2014 Maryland Open Championships

January 21, 2014



 by Kurt Tamai

On Saturday, January 18, 2014 the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum provided an excellent setting for the 2014 Maryland Open Championships.  The multipurpose athletics facility provided plenty of room for four competition areas with balcony seating for excellent spectator views.  Maryland Judo, Inc. President, Bobby Donaldson, was on hand to present the trophies to the outstanding competitors and team champions.

Tournament hosts College Park (Maryland) Judo Club took home the Junior Team trophy with tough competition from runner up Sport Judo from Springfield, Virginia, and 3rd place Seigenuery Dojo in Baltimore, Maryland.  The field included more than 20 teams from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Maryland.  Jamie Towers brought in a spirited team from New York and captured 4 Maryland Championships.  On the local battle for individual Maryland titles, Sport Judo led the gold medal count with 7 gold medals, while College Park Judo Club came away with 5 tournament champions.  Wall-2-Wall Martial Arts, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Maryland Judo from Montgomery County, Maryland, and Seigenuery each had 3 tournament championships.  Jason Morris Judo (Albany, NY) and Harrisburg (PA) Judo made strong showings against the traditionally strong, Wall-2-Wall, Southern Maryland Jujitsu, Sport Judo, Maryland Judo, and Seigenuery clubs.

Several judoka competed in multiple divisions, giving up either size or age while gaining additional match experience.  McKenzie Samuels of Jamie Towers, Makeda Eames of Seigenuery, Rico Warrick of College Park, and Morgan Lehockey of Wall-2-Wall were all two-title champions at this year’s Maryland State Championships.  For her efforts, Makeda Eames was awarded the Outstanding Competitor Award.

In the senior competition, Sport Judo took home the team title over the US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD) and 3rd place College Park Judo Club, both of which fielded challenging teams.  Sport Judo, coached by Sir Maurice Allen and Tim Moser, brought home 3 tournament champions.  Edwin Takemori’s Naval Academy team produced two tournament champions as did Chuck Wall’s Wall-2-Wall team and Tim Redden’s Charlottesville (VA) Judo Team.  College programs from US Naval Academy, Villanova, Drexel, Georgetown (Washington Judo Club), University of Virginia (Charlottesville Judo), and University of Maryland (College Park Judo Club) had another opportunity to square off with their collegiate rivals, though most college programs are not at full strength due to the semester break.  The Virginia State Championships (Feb 15), the Ken Tamai Memorial (Mar 15), and the Liberty Bell Classic (Apr 5) will provide an excellent series of tournaments as the spring semester progresses.

Although no individual senior competitor was able to capture two titles, Jani Palmer of Washington Judo and Russell Best of DC Judo both fought their way to 2 medals with 1st and 2nd place finishes.   Russel Best was named the outstanding senior competitor.

The kata competition included 3 teams squaring off in 3 katas, with each team competing in multiple katas.  Connor and Duncan Waite of Philadelphia Judo captured top honors by winning both of their events.  Mark Smith & Laurel Faust of Hui o Judo and Grace Hessler & Molly Sauter of Bushikai performed excellent kata in competition for the gold medal.  The kata judges took time after the competition to provide feedback on the scoring and suggestions for kata improvements.



Photo Gallery


Don’t let your skills deteriorate while you’re watching old Twilight Zone reruns during the shutdown!  Check out this first list of videos that can help keep your technique sharp and your body fit.



Twilight Zone Reruns

Coach Certification

SafeSport Certification is now required for all USJF registered clubs. If you have already completed the course and submitted a copy of your certificate, you do not need to resubmit. For more information or to take the course, please visit https://athletesafety.org/

Heads Up concussion training, through the CDC’s website, is a requirement for all members of your USJF registered club who function as teachers at any time. Please advise all of your instructors and assistant instructors of this requirement. The training can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/