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Jigoro Kano

"Consider fully, act decisively"





The Canadian Judo Championships were held in the Richmond Olympic Oval July 4 – 7, 2013 with just under 700 competitors from every province, the Yukon and NW Territories!

BC Team members from Aberdeen Judo Academy winning gold medals and title of Canadian Judo Champion in their respective age & weight categories:

Jim Karas – 3rd degree black belt – won first place in the Masters 40 – 45 age bracket -80 Kg. division

Megan Hanks – 1st class brown belt – won first place in the Under 18 year old Cadet women’s +70KG division

Geoffrey Hanks – 1st class brown belt – won first place in the Under 15 year old - +66 Kg. division

Jim is a former 2-time national champion as a teen-ager, a former member of the Judo Canada national team, and once again displayed his tremendous savy & skills in winning his matches with full point wins!

In last year’s nationals in Toronto, Geoffrey placed 2nd and Megan placed 3rd in their respective divisions. It was sweet revenge for Megan, much improved with dedicated training this past year defeating two of the women that won over her last year.

Geoffrey also displayed improved abilities in his stand-up judo as well as his on-mat grappling skills, a credit also to his hard work and dedication to training.

Other members of Aberdeen Judo competing were Jens Krause - Masters division, Drew Ramsay - U18 age cadet division & Morgan Endean - U15 age girls division. Dr. John Cleland, assisted by Dr. David Hanks, was the tournament medical supervisor and coaching our athletes was sensei John Huntley.

Our Canadian Judo Champions Geoffrey & Megan Hanks, competitor Drew Ramsay, Dr. John Cleland -
tournament medical supervisor, assisted by Dr. David Hanks, father of Megan and Geoffrey,
and sensei John Huntley. Missing from photo are Jim Karas, Jens Krause & Morgan Endean.


Sensei Huntley again competed in the All Japan High Dan competition held in the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan on April 28. The Kodokan is the headquarters of judo worldwide, and this very high level tournament attracts judoka from all over Japan and a few ‘foreigners’; this year saw 1412 competitors taking part, which included 10 foreigners from other countries, including sensei Huntley from Canada. The youtube video of the match is shown below; an excellent throw and completed for a full-point win in just over 20 seconds! Congratulations sensei!

Huntley Sensei Ippon Win


Grading exams were conducted on April 9 and promotional certificates presented on April 11 to the junior program judoka. Smiling on the extreme right is Jamari Tate who was promoted April 2 (batsugun – instant promotion) for his outstanding performance at the BC Interior inter-club shiai held in Vernon on March 30! Congratulations to all of our junior program judoka for their hard work in obtaining their next rank and special thanks to Sean Kidner, instructor of our junior program and his assistants, Brad Endean, Morgan Endean and Kyle Okano!


Eleven members took part in the Edmonton International Open Judo Tournament held at the Ice Palace in the West Edmonton Mall on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, April 5, 6 & 7.

704 competitors from Canada, USA, England and Japan took part, with many national level team members vying for spots to compete in the Canadian Judo Championships slated for the Richmond Olympic Oval on the July 6 weekend!

Gold medals were won by Megan Hanks in the U18 Cadet Women’s and Geoffrey Hanks in the U15 Juvenile Boys. In the Veteran Men’s 40 – 44 age brown & black belt category, 3rd degree black belt Jim Karas won gold.

Silver medal placings were Samad Twemlow-Carter in U15 Juvenile boys and Brad Endean in Veteran men’s 35 – 39 age (-73Kg.); bronze medallists Morgan Endean in U15 Juvenile girls and Chris Maurer in Veteran men’s 35 – 39 (-90Kg.) age bracket.

Good performances in fourth place were Jamari Tate in the U11 boys, Kiara Endean in U13 girls, Liam Moss in U15 Juvenile boys and 1st degree black belt Jens Krause in Veteran men’s 40 - 44 age brown & black belt division.


Judo BC sponsored a High Performance coaches conference in Squamish recently, with Nuno Delgado, 5th dan, national coach of the Portuguese National Team as the facilitator. Fifty-five instructors & coaches from across Canada attended the three day event - Friday night's presentation being held at the Executive Suites - Garibaldi Springs Resort and the on-mat sessions conducted in the Squamish CN Roundhouse & Conference Centre. Coach Delgado was a medallist at the 2000 Summer Olympics and has over 2000 judoka in his clubs in Portugal. Topics covered were 'Global Performance Methods' and Judoka Long Term Development. Saturday night's after-dinner speaker was Anna Rice, 2012 Olympic tennis athlete Anna Rice from British Columbia with a presentation titled The Impact of the Grass Roots on the Development of the High Performance Athlete.

Attending from Aberdeen Judo were head instructor John Huntley, 7th dan and Jens Krause, 1st dan. Some of the new material has already been incorporated into Aberdeen Judo activities!


2012 JAPAN JUDO TRIP – John Huntley

Left Canada on Wednesday, April 25 for my bi-yearly trip to Japan to compete in the All Japan High Dan Tournament (Zen Nihon Kodansha Taikai) held at the Kodokan in Tokyo. Sponsored by the All Japan Judo Federation, competition is restricted to Kodokan 5th dan & higher ranked judoka (Kodansha); this year there were just over 1400 competitors, about 1390 Japanese and 10 foreigners, including myself! The competition is held in dojo on the 5th & 6th floors (5th dan competitors) while 6th dan and higher ranked judoka compete on four contest areas on the 7th floor in the dai-dojo (main dojo). Spectator area at the Kodokan Judo Institute is on the 8th floor.

This Taikai is held on April 28 each year at the Kodokan , and the annual All Japan Judo Championships are held next day, April 29 each year at the Tokyo Budokan. It’s nice that avid judoka can take in two major events on the judo calendar back to back!

Competing in the Taikai, a competitor gets one match only – win, lose or draw! Japanese judoka wanting a promotion as a competitor, compete in various All Japan Judo Federation sanctioned events; their competition record requiring 10 points. A win by ippon, waza-ari or yuko generates 1 point; a hiki-wake win scores a 1/2 point! Unlike IJF rules wherein hiki-wake is only used in team competition, in a Taikai, it is a partial point win, BUT – there is no yusei-gachi award!

This year’s Taiki was preceded by the 130th Anniversary celebration, Kodokan Judo being originated in 1882. After the 1 1/2 hour Anniversary ceremony, the presentation of long-time Taikai participation awards and the official opening comments regarding the Taikai,, we got underway with the performance of the Itsutsu-no-Kata (forms of five) by Toshiro Utsugi sensei (8 dan) and his partner. The individual matches started simultaneously on the four competition areas of dai-dojo, starting with the 6th dan competitors.

After a few hours of on-going competition, my turn to compete; I was matched against Hirokazu Murakami from Niigata. As is normal procedure for each match, we bow towards Kano Shihan’s chair situated at the Kamiza in dai-dojo, then to each other, step forward, ‘hajime’ is announced and the long awaited match is on!. As was the outcome of my match in 2008 (different opponent), we went to a ‘hikiwake (draw), each of us garnering a half a point after 3 minutes of continuous activity!

After our respective match’s, Keith Durrant (6 dan) and I head downstairs to watch Wayne Unger (5 dan - Victoria Judo Club) in his first-ever entry in the Taikai. Wayne wins his match with a beautiful uchimata-makikomi and walks proudly off the mat! Off we go back upstairs to watch the higher dan grades compete; even 8th dan competitors ‘doing their thing’!

At the conclusion of the Taikai, it was time to head out for dinner, discuss the day’s activities and prepare for the All Japan Judo Championships the next day at the Tokyo Budokan!

April 29 – Here we go! Arrive early at the Budokan after a short ride from my hotel, and the pedestrian traffic outside the Budokan is already starting to multiply – door don’t open for another hour, but the workers and officials are arriving to take their place for this auspicious occasion! I recognize many faces – Yamashita sensei, Fuji sensei, Fukushima sensei, Murata sensei amongst others, . .doors open and the crowd surges in! Once inside, I stop to take in the ambiance of the Budokan; originally built in 1963-64 as the venue for the first ever judo competitions to be held in the Olympics of 1964, it is still a very impressive structure and is the headquarters of many martial arts & activities specific to Japan! I meet up with my group and head down to our reserved seats; Keith has a way of getting great seats, . . relatively expensive – but great! I am able to do some very good videoing at our level, and put my pocket camcorder and BlackBerry Playbook tablet to work, videoing the opening ceremonies, the previous year’s winner acknowledgement, the march in of the individual competitors as their names are announced and the opening kata demonstration – this year it was Nage-no-Kata performed by Kosei Inouye – wearing a red & white belt! His older brother Tomokazu was his uke.

After some hard fought matches and some interesting upsets of top favourites the final match of the day is upon us! Competing for first place are Hirotaka Kato (4 dan, 26 years old, 93Kg.) vs. Ryuta Ishii (3 dan, 29 years old, 135Kg.) quite a size difference! But in the end, the good small judoka beat the good big judoka – with an ippon technique! The Budokan erupted with cheers & clapping!

With the Taikai and the All Japan Judo Championships over with, the balance of my trip was sight-seeing around Tokyo plus taking in the many activities at the Kodokan!

Activities taking place in dai-dojo at Kodokan since arriving in Tokyo that I videoed:

Classes are held every day, Monday through Saturday, with different participant/age/rank groups on different days. Children’s classes go from 4:40 – 6:00PM; senior beginners go 5:30 – 7:00PM and general open randori goes 6:00 – 8:00PM! Dai-dojo is comprised of 420 mats (imperial measure) all floating on giant coil springs; mat surface measures 87’ x 87’ and is large enough to have different groups all working out at the same time! One evening there was a university women’s team practice in session on half of dai-dojo while the children’s classes were being held on the other half!

May 1 - visited my friend Naoki Murata sensei, the curator of the Kodokan Library & Museum, discussed judo activities world-wide in general, and some specifics of Canadian judo; I promised to send him some detailed information on the history of Canadian Judo and in passing he indicated that the All Japan Judo Federation would be holding a kata standardization clinic the next day in dai-dojo! He invited me to take it in; he didn’t have to ask me twice! I got there early, had my video equipment at the ready, and what an impressive opening – twelve senior red & white belt instructors – plus one red belt (Matsushita – 9th dan) lined up opposite approximately 45 – 50 black belt judoka from various prefectures of Japan! Kata covered included Katame-no-Kata, Kime-no-Kata, Goshin-Jutsu and Ju-no-Kata; included in the lineup of instructors teaching the kata were Sato and Nagai sensei (they did a kata clinic in Steveston last year), Fukushima sensei (also did a kata clinic in Steveston a few years ago) and Murata sensei, amongst others. The clinic lasted three hours, and it was very interesting - and informative – as to the performances observed!

May 4, Friday, (day before the All Japan High School Championships) – hosted by the All Japan Judo Federation and held in dai-dojo at Kodokan, a technical clinic is held for the competitors, featuring black belt judoka demonstrating their tokui-waza (favourite technique). There are signs posted, indicating what technique would be demonstrated/practiced on which mat, and the judoka would go to a specific mat to take part. Very interesting watching the kids paying rapt attention to each and every detail presented!

May 5, Saturday – All Japan High School Championships and my day to leave for home, I went to dai-dojo early to see what activity was taking place – sure enough, the place was packed; judoka everywhere warming up, some doing static uchikomi, some doing dynamic uchikomi, some doing ukemi, professional photographers taking photos of individual teams, etc.! I managed to get in a good hour of on/off video footage before it was time to head for Narita Airport and home, . . visited the Kodokan gift shop for last minute gift purchases on my way out of the Kodokan and headed back to my hotel, checked out of my room, and took a taxi to Suidobashi subway station for the trip to Tokyo Central where one has to transfer to the Narita Express line to the airport.

Checked in at the United Airlines counter, went down to the Duty-Free shops to browse around until departure time and sent miscellaneous e-mails from my BlackBerry Playbook; WiFi hotspots in all locations in Narita, Seattle and Vancouver Airports .

An excellent flight back to Vancouver, a short stop in YVR and then home to Kamloops – another great trip and wonderful memories!



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