By Tamas Mondovics
Members of the Florida School of Judo had every reason to be pleased with the results of their participation in the Sunshine State Games held last month in Lakeland.
The event is considered the school’s biggest tournament of the year as far as participants outside the club hosted tournaments.
Under the direction of Professor Ed Maley, the school came home with 11 Gold, 11 Silver, 10 Bronze and 6 fourth place totaling 38 medals out of the possible 47, the largest group the school has ever taken to the event, representing all four Florida School of Judo sites; Campo YMCA, New Tampa YMCA, South Tampa YMCA, and the Brandon Recreation Center.
“I am very happy with the results,” Maley said. “This was a very successful tournament for us especially with such a large group that took part in the event.”
While the tourney was not the first time for the school, it was the first for a number of its students who did not disappoint their fellow students and instructors with the results, which were said to be better than expected.
“We had several first-time white belt competitors who took third place,” said Florida School of Judo instructor, Merry Alaynick, adding, “This tournament is a great rallying time for our school; we get to see and support our sister dojos.
To prepare for the event, Alaynick said that the students were all encouraged to come to class as often as they could, to do outside aerobic activities, and in class to do lots of uchi-komis (form fitting for throws).
Repeat first-place winners included: Timothy Stahr, Jeff Harrington, Merry Alaynick, Hannah Wagner, and Maxwell Alaynick.
Sporting a Gold medal for the first time were Jessica Alaynick, Hannah Wagner, Maxwell Alaynick, Christopher Alaynick, Richard Henderson, John Desmet, Timothy Stahr, and Merry Alaynick & Jeff Harington won first place in Kata competition.
Next on the agenda for the school is attending the U.S. Jr. Open Judo Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
For more information about the Florida School of Judo, please visit www.floridaschoolofjudo.net or call the Campo YMCA at 684-1371.