Sam Sampson recently travelled to Cyprus to take part in the 2019 Cypriot Senior National Championships. Taking on the -81kg category, Sam faced a tough category of 18 judoka, each vying for the national title.
To start the day, Sam took on the #3 ranked judoka in Cyprus, eventually taking him down to score Ippon (maximum score) and advance into the second round. Moving into the second round, Sam found himself against the #2 ranked judoka and unfortunately a reckless move handed him a loss, and pushed him into the repechage. Making his way through the repechage, Sam later found himself up against yet another member of the Cypriot team however made short work of his opponent with a highlight reel foot sweep. Finally, Sam found himself in the repechage final and had a bronze medal within reach. A tough final saw him face off against a quick footed opponent however a strong counter technique earned Sam the bronze medal at his maiden Pancyprian championships.
With this result, Sam officially qualifies for the Cypriot National Judo team and follows in the footsteps of his father and the many other judoka who have trained at the Sobell Judo Club whilst bearing the Cypriot flag; including Ioannis Kouyialis a dynamic judoka who represented Cyprus at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
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!
A big congratulations to Caterina Puntillo who competed in her first international tournament this weekend. Caterina, who now trains at the Sobell Judo Club, London, travelled to Italy to compete in the 2018 Trofeo Sankaku International tournament, eventually coming away with a 5th place. A great result for her first big event. Congratulations!
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.
Congratulations to all Sobell judoka who took part in the 2018 JFAUK London Ne-Waza tournament. Sobell truly topped the medal boards coming away with a huge haul of gold, silver and bronze across the Primary, Junior and Senior teams. Well done to everybody who took part.
Also competing was Ross Elliot and Adam Brown from Club Judoka in Worthing, with Ross taking home a gold and Adam taking home a silver.
Great work by all!
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.