Congratulations to club member Christopher George (far left of photo) who won silver at the Scottish Open.

Chris fought in the under 100kg category in Edinburgh on the 18th of January 2014.

Click here to read part 1

It is often said that “judo is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers knock each other down." This became a rather apt, if not slightly amusing, analogy when Mark proceeded to pirouette, highlighting the novel similarity in momentum between throwing and figure skating. His point was that the 180 degree turn must be rapid, electric, with the body remaining upright because a hunched body is slow and ineffective. Upon consideration, there are many similarities; the discipline, mutual trust required and perhaps surprisingly to some, the gracefulness. This grace is personified when a technique appears effortless. Judo also teaches respect, fosters self discipline and utilises the ability to control emotions. Conversely, despite appearances, judo contradicts all that feels natural to an individual. It is also a battle within, between mind and body. The novice wills his arms to relax and throw whilst the body resists, is not so trusting and prevents the essential closeness. Therein, you must rebel against your instinct to rely on strength and endure a level of close proximity with another person that most touchy feely types would veer away from.
 
Mark explaining Ippon seoi nage to his captive audience
Mark remarks candidly, that judo is all about close contact. It takes place at that crucial moment when you are most vulnerable, where you can defend, attack, react. This is the moment, he proclaims, “that you can respond, improvise...feel the balance; the essence of judo...you must go full force and it works or it doesn’t work.” Therefore, you learn from experience, from trial and error. Naturally, the class was interspersed with explosive yet polished demonstrations of Huizinga’s many triumphs where he can be seen to toy with his opponent like a cat with a mouse. He states, “if your opponent knows what’s coming it’s very hard to throw them.” This may appear obvious but it can be very hard to launch your body swiftly in an ‘unpredictable’ fashion. Huizinga’s mental prowess strikes as analogous to a chess match with a rival who is always three steps ahead. Huizinga’s weapon is to attack from a defensive position when his opponents think they are in control. To conquer, you must outsmart with the mind yet be so skilled that the right moves are made instinctively, almost without thinking. This surmises the nature of the sport or ‘the gentle way’ as it is formidably known.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and a great deal was learnt by all. Mark kindly stayed to sign autographs and pose for pictures. He was then awarded a souvenir bottle of whisky as a gesture of thanks.

Posing for pictures: Myself with Mark




Article written by Nicola McIlraith (1st Kyu) 11.08.2013

“Our greatest glory consists not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

It made for a pleasant derailment of a typical humdrum Sunday afternoon when an Olympian came to the Granite City. Mark Huizinga (6th Dan) is a thrice over Olympic medallist earning Gold at the Sydney 2000 games.
 

He is a five time European champion who led an inspirational Masterclass on the 28th July 2013 at Aberdeen Sports Village, demonstrating a variety of impressive techniques. The Dutchman, who has an IQ of 142 and was an Officer in the Royal Netherlands Air Force, discovered his passion for judo at the tender age of four and attained black belt status at age 14. He excelled in local and regional competitions before progressing to a national and international level. Huizinga retired after the 2008 Olympics after an honourable career which also saw him gain World Bronze in 2005. He has been sharing his knowledge at judo clinics for the past 15 years.

It was a rare opportunity and privilege to learn from the best of the best. Thus, this was no ordinary class but rather a chance to witness how judo was meant to be performed; where each throw is executed with the finesse, precision and control of a showman. Huizinga’s passion for the sport was projected effortlessly onto the surrounding judoka who watched in sublime anticipation as he moved seamlessly from throw to throw. It is clear that his success stems as much from his disciplined work ethic and tenacity as it does from his expert technique. He referenced one particular throw which took him a year to polish. Many of the moves taught initially appeared complex but Mark’s ability to highlight the underlying relative simplicity of a hold or throw was conveyed in a lively and engaging manner.
Click here to read part 2
 
Jason Moore
The World Police & Fire Games is a biennial event for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers. WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world and is the largest sporting event ever to take place in Northern Ireland. In 2013 there were 56 sports held at 41 venues across Northern Ireland and in excess of 7,000 competitors from over 60 countries taking part.

Seven judo players from Great Britain took part in the judo event on the 3rd and 4th of August with various degrees of success.

Jason Moore, a training Constable at Nelson Street, Aberdeen competed in the mens under 90kg 30-39 year old category. Jason had a round robin in his pool which saw him defeat players from countries including Canada and Brazil. Jason won each of his fights by ippon (maximum score), including a victory on the ground against the Brazilian player, a nation renowned for their strength in ground work to take the Gold medal and get the British team off to a great start.

Jason's Gold also helped the Great Britain team achieve 3rd place in the final medal table with over 60 countries involved; finishing only behind the massive teams of the USA and Spain.

Jason will now enjoy a weeks holiday before returning to training to prepare to defend his British Police Title in Lancashire on the 14th of September 2013.
On Saturday the 5th of October 2013, Aberdeen Judo Club will be hosting the Granite City Championships. The competition is part of Judo Scotland's Grand Prix circuit.

The competition caters for four age bands and seniors. This year the event has been changed from our usual day in November due to the Scottish age bands now being held at that time.

Venue: Beach Leisure Centre, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen, AB24 5NR

Entry Fee: £19, online entries through Judo Scotland or Download the Entry Form here

We look forward to seeing you there.