Jitsu throw down at Nationals

Celebrating success: the Jitsu boys look delighted with their achievements. Image: Magno CarlosCelebrating success: the Jitsu boys look delighted with their achievements. Image: Magno Carlos

Last weekend saw the Newcastle University Jiu Jitsu Club travel to Northampton for the annual Randori Nationals competition, where they enjoyed great success.

The Randori (which loosely translates to ‘freestyle practice’ in Japanese), is a two-day event open to all Jiu Jitsu clubs across the country and for all levels of experience, from beginner to black-belt.

Incorporating two competitions for each category: standing throwing (nage-waza) and ground fighting (gatamae-waza), the competition was attended by seven of the club’s Jitsuka.

Both days saw four-hour training sessions for attendees with seminars run by many of the most experienced martial artists in the Jiu Jitsu Foundation. Some of these instructors have over forty-years of experience under their belts, making it a real privilege to be taught by such seasoned professionals.

This was also a wonderful opportunity to meet other practitioners of the art from other clubs throughout the country, as well as allowing them to train with a range of new people.

1st place finish for Shawn Cavanagh

The first competition is open to all competitors regardless of belt and involves a three-minute long ne-waza ground-fight, in which a combination of arm-locks, chokes and restraining techniques are used to pin an opponent.

Here, Newcastle were very successful. Everyone was able to come away with at least one win, and yellow belt Magno Carlos put in an impressive performance to come away with a bronze medal in his category.

The club’s instructor, Adam Walton, was able to overcome his opponents to also win bronze whilst University Alumnus Shawn Cavanagh was able to grasp victory in the dying moments of an incredibly tough final, to take home a gold medal.

Next up, was the tachi-waza (standing fighting) that adheres to similar rules to Judo and involves competitors employing skilful leg-sweeps and impactful throws in order to put their opponent on the ground.

“Everyone was able to come away with at least one win”

This is only available for green belts and above, and like the ground-fights, Newcastle’s four eligible competitors performed admirably. Mikhail Barb, did superbly in getting through to the final of the lightweight division, but unfortunately, after a tense match and a sudden-death round, was defeated. This however was his first time competing in the standing competition, and so was extremely proud to have achieved a silver medal.     

The end of the second day of the event was the open, which displayed the top talent from across the country and saw black belts fighting to be the champion of the entire Randori nationals.

Unfortunately Newcastle University’s instructors, Adam Walton and Brian Naisbitt did not come away with anything in this particular competition, despite putting in a brilliant effort against skilled opponents, but regardless, it was a fantastic opportunity to see the very best of the Jiu Jitsu Foundation.

Overall, Newcastle University Jiu Jitsu club has proven itself once more to be an asset to the university and exceed expectations. After winning the Jiu Jitsu Foundation Club Shield and BUCS Atemi Nationals Men’s Team Championship in November, last weekend’s Randori competition has shown the club to be a force to be reckoned with.

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