2013 Judo Junior Olympics More Than 500 Converge On Irving TX

By Ernest Pund | June 28, 2013, 12:30 a.m. (ET)

The draws have been completed for the first day of competition at USA Judo’s Junior Olympic Championships in Irving, TX, where ambitious young judo fighters take to the mats for the best competition in the United States and national ranking points.

More than 500 young judokas have registered for the Junior Olympic Championships this weekend. Competition begins for Juvenile A, B and Intermediate 2 divisions, born 1996 – 2002, as young as 10 up through 17 years of age.

Go to the DRAWS to see the fate of your favorite young judo competitor.

Young guns from Hawaii to New York and Florida, ages 5 through 17 (20 for international divisions), will shoot for floor-pounding throws and 20-second pins to best their opponents and climb the podium. Kids 12 (born in 2000) and older can also use chokes to force a submission (tapping). And those 14 (born in 1998) and older can use armbars to force submission (tapping).

This is the third time USA Judo has held the Junior Olympic Championships at the Irving Convention Center. “This has proven to be a great location. It is convenient to reach from much of the country. The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is just minutes away. We have a lot of top clubs in Texas. And the area is family-friendly with a lot of affordable options.”

Some facts about judo:

  • Judo was founded in 1882 in Japan by Jigoro Kano. It is derived from jujitsu.
  • Judo has been an Olympic sport since 1964.
  • Kayla Harrison (USA Judo Training Site, Pedro’s Judo/NYAC, Wakefield, Mass.) won the nation’s first Olympic Gold Medal in the sport at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  • Judo means “the gentle way.”
  • Central to Kano’s teachings of judo are the principles of “maximum efficiency, minimum effort” and “mutual welfare and benefit.”
  • Sensei Keiko Fukuda, who passed away Feb. 9 in the San Francisco Bay Area where she lived and taught judo, was the first, and only, woman to receive the rank of 10th dan, awarded by USA Judo in 2011.
  • Judo is the second most practiced sport in the world … soccer is first.