Sterling Judo Club students receive awards at a tournament in January.

Sterling Judo Club students receive awards at a tournament in January.

Sterling Judo Club continues to shine

Sterling Judo Club continues to shine

Many younger club members entered a judo competition in Anchorage recently. All were successful both in bringing home awards for their improving judo techniques and for representing the Kenai Peninsula in their demonstrations of good sportsmanship while competing against those from other Southcentral Alaska judo clubs.

Recent tournament results:

GOLD MEDALS: River Fairbanks, Elijah Lee, McKenzie White and Leif Nelson.

SILVER MEDALS: Caleb White, Ethan White, Peyton Williams and, competing in his second division at the January competition, Leif Nelson. Charles and River Fairbanks each won bronze medals in the February 17 competition.

BRONZE MEDALS: Liam Way and Charles Fairbanks.

FOURTH PLACE/HONORABLE MENTION: Soren Nelson and Bryce Hopkins.

Sometimes students have difficulty finding enough opponents for competition. In the Jan. 17 Anchorage competition, Elijah Lee, Peyton Williams, Charles Fairbanks and Bryce Hopkins found themselves competing in the same division against a couple other clubs and still managed to take all four places!

Elijah Lee has now won eight consecutive matches including five in the Jan. 27 event hosted by Mt. View Judo Club and three matches Feb. 17 in the always popular competition hosted by Sensei Howdice Brown’s Mat-Su Judo Club. Elijah has started the year with gold medals in all competitions to date! He is hopeful of qualifying for the U.S. Junior Olympics to take place in June in Spokane, Washington. Sterling Judo Club may have three or four of its juniors eligible to compete in Spokane.

The next local judo competition will be held on March 24. It will be hosted by Anchorage Dojo.

March is expected to be a very busy month for the Sterling Judo Club. On March 25 and 26, the head teacher in the satellite program in Las Vegas, Sensei Kati Gibler is scheduled to conduct two nage no kata clinics at the Sterling Elementary Gym. This class is open to all seniors and teens; however, the primary focus will be on our three ikkyu Teacher Assistants (top level brown belt rank). At the conclusion of Sensei’s clinics, she will be testing our three ikkyus for 1st degree black belt (shodan). These three are: Clayton Holland, Paul McConnell and Bob Ermold. In addition, Sensei Gibler will herself be examined for sandan (3rd degree black belt). Sensei Gibler may also present a one hour self defense class to students during regular class time, March 27.

The Sterling Judo Club was founded on Feb. 14, 2012. Throughout the school year 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.

— Submitted by Sterling Judo Club

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