Judo returns to Carcross

It had been more than a decade since judokas competed in a tournament setting in Carcross. The absence of competitive judo in Carcross was thrown to the mat on Saturday. Kuzushi!


It had been more than a decade since judokas competed in a tournament setting in Carcross.

The absence of competitive judo in Carcross was thrown to the mat on Saturday. Kuzushi!

Carcross’s Hiroshikai Judo Club hosted Whitehorse’s three clubs with 28 young judokas taking part at the Carcross Judo Championships at the Ghuch Tla Community School on Saturday.

Carcross used to have a judo club more than a decade ago until its sensei moved from the Yukon.

“He was an RCMP officer stationed here and when he got relocated the club disbanded because there was no teacher,” said Hiroshikai sensei Robert Bellon.

“Just off the top of my head, it was about 15 years ago.”

As it happens, Bellon’s Hiroshikai club closed in Whitehorse following last season. So when Bev James decided to reopen the Carcross club, it was great timing for Bellon and his Hiroshikai club, which formally operated in Whitehorse’s Holy Family School.

“An RCMP officer started it up 15 years ago and my son was in it, and then he moved and it folded,” said James. “So I started taking my grandsons into Whitehorse for judo and the senseis there started pressuring me to start a club.

“I’ve taken judo off and on for 30 or 40 years, but more off,” added the brown belt. “I said I didn’t know anything but they said they’d help me. So they supplied mats and they supplied an instructor. All I have to do is paperwork and make coffee.”

The Carcross chapter of Judo Yukon hit the ground running. Not only did it have the most competitors on Saturday with 10, the club currently has 18 students, “and it looks like there are a few more interested,” said Bellon. “So it’s growing quite fast.

“Every Wednesday I’ve been coming out and helping out and I’m really enjoying it.”

Having the club is a win (or Ippon!) for the Carcross community, said James.

“I’m really glad they talked me into it because this is going to be really good for our kids,” said James. “I’ve lived here, off and on, since 1982 and this is the most enthused I’ve seen the kids and I think it’s really good for them.”

The Carcross championships saw three judokas win three medals.

Emiko Teramura of Shiroumakai captured three gold, with two in knowledge and one in the U13 girls under-39 kilogram division.

Jade McLeod of Hiroshikai won two silver in knowledge and a gold in the U15 boys under-50 kilogram class.

Shiroumakai’s Hannah King took silver on the mats in the U13 girls under-39 kilogram division and two bronze in knowledge.

After Saturday, Shiroumakai is in the lead for the Yukon Championships League Cup with 89 points, ahead of Northern Lights with 45 and Hiroshikai with 30.

Northern Lights leads in the Best Performance standings, in front of Shiroumakai and Hiroshikai.



Boys U9 –26kg

Gold: Luke Roberts (Golden Horn)

Silver: Mitchell Rudolph (Shiroumakai)

Bronze: Kenai Bryden (Hiroshikai)

Boys U9 –29kg

Gold: Aodhan Nowell (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Devyn Rollins (Shiroumakai)

Bronze: Tristan Cruickshank (Northern Lights)

Boys U9 –38kg

Gold: Zacharia Lennie (Hiroshikai)

Silver: Jerome Hoeden (Northern Lights)

Bronze: Diego Smarch (Northern Lights)

Mixed U11 –30kg

Gold: Cassie Jensen (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Glade Roberts (Golden Horn)

Girls U11 –45kg

Gold: Kate Muller (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Sage Smarch (Hiroshikai)

Bronze: Aliya Grant (Hiroshikai)

Boys U11 –45kg

Gold Scottie James HRK

Silver: Kaajineek Neumann (Northern Lights)

Bronze: Coin Shepherd-Bryden (Hiroshikai)

Boys U11 +45kg 

Gold: Jadon Leenders (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Liam Rollins (Shiroumakai)

Girls U13 –39kg 

Gold: Emiko Teramura (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Hannah King (Shiroumakai)

Boys U15 –50kg 

Gold: Jade McLeod (Hiroshikai)

Silver: Columbus MacKinnon (Northern Lights)

Boys U18 –90kg 

Gold: Jacob Hall (Hiroshikai)

Silver: Dominic Smith-Johns (Hiroshikai)

Bronze: Darrien James-Tizya (Hiroshikai)

Knowledge (practical) – beginner

Gold: Tai McClelland (Northern Lights)

Silver: Jade McLeod (Hiroshikai)

Bronze: Hannah King (Shiroumakai)

Knowledge (practical) – intermediate

Gold: Emiko Teramura (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Jadon Leenders (Shiroumakai)

Bronze: Paige Poelman (Northern Lights)

Knowledge (theory) – beginner 

Gold: Tai McClelland (Northern Lights)

Silver: Jade McLeod (Hiroshikai)

Bronze: Hannah King (Shiroumakai)

Knowledge (theory) – intermediate 

Gold: Emiko Teramura (Shiroumakai)

Silver: Paige Poelman (Northern Lights)

Bronze: Liam Rollins (Shiroumakai)

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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