Atlantic judo championships now underway in Summerside

Jason Simmonds
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Here is quick guide to judo as event continues through until Saturday afternoon at Credit Union Place

SUMMERSIDE The Atlantic judo championships is moving into Credit Union Place.

The two-day competition will be held on Eastlink Arena's ice surface beginning on Friday morning, and continuing through until Saturday afternoon.

"There is definitely a lot of excitement," said event chairman and Judo P.E.I. treasurer Brian Nash. "If you haven't experienced it, it takes a while to get watching it and understanding it, but you get pretty wrapped up in the actual excitement of it."

Nash noted this is the first time in a number of years P.E.I. has hosted the Atlantic championships, and it is hoped a successful event can lead to more major competitions in the future.

FACT BOX - List of Islanders competing at the Atlantics

There will be around 100 competitors competing on both days. The majority of these athletes will be from Atlantic Canada, but there are also two coming from Brazil, two from Ontario and 17 from Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

There will be about 50 athletes from the Toshidokan Judo Club in Summerside, the Lennox Island Judo Club and the Rikidokan Judo Club in Charlottetown competing in the event.

"It's a contact sport, but there's no kicking, punching," explained Nash. "It's techniques, throws, you can win by executing throws, chokes, submissions, arm bars, depending on the age levels. Certain age levels cannot do arm bars and chokes. . .

"It's a lot of action and variety of styles of fighters.

"We have one guy coming for the masters competition, and he's won multiple medals at world masters competitions before."

There will be three mats set up, and matches range from two to five minutes depending on age levels.

"When you are in U16 or above and a match is not won it goes to what is called golden score," continued Nash. "It is basically sudden death until someone scores a point or a penalty to lose. 

"I've been at competitions where a four-minute match has wound up taking 17 minutes extra."

Competitors can win by a throw, by holding their opponent down for 20 seconds or by making them submit either by an arm bar or choke. Nash noted athletes are allowed four penalties before they are disqualified.

He described how judokas can win a match.

"The fight stops automatically if you score an ippon, which is a full point. Then there is what is called a wazari, which is basically half a point. Two wazaries equal an ippon, so if you have two wazaries you win the match, the match stops. 

"An example of an ippon is if you have a perfectly executed throw - power, control, everything is perfect - and the person lands on their back and you have control, the ref should award an ippon. 

"If one of those elements is missing, you are not on your back or are on your side, there is no control, it might be a wazari, or if it's not even quite that good it's what's called a yuko. A yuko doesn't really count for anything."

Organizations: Judo Club, Credit Union Place

Geographic location: Summerside, Atlantic Canada, Charlottetown Brazil Ontario Saint Pierre and Miquelon U16

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