By Tamas Mondovics

The Florida School of Judo at the Campo YMCA in Valrico was pleased to announce the results of hard work, commitment and dedication on the part of two of its longtime members earlier this month.

The twin children of Sensei Merry Alaynick, Christopher and Alexander Alaynick, received the Shodan (first degree black belt) in judo from their instructor, Professor Ed Maley, of the Florida School of Judo.

Judo belts for juniors go from white to yellow, orange, green, blue then purple, followed by three degrees of brown, then to black.

Chris and Alex, 18, both sporting several state titles and having competed nationally, began taking judo at the Campo YMCA when they turned seven, setting the example for their younger siblings, Maxwell, 13 and sister, Jessica,10.

Joined by their parents, Merry and Chuck, Judo is a family affair in the Alaynick home and has been for more than a decade.

“Their passion for judo will be something they take with them in their future endeavors,” Merry said. “Chris is currently training for the next level of judo competition with the 2020 Olympics in his sights, while Alex intends to join the United States Army and then go to college after he is discharged.” The boys’ accomplishments continue to give testimony to the school’s success, which has been enjoying the spotlight for years.

Today the school at the Campo Y is boasting a healthy-sized group with close to 70 members sporting  countless numbers of wins and gold medals in all its divisions and dozens of tourneys; all under Maley’s direction, who at the age of 82, is still going strong teaching classes on Thursday nights and Saturdays.

The Florida School of Judo has more certified black belt instructors than any other school in the state of Florida.

For more information regarding the Florida School of Judo and Prof. Maley, please visit or call the Campo YMCA at 684-1371.


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