The English open was tough today.
First on was Glenn Miller who fought Abbas Salihu. The fight was going well, both players quite even but Abbas eventually won at full-time by two shidos. His next fight was against Nathaniel Alcaraz-Stapleton who could Glenn with a huge uchimata right at the start of the contest. This competition hasn’t changed my opinion of what I want to get Glenn working on next, I think he was just unlucky and still fatigued from last week.
Natasha fought Coralie Bonvin in her first fight, again the fight was going well but then Natasha was held down for ippon. Her second fight was a against a player she has fought a lot and never beaten – Emma Imrie, and she lost when her O Uchi Gari was countered for ippon. She did fight better against Emma though and I think both her fights had positive aspects too them. We have already decided what we want to go away and work on.
Next up was Mike Stewart, his first fight was a battle against Ian Bryne who trains at Camberley judo club. The fight went the full five minutes and was a demonstration of some amazing agility on Mike’s part but just a warm up for what was to come. His second fight was a short fight with John Walters which Mike won with a strangle.
Mike’s 3rd fight was nothing short of amazing. It showed some outstanding gymnastic ability on Mike’s part and a very high attack rate on the part of his opponent – Jon Spencer. Mike twisted, spun and somersaulted off of a sode, several yoko tomoe nages, several uchimatas and so much more. The fight went to golden score and then to hantei but before the referees got the flags even they were applauding! It was obvious the flags were going to go to Jon Spencer but it was equally obvious that Mike’s ability to avoid being thrown provided much the entertainment. Quite a few referees, players and coaches congratulated the players on the fight after. In honesty I haven’t a clue right now what to work on with Mike next but it looks like we’re moving him to u66kg.
The last player on was Josh Plant, always small for the u100kg he said he found his first opponent – Adam Hall very strong. He lost to Adam and then fought Neil Corin in the repercharge. This was a good fight, Josh was winning but was caught by a maki komi near the end of the fight. Josh is possibly the easiest of the four to decide on what I want to work on next. This is not because his judo is bad, in fact it is very strong it is just that I have noticed areas to work on with him.
Overall a good weekend, two medals and a 5th in the British schools and some great fights today. I wasn’t expecting medals today as this is the first time any of them had competed at this level, Mike and Josh both finished 7th.