In the last two years, the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club has taken on a life of it's own.
The club has tripled in size since 1993 and suddenly it has become a major player on the provincial and inter-provincial competitive judo scene.
Now the club, which features some Saskatchewan's most talented judo artists, is slated to host it's first major tournament Saturday at Palliser Campus.
As many as 200-300 people from Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to attend.
"It's the first judo tournament Moose Jaw has hosted in quite some time," says club puplic relations director Jim Wiens.
"We'll have everything from kids - white belts and beginners - to second and third degree black belts. That's pretty high quality."
Among the people attending the tournament will be about 40 members of the local club. The MJKJC now has 54 members compared to just 18 two years ago.
Among those is black belt Nancy Filteau, a transplanted Saskatonian. Filteau is not only expected to compete for gold in the women's category, but could be at the top of the list when the open portion of the tournament is held as well.
"At the end of the tournament we are going to have an open division for any age, any weight," says Wiens.
The last person standing wins and I wouldn't guarantee that it won't be a woman."
This is the first tournament of the season for the local clubs and for some members it will be their first-ever competitive situation. Wiens says it will be nice for the younger competitors to get their feet wet in a familiar setting.
The tournament should attract a fairly high quality of competitor because some of the names involved in the event, including Moose Jaw coach Cliff Wiens.
"My father is the coach here, and he does an excellent job," says Jim Wiens.
"He has had his black belt for 25 years and he had brought a lot of expertise to the club."
Weigh-ins for the tournament will begin Saturday at 8 a.m. and the actual competition will begin at 11 a.m.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald October 12, 1995