USA Judo Training Camp in Texas to Host Olympic Athletes

By Jennifer Garcia | June 15, 2012, 10:45 p.m. (ET)

No brackets. No winners. No losers. It’s randori – a judo free-for-all this weekend where athletes of varying skill levels can spar in five-minute rounds with opponents of similar weight classification.

The Becerra Judo & Jujitsu Club of Garland, Texas, is hosting the 2012 USA Judo International Junior and Senior Camp this weekend, June 15 – 17, for judokas looking for both a thrill and a challenge.

This year, Becerra is expecting over 400 athletes, ranging between 4 to 50 years old, to participate in the camp. Five teams from Mexico and a team from Peru will join judokas from around the nation, including current U.S. Olympic Judo team member, Nick Delpopolo, 73 kg (NYAC/Jason Morris Judo, Glenville, NY), national champion Jacob Larsen, 90 kg (Boulder Judo Training Center/US OTC, CO); and U.S. Paralympic Judo team members Myles Porter, 100 kg. (NYAC/U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO), Ron Hawthorne, 60 kg. (U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO), Dartanyon Crocket, 90 kg. (U.S. OTC, Colorado Springs, CO) and Katie Davis, +70kg (Team Sacramento, Sacramento, CA).

Participants grappled an average of 15 – 20 rounds each day. Head Coach, Bret Becerra, said about this year’s camp, “We’ve hosted this event for the past seven years. Everybody who comes to the camp has a dream to one day represent their country in the Olympics. During these camps, you never know who’s going to rise to the top. It’s great!”

Judo Juvenile B Division champ, Mackenzie Williams, 15, was looking forward to sparring alongside U.S.A. Judo stars Delpopolo and Porter. Williams, who fights in two weight divisions, 70 kg and 78kg, has been training at Becerra’s club for the past year.

“My biggest goal is to make the Olympics and I’m pushing for 2016,” said Williams. “I know there will be tons of black belts from around the country. We’ll get to practice with the very best and we’ll receive their input. I’m very excited!”

For the up and coming as well as established judo athletes, this event will provide a great opportunity to view and experience different fighting techniques. Scott Moore, 1996 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and current Paralympic Team Head ,Coach said, “This training camp gives people a chance to fight with new and different people and prepare for upcoming competitions. It keeps us from becoming stale from fighting the same people all of the time.”

For further information on Becerra Judo and Jujitsu Club, please call 214/682-4624 or follow them on Facebook: