Lennox Island Judo Club member Myah Shea is hoping to slip some tips from a Japanese national judo champion into the mix this weekend in Charlottetown during the Judo P.E.I. provincial championships.
Shea, who is turning 12, is a fifth-year member of the Lennox Island Judo Club. She recently attended a training session at her home club and a Girls in Sport seminar in Charlottetown with 2014 Japanese national women’s champion Yuka Osumi.
“I learned from her that you never stop; you keep going and going and going to exceed your goal, to the limit,” said Shea, describing what it meant to attend sessions with one of the top athletes in the martial art.
“She did teach me a lot,” she said, noting she saw some new throws and hold-downs, and moved for getting out of holds.
Osumi was on the mat with about 30 elementary-aged club members at Lennox Island.
Club sensei Robin Enman said his young students were excited to meet her.
“I would show something that the kids knew, and then she would kind of modify it and show how to do it differently,” he said.
She also refereed some matches for his elementary-aged students.
“At the end of the class, everybody wanted her to throw them,” he said.
Enman felt fortunate his club was able to host her.
“Definitely, if you’re a Japanese national champion you’re probably very high up on the international scene,” he said. “She’s in high demand. She works with the Canadian national team.”
Seven-year-old Maia Gallant is in her third year with the Lennox Island club. Like Shea, she attended both the session at her home club and the seminar in Charlottetown.
“I learned how to do it better or different,” she said. “I liked it.”
Gallant plans to continue with judo.
Shea also plans to remain in the sport.
“I want to go places,” she said.
Enman said Osumi’s sessions were so well-received that he’s hoping to bring her back for a Judo P.E.I. summer camp at Canoe Cove in August.