Kelowna Judo Club’s Okanagan Open tournament had eight clubs from the Okanagan and Kootenays join in this year at Parkinson Rec Centre. Photo: Kathy Hubble/Kelowna Judo

Kelowna Judo Club celebrates annual tournament

The Okanagan Open had eight clubs compete in fun competitions

The Kelowna Judo Club’s 2019 Okanagan Open was another success for the local martial arts club.

Clubs from the Okanagan and the Kootenays came to Parkinson Rec Centre for the fun, all-aged and family tournament where marital artists ranging from three years old to 57 years old stepped onto the tatami (mat area) for friendly competition.

“The tourney is meant for novices, orange belt and under,” said sensei Kathy Hubble. “We started it with just little kids six years ago, but now we even have a novice adult men’s division because it’s become such a popular event.”

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The tournament had a total of eight clubs over the weekend compete and show off their clubs’ skills. Though the clubs fought and competed against one another, there’s a sense of family between all the members.

“Even though (KJC sensei) Stu Leatherdale and I organize the tourney all year, it really couldn’t be pulled off without the help of all the other sensei’s in the region,” said Hubble.

“The other instructors all come together as a region on the day and help referee, score-keep, setup, take-down, everything. We really come together as a judo family at this event and it gets everyone back to grass-roots judo. It really is one sport that just brings everyone together.”

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Kelowna’s crew was well represented this year by: Meg Baranieski, Chloe Gyori, Julius and Sebastian Behrisch, Adam and Sarah Clarke, Eduardo Aragon, Quinn Davis, Jeremiah Fehr, Torsten Godwin, Daniel Gyori, Lukas Gyori, Alexander and Andre Marinho, Braxton McFadden, Michelle Jorgenson, Brittany Morgan, Nathan and Oceane Gibon and Jake Vandermeer.

With candy as well as medals up for grabs, the Kelowna Judo Club’s members are already excited for next’s years tournament.

Visit kelownajudo.com for more information and club prices.

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