Faye Allen Kata Tournament and Clinics Combine with Matwork Clinic for a Great Day in D.C.

September 28, 2014

 

Faye Allen Kata Clinic Participants

Faye Allen Kata Clinic Participants

The 2014 Faye Allen Kata Tournament and clinic, augmented with a special newaza (matwork) clinic given by 2004 Olympian Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, was held on Saturday, September 27th on a beautiful spring-like day in Washington, D.C.  Sponsored by D.C. Judo and sanctioned by Shufu Judo Yudanshakai, the event drew thirty competitors to the early morning newaza clinic, followed by an additional influx of judokas for a full day’s worth of kata competition and two parallel kata clinics.

 

Terence McPartland, head sensei of D.C. Judo, along with a “cast of thousands” of support, prepared the Edgewood Arts Center for an active, judo-filed day that saw an Olympian, two of the USA’s international kata teams just back from the world championships last week, and a number of senior senseis including Edwin Takemori, Jim Takemori, John Morrisson,  Roy Englert, Fran Vall, Diane Tamai Jackson, and Karen Whilden in attendance, several of whom were kata judges and principal clinicians working with the judokas in two parallel clinic tracks.

 

Rhadi Ferguson began the day early with his aggressive style of matwork.  Dr. Ferguson, trained as a mechanical engineer and who holds a Ph.D. in education, used his highly interactive style to connect immediately with the judokas in attendance.  There was no dozing during his 2+ hour clinic, in which he reviewed techniques designed to dominate and intimidate an opponent.

 

The clinic was followed by the Faye Allen Memorial Kata Tournament.  Allen was a five-time national nage no kata champion and outstanding teacher and coach for kata, whose untimely passing many years ago was a great and unexpected loss to the judo community.

 

A total of 17 teams competed or demonstrated the various katas for podium honors or for promotion credit for their next rank examination.  Karl Tamai and his sister, Diane Tamai Jackson, were among the kata luminaries in attendance, and they demonstrated their national championship level Nage No Kata for the group, followed by Rob Gouthro and Lisa Capriotti, who demonstrated a highly dynamic Goshin Jutsu. Both these teams were in top form, having just returned from last weekend’s World Kata Championships held in Malaga, Spain.

 

After the lunch served by members of D.C.Judo, two parallel clinics were conducted for the remainder of the afternoon, with Sensei Takemori leading a group in Nage No Kata, and Senseis Jackson and Whilden leading another group in a detailed analysis and practice of Goshin Jutsu.

Senseis Jackson, Takemori, and Whilden

Senseis Jackson, Takemori, and Whilden

At the end of the afternoon, Karen Whilden said, “We had a wonderful turnout.  There were lots of people for Nage and lots of people for Goshin Jutsu, and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves – people from rank beginners to people who had gone to Worlds, and I think they all took away something and had a good time.”

 

And from Diane Jackson:  “One of our goals here is to make sure we develop local kata and have a high level of judging.  We had five judges on one mat and three judges on the other mat, and we (ran) all five katas.  It was real good to see kata being more and more popular, and the level of proficiency is really increasing – people are seeing the judo that has to be demonstrated through the kata and really having a better understanding of the kata.”

 

Even Edwin Takemori had something good to say about the afternoon.  “It was a good turnout. I think that they’re willing to learn, whether they are kata layers or shiai players.  They learned something a little bit different about the way kata is taught.  Just because everybody does it a certain way all the time, all of a sudden here’s someone who does it completely different.  In the past: ‘What comes after Uki Otoshi?  Seoinage.  What comes after Seoinage?  Kata Guruma.  What comes after kata guruma?’  I didn’t quite do it that way.  I said, OK, for Uki Otoshi, what throws are related to it? That’s what my challenge is for them.  What throw do you think it’s related to, and why?  I want shiai players to become interested, too.  Are we trying to keep shiai players out of kata?  No – I’m trying to get shiai players to be embracing kata.   One of the biggest problems with today’s shiai players is that they think, ‘Why do I need it?’  Did it harm Jim Bregman?  No.  Did it harm me?  No.  Hayward Nishioka did Nage No Kata at the All Japan Championships with Jim Bregman.  And Hayward is a pretty good shiai player (fifth place in World Championships), and it didn’t hurt him any.  So they have to understand that shiai players can’t get hurt because of learning kata.  It would probably improve their shiai.”

 

Terence McPartland reminded all in attendance of the upcoming John Anderson Development Tournament, to be held on October 18th at nearby Trinity Washington University followed by the Takemori Open, to be held at Dematha High School on Saturday, October 25th.

 

Participants in the Rhadi Ferguson Newaza Clinic

Participants in the Rhadi Ferguson Newaza Clinic

 

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