Re-printed with the permission of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald
Judo youngsters see competition in Beginner's tournament
By COREY ATKINSON
The Koseikan Judo Club's first meet of the season gave some of their younger members a chance to compete for the first time.

Clubs from Vibank, Pense, and the Regina YMCA took part in the tournament, which is meant to get the younger performers some experience.

"Most of them have never even been in any kind of competitive atmosphere in judo before," Wiens said. "The whole tournament was designed to give them a chance to put into practice the very basics of what they've learned so far this season."

Undefeated Koseikan participants from the event include Nikola Orescanin, Joey Caragata, Zachary German, Taryn Montgomery, Hayley Henrikson, Rebecca Hanson, Eryn Langdon, Kolby Nant and Luke Groulx. Ryan Pohl won his pool with a 3-1 record.

While some of them were competing in their first meet, there were some - like Groulx - who performed well without experience.

"I'm trying to give them a little bit of confidence in themselves," Wiens said. "We had problems with the kids being intimidated before this tournament . . . This was a chance to see that what they're learning here is the same as any of those other clubs. You'll be on a pretty even playing field when you're out there."

And despite the similarities, the clubs do some things a little bit differently.

"There were a few kids (Monday) at class, that had questions about the different techniques that they saw used that they'd never seen before, like takedowns and moves," he said. "I have to reassure them that we'll get to those and that the basics that they have are exactly what they're going to have to need to be able to compete in those big tournaments coming up."

Wiens said the club can't invite as many clubs and participants as they would like to because of the tiny dojo size and smaller viewing area. But this event, which was a little bit smaller than previous events, had just about the right amount of people so that no one had too little room.

"I know Watrous and a few of the other clubs in this area of the province have asked to come and compete as well," he said. "We just don't have the mat space and the facilities for spectators."

The club's next big event is the hosting the provincial black belt qualifying Dec. 1 and a tournament in St. Brieux on Dec. 8.

Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Nov 14, 2007

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