A late beginning to the 2018-2019 judo season for the reigning Alaska State Judo Champion Sterling Judo Club quickly resumed with the club’s winning ways. Last June the area club of judo athletes sent five of its best to the U.S. Judo Jr. Olympics held in Spokane, Washington. In three days of this national judo competition, five Sterling residents brought home a total of two gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal.
On October 13, six more Sterling Judo Club athletes participated in the first fall competition held in south central Alaska, this one hosted by the Anchorage Judo Club. Traditionally the first competition of the season is a newaza (mat work only) event with holding, choking (for those 13 or older) and arm bars (for seniors only). No throws were permitted in this event so as to encourage entries from newer students to judo. All of the Sterling athletes returned home with new medals. Here they are:
GOLD MEDALS: Elijah Lee, Payton Williams and senior competitor Stephanie Coxwell
A PAIR OF SILVER MEDALS: Charles Fairbanks
BRONZE MEDALS: Tanner Williams and Axel Coxwell
The second judo competition of this season and final event for 2018 occurred on Nov. 17 at Wasilla Middle School. The local judo group sent six competitors once again and everyone competing came home with medals. Here are the Sterling Judo Club member results from the Wasilla event:
GOLD MEDALS: Axel Coxwell, Elijah Lee, Liam Way and senior competitor, Stephanie Coxwell
SILVER MEDALS: Charles Fairbanks and, competing in his first event, senior Maurice Green
There was one other judo competition with some appeal to the local group. The Continental Crown is highly respected regional judo competition held in Seattle every fall. Several Alaskans have competed in this competition. The most recent event was held on Nov. 11 at Highline Community College near Seattle. Alaska was once again represented by one of its best judo athletes, Elijah Lee. Elijah, who is a regular winner in local competitions, brought home a bronze medal from the U.S. Judo Jr. Olympics. Elijah fought some of his toughest opponents ever at this latest regional event, but still managed to return to Sterling and his club with a hard-earned bronze medal and greater determination to finish at the top next time.
Registration for the new beginners’ class will run from Jan. 8 through the 22. The youngest members will need to be at least 8 years old. Teens and adults may register and begin instruction any time, although everyone interested is encouraged to start with the new beginners in early January.
To register it will be necessary for a parent or adult participants to come to the class any Tuesday or Thursday evening between 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. There is no charge to participate in the program although there is an annual registration required by our national judo organization to cover program insurance, sanction, etc. This one time annual fee is $80. There may be some limited assistance available for anyone interested but who may not presently have sufficient resources to cover the registration or uniform costs.
For more information, visit the Sterling Judo Club’s Facebook page or contact either the club sensei, Bob Brink, at 242-9330, or one of our teachers: Senseis Kati Gibler, Bob Ermold or Clay Holland, or board members Marcus and Terre Lee, Carrie Fairbanks or Dr. Stephen White.
• Submitted by Bob Brink