Judokas throw down at Selkirk Tourney

From white belt through to black, 30 judokas (judo participants) competed at the Selkirk Judo Tournament at Selkirk Elementary School Saturday. The tournament, which is the first of the year, was hosted by the Yamagoshi Judo

From white belt through to black, 30 judokas (judo participants) competed at the Selkirk Judo Tournament at Selkirk Elementary School Saturday. The tournament, which is the first of the year, was hosted by the Yamagoshi Judo Club, one of three Judo clubs operating in Whitehorse.

With 10 divisions splitting up the judokas, the divisions were small but the competition was still fierce. A number of matches went to overtime and split decisions.

Max Brewster, 12, who finished first in the boys U-13, 52-kilogram division, had two of his three wins decided in overtime.

“It went into sudden death and I won by vote—I got the most throws in,” said Brewster, recalling his match against Erik Vasseur, who finished second in the division. “That was the hardest I’ve had to work in a fight in a long time.

“Every throw that went in, he tried to counter, but I just stepped back a bit.”

That is not to say the tournament didn’t feature some more decisive battles.

Brady Ford, 9, who captured the mixed U-10, 30-kilograms division, won all three of his matches with a takedown.

“I feel pretty proud of it—it was my first time doing this,” said Ford. “Winning makes me very happy because I’ve never got a medal before. So this is my first medal.”

Ford’s success may mark the start of a lifelong love with judo, which he hopes to teach someday.

“(When I get a) black belt, I’m going to teach judo for free for all the people,” said Ford.

However, victory does not come without its victims. In his fight against Tyler Hutchinson, who finished second, Hutchinson suffered a knock to the head during the decisive takedown.

“I do it for fun—I’m not doing it to hurt anybody,” said Ford. “I accidentally hurt him when I took him down. He hit his head. I didn’t want to do that, so after the match I went to see if Tyler’s OK and he was all right.”

Safety precautions reach beyond foam mats and splitting competitors by weight, skill level, gender and age. Only the adult judokas are allowed to use submission holds.

“Kids learn the throws and they can do hold-downs,” said Dan Poelman, president and officials chair of Judo Yukon. “For a hold-down you have to hold the person down in a recognized technique—the official will tell you if it’s a recognized technique by basically saying the hold-down is in effect. To get a full point it’s 25 seconds and then the match is over.”


Mixed / U-12 / -30KG

1. Tayler Mitchell

2. Carrie Kemshead

3. Amy Kemshead

3. Isaac Pumphrey

Mixed / U-10 / -36KG

1. Brady Ford

2. Tyler Hutchinson

3. Lizzy Sparling

Mixed / U-10 / -30KG

1. Carrie Kemshead

2. Rene Koep

Mixed / U-11 / -43KG

1. Dion Sheldon

2. Tristan Ledgerwood

3. Chelsey Leas

Mixed / U-13 / -55KG

1. Sam Christopherson

2. Woojin Jung

3. Ashley McCallum

Boys / U-13 / -62KG

1. Nicholas Widdes

2. Finley Sparling

3. Tavis McCallum

Mixed / U-13 / -47KG

1. Natasha Gordon

2. Andrew Jensen

3. Jacy Sam

Boys / U-13 / -52KG

1. Max Brewster

2. Erik Vasseur

3. Jake Njootli

Mixed / U-15 / -60KG

1. Tanisha Leas

2. Dusty Knorr

Mixed – Seniors

1. Dan Poelman

2. Dane Vasseur

3. Sean Stark

3. Delaney Prysnuk

Contact Tom Patrick at


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