Seniors’ class promotion testing
Our Seniors’ rank promotion testing continues this week and continue through the remainder of the year. Last week, the following people passed their promotion testing and were awarded their new belts by Osugi Sensei.

Jeff Suzuki-Yonkyu (Green Belt)
Tae Ho Kim-Yonkyu (Green Belt)
Miguel Maia-Yonkyu (Green Belt)

Congratulations again on your promotions! (video) Your next milestone is Sankyu (3rd rank Brown Belt). Focus on improving your technique, attending class, and look forward to more competitions next year. This also goes applies to our Juniors as well. We will keep an eagle-eye on you, your progress, your character, and attendance. Do your best! It is your own journey.

First and only In-House Juniors’ tournament
We had our first Juniors’ In-House Tournament last Friday 3 December.

In each division, the matches were in a round-robin format. Like our mock tournament matches that we have been practicing over the last few weeks, awards will be given out for the best performances. Congratulations for participating in the first of many competitions! Win or lose, there is always sometime to learn from and improve.

The results
Rookie 1
Quinn Contractor
Jonas Akhavan-1st
James Mackin-2nd
Felipe Millan-3rd

Rookie 2
Micah Shur-1st
Eugene Eduoarzin-2nd
Brandon Monzon-3rd

Ally Leang-1st
Erik Euler-Bravo-2nd**
Dan Gilbert-Katz-3rd**
Isabella Barron

**-Correction-in their match, Dan was mistakenly awarded the win over Erik. Erik actually receives 2nd place and Dan receives 3rd place.

Thank you to the parents for their support and thank you to our Senior members for running this tournament.

Kenji Osugi Sensei
Mike Trelinski Sensei
George Ishii
Yazmin Bojaca Sensei

Stefano Cossu
Brian Selem
Doug Baba Sensei

Jerry Hazemoto Sensei

The TWITCH recording of our Juniors’ In-House Tournament can be seen here.(video)

Dojo to Dojo scrimmage @ Hollywood Judo Dojo
Head Instructor, Phillippe Morotti and Hollywood Judo Dojo hosted a Dojo-to-Dojo scrimmage at their Dojo and Goltz Judo Club from Claremont, and Ronin Judo Club from Vandenburg AFB.

Representing Sawtelle Judo Dojo
Emma Chacon
Curtis Minami
Brian Selem
Maurice Axel Cruz-Morales
George Ishii
Jeff Suzuki
Miguel Maia
Stefano Cossu
Tae Ho Kim
Eduardo Medrano

For some of them, our newly minted Green Belts, it was their first competition and valuable shiai experience. For our experienced Brown Belts, it was their first matches in over 21 months. Naturally, some were nervous. They all learned lessons that they will bring back to our Dojo and work to improve their Judo skills. Here are scrimmage highlights.(video)

Overall, it was great Judo community event.

The results from Sawtelle
Kenji Osugi
Mike Trelinski

Other Senseis in attendance
Julius Bhang
Yazmin Bojaca
Jerry Hazemoto

After the scrimmage, Curtis Minami and Stefano Cossu performed an impromptu Nage no Kata demonstration. (video) The pair have learning and practicing Nage no Kata over the last few weeks. This is the first of seven Katas, or forms, which are required for rank promotion starting with Shodan, 1st degree Black Belt. It is a series of fifteen techniques executed right and left-handed, in sequence. Performing this improves your Judo as the basics hand and body movements are essential in executing these techniques with precision. Kata competitions, a judged event, are regularly held throughout the world.

After the kata, Hollywood Judo Dojo provided pizza and drinks.

Hollywood Judo Dojo
3929 Middlebury St.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
323 666-8146

Unfortunately, we had technical difficulties with the TWITCH live stream this afternoon.

For our Seniors, remember that Hollywood Judo Dojo holds open mat randori practice on Saturday 1:00-2:30 pm. You are invited to practice there. Let us know before you visit.

Year-end Holiday Beach Party Signup Genius
Now, just a week away, we will have our first-ever outdoor Annual Holiday Party on the beach on Sunday from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm, 12 December on Dockweiler Beach, off Imperial Highway. It will be an outdoor BBQ/Potluck party combined with our regular awards and promotion ceremony acknowledging everyone’s’ accomplishments and contributions to our Dojo. Being a La Nina year, we may have a warm, dry, and sunny day on the beach on this Sunday with temperatures in the 60’s.

We will have lunch on the beach, while we will congregate around the firepits on this beach to stay warm as the polar bears, take a plunge in the surf. After our official ceremonies end, we could have games and races on the beach like our beach workouts.

We will be transporting awnings, tarps, tables, and supplies to the beach. Setup on the beach will begin @ 10:00 am.

Another email will be sent out by Wednesday with more details and reminders for our annual holiday party.

IJF Lisbon World Championship Kata 2021
By Lee Pasteris and Fred Dagdagan Senseis

The 2021 World Kata Championship was a unique experience this year in Lisbon, Portugal. Last year, the tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic. There were many forms and paperwork to fill out for COVID protocols and PCR tests that were required. Eight days before our departure then 72 hours before our arrival. Athletes were required to be tested upon arrival at hotel check-in and, more test before the event and a final PCR test at the day before departure from Portugal. Six total eye-watering nose swabs for the entire trip.

The event hotel was a bubble for all participants and were required to stay within the hotel property. The venue was located close to the hotel and all athletes were required to take the event bus to and from the gymnasium at a nearby university.

There was one small practice room available at the hotel. No practice was available at the venue except for the 15 minutes before the beginning of competition.

Four USA Kata teams from across the country competed in Nage No Kata, Kime No Kata, Katame No Kata and Ju No Kata. USA had five Kata judges attend. The kata team had a team manager and coach to support the US Team competitors. Overall, 206 competitors from 25 countries and 4 continents.

This was our second World Kata Championship, we competed in 2018 in Cancun, Mexico, in 2019, only the top three teams in the US competed in Korea. The 2020 tournament was cancelled.

The day of competition.

The format for the competition is that every Kata is one division, whereas previously there was a men’s team, a women’s team, and a mix team. This year every Kata was one division. We were competing against the best in the World. There were 20 teams in Juno Kata, which were divided into two pools. The top three finishers go on to compete in the final.

There were three mats set up for the two-day event. We were the fourth team in Pool A to compete. The competition area was a 10m x 10m mat. In the US, we practice and compete on an 8m x 8m mat. In the 15 minutes before the competition, we practiced our distancing among the other 206 athletes.

Before stepping onto the mat, there was disarray at the queuing area for belt checks, Covid sanitizing baskets and protocols. At the start of our Ju No Kata, we missed the bow-in mark which threw our first set off.

However, upon settling in, the second and third set went smoothly. Then we again missed the bow-out mark. It was very disappointing.

We are encouraged by our USA team athletes and coaches to keep fine tuning our Kata and gain competitive experience. We are now looking forward to next year where the World Kata Championship with be in Poland, the Pan Am in Brazil and the US Senior Nationals in Florida.

Our other teams fared better. In Kime, our team finished first in their pool, but finished last in the finals. Our Nage and Katame teams finished in the middle of the first pool of competition.

Post competition.

We took advantage of being in Portugal and traveled throughout the country for five days. It is a small country, about the same size as Indiana or five times smaller than California. We traveled from Lisbon to Porto, the largest northernmost city by a high-speed train taking 3 hours. We spent a couple of days in Duuro Valley, their wine country and then by car all the way down south to Barrocal for another two days. We then toured Lisbon for a day before flying back home. It is a very beautiful country. We will definitely go back there again.

 A message from Osugi Sensei on Kata practice
Hi to all kata enthusiasts and those who do kata for promotions,

I guess that is all that I wish to let you know that this Saturday, December 4th, is the last kata session for this year. If you miss this Saturday’s session, you will have to wait ‘til next year before you have opportunity to learn kata. Oh BTW, it is the last free session, next year, we will start charging fees again, fee details to follow.

The first session for 2022 is January 15th. We will continue to have sessions on first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month if there is fifth Saturday. We are also planning to do a Kata Clinic on Saturday, January 22nd, or Sunday January 23rd. Kata subject, place, and time TBD.

The January clinic is in preparation for the USJF promotion board. The USJF promotion board will meet in mid-April. Remember, all promotion paperwork must be into USJF six (6) weeks prior to the USJF promotion meeting. Also remember all promotion must be approved by Nanka before they are submitted to USJF. Don’t wait ‘til the last minute to get everything completed.

Please review the new promotion form 20 for new promotion requirements, especially for rokudan and above. It is time to ask Santa for kata certifications.

Good Luck and see you at the kata practice,

Kenji Osugi

IJF Rules
For those of you unfamiliar with Judo match rules, here are sources to review the current IJF Judo regulations. I will include this in our newsletter for everyone to study. These regulations may change in 2022 given that after each Olympics, the International Judo Federation (IJF) commission conducts a thorough review of Judo competition over the last Olympic cycle in order to enhance “positive” Judo for the competitors, and the viewing audience.

The Do’s and Dunst’s in Learning Judo (some words of wisdom)
By Yoshitsugu (Yoshiaki) Yamashita, 16 February 1865 –26 October 1935
The 1st 10th Degree Black Belt (posthumously)

1. Study the correct way of applying the throws. Throwing with brute force is not the correct way of winning in JUDO. The most important point is to win with technique.

2. First learn offensive. You will see that defense is included in offensive. You will make no progress learning defense first.

3. Do not dislike falling. Learn the timing of the throw while you are being thrown.

4. Practice your throws by moving your body freely as possible in all directions. Do not lean to one side or get stiff. A great deal of repetition in a throw will be rewarded with a good throw.

5. Increase the number of practices and contests. You will never make any progress without accumulating a number of practices.

6. Do not select your opponents (which means do not say that you do or do not like to practice with a certain person). Everyone has his own specialty. You must try to learn all of them and make them your own.

7. Never neglect to improve the finer points. Practicing without any effort to improve will result in slow progress. Always recall your habits, as well as those of your opponent, while making improvement.

8. In practice put your heart and soul into it. It will interfere with your progress in practice if you keep on without this spirit.

9. Never forget what your instructor or higher-ranking members teach you. During practice you will make great progress if you keep in mind what they have said to you.

10. Try to continue your practice as much as possible. Applying half-way will result in a very grave situation in your progress.

11. Watch and study throws as much as possible when trying to improve and advance. The technique and mind are just like the front and back of one’s hand, meaning they are very closely related.

12. Refrain from overeating and drinking. Remember that overeating and drinking will bring an end to your practice and JUDO.

13. Always try to think of improvement, and do not think that you are too good. The latter is very easy to do while learning JUDO.

14. There is no end in learning JUDO.