the path laid out by his older brother. Not rattled by pre-competition nerves, Sebastian dispatched of his first opponent, also with an Ippon Seoi Nage before securing the win in his second fight with a Kesa Gatama variation to take him the Eriksen family’s second gold medal of the day.
Before the tatami was closed for the day, a short Veterans Team event took place between two mixed country teams, with JFAUK’s Jason Baird stepping up for the red team, who eventually took gold.
A big thank you also goes to JFAUK International Referee Samuel Betu who has continued to work alongside the WJF Referee Committee throughout this trip, assisting with the running of this tournament. Without people like Samuel in the wider WJF team, these events would not be possible.
All in all a fantastic day for JFAUK, and today’s judoka have certainly set the bar high. Tonight, half the team will celebrate whilst the others rest. Good luck to tomorrow’s team!
Day 2 of the WJF European Championships followed suit of the first day, with team JFAUK coming away with a plethora of medals.
Up first was 2016 WJF European Champion Sam Sampson who was looking to claim his second WJF European Gold in the new weight class of -83kg. Up first was a Greek opponent. Sam took his time to get going and worked through tough grips to finally execute a flying juji gatame and score ippon. Up next was yet another Greek opponent who Sam threw with a big Kata Guruma to take him into the final. In a repeat final of 2016, Sam found himself against a Bulgarian Judoka who had also moved up into -83kg. After a dynamic exchange between the two rivals, Sam was unfortunately caught by a Kata Guruma himself this time and had to settle for the silver medal.
Up next was Oli Relton in the men’s -79kg category. Starting his competition day Oli countered his first opponent with a Tani Otoshi to score a wazari before transitioning into a Kata Gatame, holding his opponent down for 25 seconds to score his second wazari and claim the win. Next, Oli continued his transitional judo by pulling off a huge Ippon Seoi Nage, quickly transitioning into a Juji Gatame to submit his opponent. For the Semi-final Oli decided to mix things up, this time utilising a Hane Goshi to score ippon and proceed to the final. In the final, Oli was face to face with a Greek Judoka who had also been on fine form throughout the day, however, unfazed by his opponents track record, Oli went back to his Ne-Waza to score ippon with a powerful Juji Gatame and claim the gold medal.
Up next was 2015 WJF European Champion Ross Elliot who was looking to re-claim his European title in the -99kg category. Up first for Ross was a Greek Judoka. In the early exchanges of the fight Ross scored a wazari using a Hiza Guruma, quickly transitioning into a Mune Gatame to hold his opponent down and claim the win. Next for Ross was yet another home Judoka. Ross followed the same pattern, using a Maki Komi to score wazari, transitioning into a Kesa Gatame and holding his opponent down to claim his second win. In the final, Ross found himself against a Turkish Judoka. In the early exchange, the Turkish fighter stumbled Ross with a Maki Komi attempt however Ross’ reactions were firing fast as he quickly utilised his Ne-Waza to first attempt an Eri Jime before transitioning into a Mune Gatame, eventually holding his opponent down to claim the gold.
Next to represent JFAUK was 2015 WJF Junior European Bronze Medalist Alexis Bardini in the men’s -75kg category. For his first fight Alexis used a quick Uchi Mata to Ouchi Gari combination to score ippon and get his day off to a good start. Next, Alexis found himself against a much taller opponent, forcing him to think carefully on how to claim his second win. Alexis utilised a similar strategy, using an Uchi Mata before changing direction and dropping into a Ko Uchi Gake to score the ippon. For his semi final match, Alexis found himself against an experienced Dan grade however was unfazed and managed to score an ippon with a Osoto Gake in the early seconds of the fight to progress to the final. In the final Alexis was certainly pushed to his limits in an extremely hard fought fight. After a extremely dynamic battle, Alexis eventually sunk in an Eri Jime to secure his WJF European gold medal.
Hannah Chesham also stepped on the tatami for the second time to take part in the womens open weight category. After battling through the category, Hannah came up a Bulgarian judoka. After an exchange between the two and a very close Juji Gatame attempt from Hannah, it was the Bulgarian who managed to find the space to score a Wazari and in the end hold Hannah down, leaving our JFAUK judoka with a silver medal.
Sam Charalambous was also set to compete in the men’s -75kg category but unfortunately had to withdraw before the competition due to an injured shoulder. However, Sam had a pivotal role in helping to warm up his team mates, get them ready and ensure they always had water and tape to hand.
An additional category, which was created in the spirit of judo, was also held in which Karl Summerbell who had just claimed gold in the Para athlete category was able to fight against able bodied Judoka. Once again defying all odds, Karl succeeded in achieving a silver medal to add to his collection.
Further to this category, a mixed nation team event was also initiated. This event was inspired by our Greek host’s visits to Japan, whereby at international events, mixed team competitions are often created out of Judoka from different countries to encourage integration between the Judoka from different nations. 4 teams were created and in team 1 were JFAUK Judoka Sam Sampson and Ross Elliot and in team 2 was Alexis Bardini and Oli Relton. In the end, it was team 1 who managed to top the podium, giving Sam Sampson and Ross Elliot a gold medal and trophy, and team 2 coming close in second place giving Alexis Bardini and Oli Relton a silver medal.
Overall a remarkably successful trip for JFAUK who’s strength at this tournament has certainly been growing each time we attend. We would like to thank our Judoka who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to represent us at this tournament and it is clear that their hard work has paid off. Once again we would like to thank Samuel Betu who travelled with the team to work as part of the referee committee alongside the Greek and Italian referees. Another thank you goes to JFAUK President Sampson Sampson who helped to lead the team to the event and their corresponding victories. Further to running an international training session alongside Alfredo Vismara (9th Dan) on Friday evening, Sampson spent the duration of the event assisting with refereeing as well as attending meetings with the WJF Committee to discuss the future and further progress of the WJF in the coming years. With many plans in mind, we are certainly excited to be part of this journey.
With a growing number of entries and a number of new countries entering this years championships, the WJF European Championships is certainly an event that will continue to grow and expand in the years to come.
The WJF European Championships are now over, and we look to 2020 for the next.
Well done to the Sobell team for heading to the AEJF National Ne-Waza Championships today in Hornchurch.
Zeynep smashed it as usual, taking away a gold.
Sacha fought remarkably hard, battling through controversial penalties and having a re-run of his pool due to even points before taking Silver due to a decision in a close fought final against an opponent he had previously beaten.
Sam was also unlucky, eventually taking a silver in the dan grade middle weight & Open, losing due to very controversial penalties against him - despite attempting to re-run one of the fights to remove controversy (referee’s agreed but his opponent declined).
Mikey fought extremely hard, taking bronze in both the dan grade middleweight & open.
These things happen and it’s all a learning process!
Sobell Judoka, led by Sobell head coaches Sampson Sampson (8th Dan) and Bob Bushnell (6th Dan), recently travelled to Hertfordshire to take part in an international exchange with Bulgarian Judoka. Read the full write up below:
This weekend saw the long awaited exchange between JFAUK and Bulgaria take place. The U.K. and Bulgarian teams first met in Thessaloniki in 2014 at the Matsuura International Cup, which saw the teams face of against one another across various categories during the tournament. Since then, a strong friendship built on mutual respect has been formed due to the teams regular encounters with one another on the WJF international circuit. After much talking the Bulgarian team, led by Kayolan Kolev, was invited to the U.K. for a weekend of not only judo, but socialising and integration.
After arriving on Saturday night a welcome meal took place at a local restaurant in North London preparing the judoka for Sundays training Session.
On Sunday, Potters Bar Judo Club played host to the session, which saw both JFAUK Judoka, and other British judoka from different governing bodies travel to Hertfordshire to join our Bulgarian friends on the tatami. A 6 hour session focusing heavily on movement, set up and transitions in both tachi-waza and ne-waza took place, with many ideas being shared between the two international teams. Following from the days session a BBQ took place to give all judoka a chance to socialise with one another.
On Monday, although a training session was scheduled to take place, our guests decided that they would like to take the opportunity to visit central London as this was their first time in England. Therefore, they were taken on a a short but sweet tour of London led by JFAUK President Sampson Sampson and JFAUK Chairman Bob Bushnell.
Although the weekends exchange may be over, the relationship between JFAUK and Bulgaria is only just blossoming. The ideas, philosophies and training principles between the two nations are clearly aligned and although there may be competition between the two teams on the WJF international tatami, respect and friendship is the strong foundation on which this relationship has been built on. We look forward to seeing our friends in a few weeks time at the 2018 WJF European Championships in Greece, and look forward to the many more fruitful opportunities that will follow from this event, in particular a return visit to Bulgaria scheduled for next year.
Thank you to our guests for making the effort to visit us in the U.K. and thank you to all judoka, officials, friends and family who helped to accommodate our friends and give them a warm welcome.