Busy month for Sterling Judo Club

Busy month for Sterling Judo Club

Rio Olympics Judo Silver Medalist Travis Stevens will be conducting a two day clinic this month in Anchorage. Stevens is a three-time USA Olympic Judo Team member producing his best results with an upset win over the current world champion and number one ranked athlete in Rio. The 30-year-old Stevens has won over 30 medals in international competition including two time Pan AM Games gold medals.

The Travis Stevens’ clinic is scheduled for February 18 and 19 in Anchorage. The first day will cover some of Stevens’ favorite standing techniques. The second day will be focused on mat techniques including his semi-final Olympic winning strangle technique (modified kata-ha-jime). Serious judo, jujitsu and MMA athletes should find something of interest in these clinics. This will be Sensei Steven’s second visit to Alaska. He holds the rank of blackbelt in both judo and jujitsu and is a popular clinician. For further information and to register go to the “Alaskajudo.org” web site.

The Sterling Judo Club was honored last September with a visit and judo clinic from Prof. Albert Aoki. Aoki, with some 65 years of active engagement as a judo practitioner, teacher and leader, was recently honored by the U.S. Judo Federation with a promotion in judo rank to kudan-9th degree black belt (it’s actually a solid red belt). The U.S.J.F. is America’s oldest and most traditional national judo organization. It has only honored twelve individuals with this high judo rank since its inception in 1952.

Prof. Aoki is pictured here as he offered personal help to some students of the Sterling Judo Club.

The club was represented by eight of its members competing in Anchorage Dojo’s hosted event last Saturday. With three judoka competitions in two divisions, the group brought home eleven medals including the following:

Gold Medals: Axel Coxwell (his first competition); Charles Fairbanks; River Fairbanks (has won 1st in his first two competitions); and Peyton Lawton;

Silver Medals: Cassandra Coury (winning two silver medals in two divisions in her first competition); and Peyton Lawton (his 2nd division);

Bronze Medals: Elijah Lee and Luke Ermold (his first competition after a two year break); Luke Ermold in his 2nd division and senior competitor Phil Lawton both received bronze medals.

It was noteworthy that the only senior competitor from Sterling Judo, Phil Lawton fighting in only his second tournament, found himself once again in a division of experienced higher ranked opponents. Never the less, he accounted well for the experience and proved that his continued hard work has made his competition more interesting.

Seven members of the Sterling club were recognized this last week with promotions in judo rank. The club will post the names of all of its judo promotions at its annual awards picnic scheduled after the annual State Judo Championships in late April.

Sterling Judo Club members meet to practice every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sterling Elementary School Gym on the Sterling Highway. More information can be found on the group’s Facebook page or by contacting one of these Teacher Assistants: Bob Ermold, Clay Holland and Paul McConnell, or Sensei Bob Brink at 242-9330.

Busy month for Sterling Judo Club
Busy month for Sterling Judo Club

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