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.
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.
Karl Summerbell took to the tatami next in the men’s -60kg. After unfortunately getting held down in his first fight, Karl’s next opponent withdrew due to injury, leaving him with a silver.
Sam Charalambous came up next in the men’s -73kg and was on fine form as usual, taking a gold.
Sam Sampson was the final judoka of the day however also missed weight and ended up in the -90kg category. Sam fought his way to the final, however a small mistake left him with the silver medal.
Congratulations to the boys who took the time to travel to Walsall to compete at this event, next time we hope to see more Sobell judoka step forward to compete.
Team JFAUK have now returned from Thessaloniki, Greece whereby they took a total of 17 medals. 9 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze. The JFAUK judoka truly shined brightly at this international tournament which drew judoka from various countries across Europe. Well done to all of the team.
Day 1 of the Matsuura international Cup saw the JFAUK Veterans and Special needs judoka step to the tatami. In total JFAUK took away 5 medals from 3 competitors.
Starting the day was Karl Summerbell, competing in the -71kg para-athlete category. Karl stormed through his category, taking the gold comfortably. Due to his fantastic performance and a low number of entries in his category, he was then invited to take part in a category of similar weighted, able-bodied judoka. Karl fought exceptionally well and made it through to the final. In the final, he was up by a Wazari, however was caught by a Greek judoka in the final seconds. Despite this, it was a truly expeditionary achievement.
Next up was Chris Cooper in the Veterans +100kg category. Chris found himself with a gold medal around his neck after executing fantastic kyushindo judo against Greek judoka. Not satisfied with just one gold meal, Chris then entered the open and continued his form, taking on opponent after opponent, executing clean ippon throws to take the gold.
Finally, -79kg Veteran judoka Jason Baird took to the tatami and made his way into the final with swift and precise Ne-Waza techniques. In the final, he narrowly lost by a decision against a Greek judoka, leaving him with a well deserved silver medal. A fantastic day for the team who truly set the standard high for the next days judoka.
On day 2 of the competition, Team JFAUK had a successful day, coming away with 12 medals.
First up was Sam Sampson in the men's -79kg category. Sam defeated Bulgarian and Greek judoka with swift ashi waza and fast ne-waza on his way to the final whereby he scored a wazari against a Greek judoka, later finishing the Greek off with a hold down to secure the gold medal.
Sam Charalambous was up next in the men's -75kg category. Sam started his day off well, defeating a Greek judoka by wazari. Sam unfortunately lost his following fights against a Bulgarian and Greek, leaving him with the Bronze medal. However, redemption was certainly on the cards as Sam Charalambous later entered the open category and managed to execute some superb throws and hold downs in order to take the gold! In addition to this, Sam was later awarded his 2nd Dan due to his technical prowess and string of impressive domestic and international performances, which includes a bronze medal at the CSIT World Sport Games last week!
Following Sam, the JFAUK ladies, Hannah Chesham and Lucia Pascali took to the tatami. Hannah and Lucia both worked their way though their category, both using fantastic ne-waza and big hip throws before meeting one another on the semi-final. Hannah managed to secure the win this time, leaving Lucia with a well deserved bronze medal. Hannah went off to face a Bulgarian judoka in the final, and Hannah spared little time securing a tight juji gatame to take the gold. The ladies weren't finished just yet as they then entered the open category, however both fell short to a much heavier woman, with Hannah taking the silver, and Lucia taking a second bronze.
It was the turn of Ross Elliot next, in the men's -100kg category. Ross made light work of his opponents, executing big throws in his way to the final. In a repeat of the Miyazaki cup final earlier this year, Ross faced the same Greek judoka, however quickly executed a cross grip Osoto Gari to take the gold.
Alex Charalambous stepped back on to the international tatami for the first time in four years next in the men's -68kg category. Alex started his day with a fantastic Uchi Mata before dispatching the rest of his opponents on the way to the final. There, he faced an experienced Greek judoka in a fight that went the distance, however the Greek managed to take the win due to a very close wazari score earlier in the match, leaving Alex with a silver medal.
Alexis Bardini then made his way into the contest area in the men's -71kg category, facing an all Greek pool. Alexis used excellent ne-waza to finish his opponents in order to earn his place in the gold medal match. There, he executed a dynamic cross grip Tai Otoshi to secure his gold medal.
Finally, Adam Brown made his international debut in the men's +100kg category, taking home the gold medal. Not satisfied with just one medal, Adam then entered the Open category and ended up fighting his way to a Bronze medal against experienced opponents.
Overall a truly fantastic two days of competition for team JFAUK, taking away 17 medals from 11 competitors. Well done to all!
The Sobell trio travelled to the games with the JFAUK National team, which consisted of them, plus a further two judoka; Ross Elliot from Worthing, who took a bronze in the mens -100kg category, and Dundee’s Jason Baird who finished 7th in the mens -81kg category.
The World Sports Games – dubbed ‘The Amateur Olympics’ - are a major international sporting event held every two years, for amateur sportspeople who fall outside the top 100 world rankings. The games are designed to give amateur sports people who do not have access to full time training or funding a chance to compete in a high level and world class event.
The event began on Tuesday 13th June whereby the team took part in a large opening parade and ceremony. During this, the team walked through the streets of Riga with the thousands of other competitors before entering the stadium whereby a show took place to mark the start of the games.
On Wednesday 14th June the team were able to make use of the competition dojo to conduct a light training session to warm up their bodies before the big competition day.
On Thursday 15th June, it was time for each judoka to step on the tatami and attempt to add a world medal to their list of credentials! All in all, the team managed to come away with 2 bronze medals out of 6 competitors at a very high level tournament.
Well done to all team members who took part in this tough event. Team JFAUK, Sam Charalambous and Sam Sampson, along with other Sobell Judoka Lucia Pascali, Hannah Chesham, Karl Summerbell, Alexis Bardini and Alex Charalambous will be returning to the international scene shortly as they will be off to Greece at the end of June for the 2017 Matsuura International Cup!
You can view the Vlog for the World Sports Games Here!