Western Area Judo Association – Dawn Till Dusk Challenge

As we once again faced the reality of being placed into Lockdown, our judoka stepped up and faced the situation and made the most of the circumstances we faced.

We had previously planned to hold this event over Zoom prior to being placed into lockdown, so it really did not make much of a difference unless teams were going to meet to take on the Judo Functional Movement Challenge.

The event was created by Western Area Coach, Simon Ward who adapted the concept he saw the Brazilian Judo Federation run.

The event was scheduled for Sunday 10th January as a kickstart to 2021 and an opportunity for clubs or individuals to bounce back from dreadful 2020 and reboot with some fresh and enthusiastic judo fun.

Clubs were asked to enter a team, with each team being allocated 1 hour to complete as many exercises as possible or reps within the 5 rounds. Each round had a dedicated exercise which was a mix of a bodyweight exercise and a judo functional movement which created the drill. This was then performed as many times as possible in 60 seconds per judoka. Each judoka was then given a repetition score as well as a technical score either ‘No Score’, ‘Waza-ari’ or ‘Ippon’ depending in the level of technical delivery of the judo movement, such as posture and stance.

We also used the event as part of a fundraising campaign to help raise some much-needed funds to help support the Area’s return to training and competition later in the year, we hope. We successfully raised £585, so many thanks to all who donated throughout the day to support our Area Training program.

We had a great turn out with 10 teams taking part, including the British Army and a team representing the full-time training group from Team Bath as well as several Western Area Club teams.

First on roll was the British Army which included former GB International Alex Paske who helped support the Army team set a very respectable 315 score considering the team only had 3 judoka.

Kingsley School Judo Club entered two teams; one squad represent their community club while the other team consisted of school pupils only. Both teams produced a strong performance with the community club picking up 540 points while the school team came away with 946 points giving Kingsley an overall total of 1,504 points with Gabriel picking up the highest individual score of 180.

Bristol based Patchway Judo Club had the latest number of judoka taking part with 14 keen kids battling it out for points. We spilt the club into the classic ‘Boys vs Girls’ scenario to help the scoring and make sure we could complete in the 1-hour time frame. The 9 boys scored a massive 976 while the 6 girls scored 389 giving Patchway a total club score of 1,365 with Patrick scoring their highest score of 131.

Nokemono JC from Dorset also spilt their club into two teams, with a junior and youth team taking part. The junior group of 4 boys scored a very respectable 372 while their youth team scored a 463 giving them an overall tally of 835.

Wessex Judo Club had the smallest team with just two judoka, but they still enjoyed the opportunity and certainly smashed out the exercises to pull together 265 points, however more importantly both Ocean and Chloe scored maximum technical points in each round as well.

Next up was a strong challenge from Devizes Judo Club who had a team of 8 judoka. They had a good mix of ETD, Reds and club level judoka. The team pulled together a great score of 937 scoring very high in the technical elements and with Ollie scoring 147 while Charis scored 131.

So just as the dusk started to draw in, our final team was full of England and GB international judoka representing Team Bath. They were also joined by the coach Tom Reed who also took on the challenges. 7 Team Bath athletes certainly set off at a massive pace in each round with them all fully encouraged to beat each other while maintaining a high technical score. Overall, the team finished with a grand total of 1010 points and max technical scores which pleased head coach Adam Hall who supported each round from the famous coach’s chair at home. But it was Sidney that came out with the highest scoring beating all her male teammates with a massive 161 points.

After a long and very entertaining day of judo, our teams of judoka produced a huge amount of exercise drills scoring a massive 6,213 repetitions between the 53 judoka who all took part in the challenge.

Simon Ward