As they say in judo, there's no dojo like home.
At the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club's Regional Beginners tournament Saturday, the home club found itself winning many of the pools at their home dojo.
"They did really well," said Koseikan coach Jim Wiens. "It actually wasn't a tournament where I was looking for results."
Aspiring judoka were pitted against their own club members and in groups with other members. But Wiens said the tournament was simply a way for the club to compete against other members and get into the tournament's format.
There were 64 competitors from judo clubs in Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Pense, Vibank, Regina YMCA, Regina Avonhurst and Regina Eastend. In this tournament, there were a large amount of Koseikan members.
"We're the biggest club in the province," Wiens said. That kind of competition will bring out some interest from other clubs in the area.
Undefeated competitors from Moose Jaw with sterling 4-0 recrods included Anakin Myers, Brady Smith (who also won another pool with a 2-0 record), Eryn Langdon, Brendan Seida, Quinlan Ferguson, John Fellinger, Devin Kiryk and Garth Rivers went 3-0 to win his pool and pool winners with 3-1 records were Hayley Henrikson, Haley Walz, Brianna Walz and Shawn Hardlotte. Brayden Johnson went 2-0 in one of the pools.
Many of these competitors have had success at the local club level - earlier this year, Kiryk and Haley Walz won the Koseikan's most promising male and female awards. While they are young, it's this kind of tournament that can help mould some of the younger and lesser experienced judoka into the kind of club members that can eventually walk into an April tournament in the West Edmonton Mall and win 11 medals.
At the beginners tournament, Josh Weins was promoted to a Provincial A judo referee by Judo Saskatchewan.
Next weekend, the club will send some members up for a tournament in Melfort and a couple of weeks after that, the club will go to Watrous for a tournament that Weins expects a lot of club members will go.
The Koseikan club will be hosting a larger, 100-110 person meet in March again, drawing competitors from across the prairies at a location to be determined. In the past, it's been held at Vanier Collegiate and at Bushell Park.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Nov. 1, 2006