7 of our mini CJC warriors travelled to Coach Vince Skillcorn’s home town of Portsmouth to fight in the South of England Open at the Mount Batten centre. I went to watch and support so I have a little more detail about the young fighters performance this time.
Tom Kirk looking as cool as a cucumber and completely unphased by the level of the competition (actually he was probably unaware of the level!) kicked off the action in the -30kg category. It was a very hard fight from the start and TK got countered for a wazari, and was looking vulnerable in tachiwaza. Not to worry because he performed some brilliant newaza and held his opponent down for ippon and the win! A great start to the day. Second fight he again dominated on the ground and turned his opponent over and held him to secure his second ippon of the day. This saw Tom progress to the final against a bigger looking lad. He went out positively but got thrown for ippon giving him a well deserved silver medal.
Next up was Louie Baylis in -34kg, another young promising fighter looking to gain some competition experience. He fought very well but lost both of his matches, next time Louie!
Oliver Baldwin competed in the -42kg, he had a hard first 2 fights and lost them both, but came back strong in his 3rd fight. It was a very close intense match which could have gone either way but Oliver countered his opponents Osoto gari with a beautiful Osoto gari himself and threw for ippon!
Next called to the mat was Ben Baxter in the -38kg, he started confidently with some good gripping skills and controlled the fight until he was ready to finish it with an ippon throw. Second fight was very close but Ben was narrowly beaten. Looking for revenge he was a man on a mission (as his photo purchased on the day proves- crazy face!), he performed a lovely ippon throw and won the bronze medal.
In the -50kg we had Bodhi Blacklock, definitely the smiliest (maybe not a word) competitor, he had two very tough fights and lost them both. However in good Camberley spirit he was still smiling at the end of the day and had won a silver medal.
Toby Roberts was next to show everyone what he could do. In the – 42kg he used some very good gripping skills and movement to throw his partner for wazari and then hold him down. First match out of the way. Second fight was won by ippon throw, another opponent dispatched. Third fight was very tough but he concentrated on his game plan and dominated the fight eventually winning by ippon hold down, another one bites the dust. He was now in the final, it was an intense fight and Toby had to dig deep. It went all through normal time and golden score without any scores. Both fighters had given it their all, but Toby won by decision and split flags, you can’t get much closer match than that. Gold to Toby Roberts- well done.
Ready to finish the day on a high was Oliver Bergqvist in -46kg category, he had a slightly unlucky start when the referee awarded an ippon against him for falling off the wrong side of his opponent when trying to perform a counter technique. More determined than ever Oliver smashed his next opponent with a beautiful Koshi guruma for ippon and then perhaps even more impressive was his standing ippon seonage which his third opponent found himself on the end of and also thrown for ippon. Bronze for Oliver, some nice techniques performed and also some valuable lessons learnt.
Well done again to everyone who fought and thank you to everyone who supported, it was a pleasure to watch our up and coming fighters and to part of the CJC crew!