Regina set to host a pair of Judo competitions this weekend


Some of the best Judo competitors from across the country will be in the Queen City this weekend.

Judo Saskatchewan will be holding a pair of events, The Sask. Open and the Western Canada Open Kata Championships.

This will mark the first time the Western Canada Kata Championships will be held in Saskatchewan. A kata competition is where judo athletes perform a kata in a competition setting, with five presiding judges, against other judoka who perform the same kata.

The Sask. Open is a Judo Canada sanctioned event with competitors trying to secure points to solidify their position in the national rankings.

Jim Wiens with Judo Saskatchewan says they have seen an increase in athletes over the last couple of years.

“We’re back up to around 500 athletes in the province.”

He also noted Judo has become more popular in the rural areas of the province.

“It’s really started to develop in small towns.”

Wiens says a big reason for the increased popularity in the smaller communities is because there isn’t much equipment that’s required to compete.

Some of the competitors in Judo are young athletes who are learning the sport for the first time but Wiens also added they have adults return to the sport after they competed at a young age.

There is a lot of work that goes into competitions like the Sask. Open. The athletes begin practicing at their local clubs and as they try to earn their belts like in other mixed martial arts sports beginning with the white belt. Wiens says once the competitors gain confidence from their local events they then move on to events like the Sask. Open.

The primary skill that is taught with Judo according to Wiens, is how to fall down without injuring yourself.

“The whole idea of the sport is get control of your opponent and take them to the ground and control their body. And then if you don’t get a full score for the takedown then you pin them there and hold them down.”

The Sask. Open will be held at the City of Regina Fieldhouse all weekend. The Western Canada Open Kata Championships will take place Regina Y Judo Club on Friday, with Saturday’s action at the City of the Regina Fieldhouse.

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