If Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club sensei Cliff Wiens wants to branch out to other talents, a stint with the Psychic Network might not be out of the question.
After members of the local club came home from a tournament in Watrous with less success as they would have liked, Wiens predicted much better things for their next outing.
He even went so far as to predict a better colour of medal across the board for his fighters — and he was almost bang on.
Of the eight Koseikan judokas who attended a tournament in Melfort this past weekend, six came home with medals, including five gold.
“I could tell right after the tournament last weekend that they weren’t satisfied,” Wiens said. “They wanted to do better and they wanted to get back on track right away.”
The result was obvious in the club’s training sessions during the week, he added
“I think they knew themselves they had to work harder to improve and that’s what they did all week,” Wiens explained. “The intensity was way up and they did whatever they could to get ready for this weekend.”
Danielle Pakula (cadet girls over-46 kg), Kailey Large (juvenile girls under-57 kg), Chris Kuntz (cadet boys over-46 kg), Mark Kerr (juvenile boys over-74 kg) and Brian Smith (senior men under-81 kg ) all won gold while Garth Rivers took silver in the juvenile boys under-40 kg division.
Marisa Kerr (juvenile girls over-57 kg) and Stephanie Legault (juvenile girls under-57 kg) both finished fourth in their respective divisions.
Wiens pointed out several notable performances from the event, none more impressive than that from Smith — the 16-year-old green belt normally competes as a junior and despite jumping an age class was able to dominate most of his matches.
“He was in there against grown men, fighting guys who’ve been in a lot more matches than he has and he didn’t have any problem at all,” Wiens said. “He was that much better than everyone else.”
Marisa Kerr also pulled off a couple surprising victories, including one over a player a belt higher and 50 pounds heavier.
“Marisa just moved up to the juvenile division this year, so she’s still getting used to the better competition but there are signs she’s really going to do well at this level,” Wiens said.
While experienced competitive members of the club will have to wait until Jan. 23 for their next competition, the younger ones will have a chance to show their stuff at a beginner’s tournament this weekend.
The event will attract between 50 and 60 young judokas from Swift Current, Regina and Vibank and will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“It’ll be a fun event for the young ones, they’ll have a chance to take part in a tournament and see what it’s like to fight competitively without being in too stressful a situation,” Wiens said.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Nov 24, 1999