Judokans compete against the best
Two members of the Swift Current Judo Club have been testing themselves against some top level competition in the early stages of the season.
Toru Iwassa and Ghrandozz Aguilar recently took part in the Quebec and Ontario Open events.
Aguilar, 15, competed in the Quebec Open in the 66 KG category when he finished with three wins and two losses.
“I did really good until that last fight when I had a concussion,” said the blue belt.
Aguilar has been a part of the Swift Current Judo Club for the past eight years. He enjoyed competing at the Quebec Open, especially because his weight category was chalk full of competition.
“I think I was on fire maybe because I was kind of into it until the last fight.”
Aguilar was unable to compete at the Ontario Open due to his injury. He is hoping to qualify for Canada Games in the 73 KG category.
Iwaasa, 18, was in action at both events in the +100 Kilogram, U21 and Senior categories.
“Quebec went alright. I definitely knew I could have done better. I placed second in U21. I made it to the final and I lost to a guy from the Northwest Territories. I have beat him before, but I guess it wasn’t my day and he ended up beating me.”
Iwaasa also fought the following day in the senior division. “I did alright, not as good as I thought I would have done. It was a good learning experience for me. I fought a lot of people from different countries and I was able to take something out of it.”
He had similar results at the Ontario when he placed second in U21. He won his first two matches and then lost again to Wilson Elliot in the final.
In the Senior Division he opened with a win over an athlete from Haiti. He added a win over an Ontario opponent before losing to Ontario and Quebec opponents.
“I think right now I know what I have to work on. I’ve beaten him [Elliot] many times in the past and I think it’s just really training and grinding on the techniques that I do that will give me the better edge next time I fight him.”
Next up for Iwaasa is the Edmonton International Tournament in March. It is an event that he attends every year with opponents from a few different countries. Later that month he will head to British Columbia for the Pacific International Championship, which last year included multiple countries, including Japan.
He will also be competing at Nationals. He won Nationals in 2017 and won bronze in U21 in 2018.
Swift Current’s Talon Moen (top) was in control of his match during the Swift Current Judo Club’s Beginner Tournament earlier this season.