Warwick University Competition 2023

February 12, 2023

Once again, its February and we’re off to Warwick University for their annual student judo competition. This year we had six players taking part, everyone fought with great focus and spirit, there was a lot of experience gained and lessons learned, and we came away with 1 gold and 2 silver medals.

Novice Category

In the Novice category we had Alex, Fleur and Hisham taking part. Alex was in action first and won his first contest with a nicely executed foot sweep. Unfortunately, despite winning again he wasn’t able to make it to the top 2 in order to proceed to the medal knockout stage.

Fleur was fighting a round-robin group of four and despite this being her first competition she fought with confidence and scored 2 wins, which put her in the gold medal place overall!

Hisham had the biggest task of the day, starting in a group of 5 which meant 4 contests before the knockout stage. A little rusty in his first fight, he came back from a loss in that contest to finish in 2nd place in the group having steadily improved through each contest and executing some nice throws and transitioning well to groundwork. In the knockout he continued to demonstrate nice clean technique in the semi final making short work of the winner of the other group. The final was a repeat of his first contest and his opponent had also increased in confidence through the day, ultimately a closer contest ended up the same way with Hisham repeating his silver medal from 2022

Intermediate Category

We had one representative in the intermediate category with Ed taking on his first competition for several years. Ed started out strongly winning with a hold down and continued to get stuck into his group contests but ultimately finished third in the group and wasn’t able to take part in the knock out

High Grade Category

In the high grade category we had Holly and Niamh taking part. With her usual mix of committed attacks and tenacious defence in groundwork, Niamh came second in the group to take silver. Holly unfortunately fell foul of some technical rules and so missed out.

And finally to ensure she got a good work out for the day, Niamh fought a best of 3 open contest with a player from the local Samurai JC and came out ahead with 2 wins and one loss, with 20 points gained towards her 2nd Dan grade.

BUCS 2022

February 27, 2022

After a break of a few years it was great to be taking players to BUCS again, with a small but enthusiastic group of 3 players this year.

After an uneventful drive to Walsall and everyone weighed in without problems, and we all headed off for the familiar Premier Inn stay. Saturday morning saw mats packed with players warming up, the schedule already posted and everything got going more or less on time.

U63 Dan Grade

Niamh was in action in the Dan grade category at U63 kg. Things got going well in the first contest with an early waza-ari score upgraded to ippon.

The next contest was the semi final and presented a tougher challenge. Prolonged exchanges of attacks left both players tired and bruised but eventually Niamh was caught in a san-gaku strangle and was forced to submit.

After a quick visit to the medics for some “maintenance”, she was back in action in the bronze medal match. Taking a waza-ari by countering a forward attack, her opponent was unfortunately forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury leaving Niamh with a well earned bronze medal in her first BUCS.

U81 Kyu Grade

Rob was competing in the U81 kyu grade category, with a few familiar faces from the recent Warwick competition in the mix. Facing a player he had beaten at Warwick in the first round, this time the result went the other way and he found himself into the early stage of the repechage. In his repechage contest, despite some strong attacking, a momentary lack of focus let his opponent from Nottingham catch him with an ippon throw. But despite the disappointment of not making it to the medal stage, lots of lessons learned to benefit future competitions.

U66 Kyu Grade

Alex was the last of our players in action and after a strong performance in Warwick we were hoping for more success in the expanded field of players at BUCS. Seeded into the second round, Alex was in energy saving mode and won his first contest with a hold in just 34 seconds and his second with a trademark seoi-nage in just 7 seconds.

We expected the final to be a cagier affair as Alex’s opponent was favouring a left handed grip but despite taking a little longer to secure the win, 2 waza-ari throws let Alex take home the gold medal.

A successful trip to the Midlands, and hopefully we can take a bigger team along next time to be able to take on the team competition as well.

Back on the Contest Mat

January 30, 2022

After such a long time, it was nice to be taking a team to a competition again. The 530 alarm call, not so nice. We took a team of 5 to the return of the Warwick University invitational tournament and came away with a nice collection of 3 medals.

U66 Intermediate Men

First into action was Alex in the u66 weight group in the intermediate category. Despite declaring himself nervous for his first competition in some time, he won his first fight with a hold and then decided that energy conservation was the name of the day and wrapped up his second pool contest and the finals with rapid ippon throws to take a well deserved gold.

U81 Novice Men

In the u81 Novice category we had Alex’s brother Rob and Henry in action. Both put in good performances, improving as they settled in to the action. Henry had a tough 5 man pool and was unfortunate to not be able to pick up the wins that would have got him to the knockout stage.

Rob fought well in his pool but so did several players and they were left with extra contests to resolve a 3 way tie to determine the players that would got to the knockout. 2 good wins put Rob on the way to the knockout, but a loss in the first round left him just short of the medals.

U66 Novice Men

In this category we had Hisham in action, and like Henry he was drawn in a 5 man pool giving him 4 contests to deal with before the knockout phase. Starting out a little nervous he soon settled in and won his pool with 4 ippon results.

In the knockout things naturally got tougher and the semi final turned into an epic battle, proceeding into golden score and with the total contest time exceeding 8 minutes and before Hisham was able to pull off another ippon win, to proceed to the final. Having been through that, it wasn’t a huge surprise that his opponent in the final proved fresher but his silver medal was very well deserved.

U63 Dan Grade Women

Our final representative was Niamh in the u63 Dan Grade women. Some nice sacrifice techniques helped her to lead the points ranking in her pool and into the finals. The semi final was a close battle with some masterful escapes from ne-waza situations but in the end Niamh was caught with a throw and had to settle for a bronze medal.

Results for everyone

Three medals was a nice haul for players that are new to the club, but just as important was being able to see our players in action and start to identify aspects of their judo to work on as we prepare for the next event – the university championships as the end of February.

We’re back!

October 2, 2021

Well, it has been a while, but we are going to be back on the mat.

The 2021 academic year kicks off with a taster session this Sunday (3/10/21) from 5.30-6.30pm. During this session, you will be able to watch our coaches demonstrate a variety of judo techniques and will also get the opportunity to try throwing some of the current club members around!

Our first beginner session is being held on Thursday the 7th of October, from 6-8pm – this is the session for anyone that has no previous judo experience, or for those who did some judo in the past but have been away from the mat for a few years and want to brush away the cobwebs. All you have to do is turn up in comfortable gym wear – preferably long sleeved and able to be stretched around a little.

For those with previous experience, our main Tuesday training session starts on Tuesday the 5th of October, from 8-9.30pm. This is for judoka who have their own judo kit and are confident in breakfalls and the basics of judo.

The one thing we need everyone that wants to come along to do is to test for Covid. Given the nature of Judo we need to do this to keep us safe to train. We want to see test results from the university saliva test scheme, OR a negative lateral flow test on the NHS app from the day of the session you are attending.

All sessions will be held in the Martial Arts Room, at the bottom of the Students’ Union building. The direction is signposted, but we will be hanging around to guide you. We look forward to meeting you all!

Training in a Pandemic

October 4, 2020

It’s time to dip our toes into the world of judo training in the middle of a pandemic.

To explain how this will work, we are having a ‘welcome to Judo’ online meeting over Microsoft Teams on Monday, 5th of October at 15:00. This meeting is open to all University of Southampton students, and you are free to ask whatever questions you have about the sport and our return to training. We’re open to all who are interested, regardless of your experience level.

We will post an update here and on Facebook after the meeting so that people who missed it, as well us our many friends from outside of the university can get the details on our club’s return to activity.

The link for the meeting is :

We hope to see many of you (digitally) on Monday!

Another year is on us!

September 14, 2019

All of a sudden, the new year is on us and we are busy making final preparations for the new term and the bunfight. We’re looking forward to encouraging lots of fresh new faces to come along and check out judo.

Why not take a look around our website at http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~judo/ or say hello on our Facebook page at “Southampton University Judo Club”

We hope to see you at the bunfight or a training session

Welcome to the start of the year

September 28, 2017

Its the start of another academic year and we are looking forward to meeting lots of new club members.

If you want to find out more about judo, come along to our taster session on Sunday October 1st and see what we get up to, You can even get on the mat and have a go.

If you are not able to make the taster session, just come on down to one of our sessions in the first week of term. Our Tuesday sessoin at 8pm is for people with prior experience while the Thursday session at 6pm is a beginners session with no prior experience required.

All of our sessions take place in the Martial Arts room on level 1 of the Students Union

See you there!

BUCS Judo Championships 2017

February 25, 2017

One week on from the trip to Warwick, it was time for the rather more serious proposition of the BUCS Judo championships. This is the biggest judo event for UK universities and colleges, and attracts a wide range of abilities from those starting out in judo, through national squad players, up to the highest level with Emmanuel Nartey who competed at the London Olympics for Ghana and is currently studying at the University of East London taking part as the defending champion at U73kg.

The event is split into two tiers – a championship for Kyu grades (coloured belts) and the marquee Dan grade event for brown and black belt players. We had just one player in the Dan grade category with Edgar Polovinkins at U81Kg and 3 players entered in the Kyu grade event – Sarah Wilmore at U52kg, Daulet Illyasso at U81kg and Callum Rollo at U90kg.

The event is held at part of the larger BUCS Championship weekend in Sheffield so on Friday afternoon we headed out into the weekend traffic to wind our way up to the weigh in. After a rather tedious time in M1 traffic we made the weigh in in good time, licenses had been renewed along the way (!), and all players made their weight with no need for any last minute drastic efforts to save a few grams.

All that was left was to find our way to our slightly eery motel style accommodation, fill up on pasta and get an early-ish night.

Individual Championship

Day 1 of the event is the individual championship and with 2 parallel competitions across all weights, the timetable was packed and we had players scheduled to compete from the beginning of the day through to the very end.

Judo events typically run in the same way as the football world championships – a group/pool stage where all concerned compete with the other pool members to earn entry into the knockout stage. Contests are schedule for 4 to 5 minutes depending on level but an outright win (ippon) can come at any time from a clean throw, a 20 second hold down, or a submission.


Edgar throws for ippon with harai goshi

First out to get things started was Edgar who was in a pool of 3 players, and he immediately showed his class with his first contest over in 7 seconds with a very nice harai goshi in the middle of the mat. His second contest was over even faster as he threw his opponent for ippon with seoi nage in just 5 seconds. That put him nicely through to the knockout stage in the afternoon.

Next out was Daulet who had a pool of 4 players. Like Edgar he was clearly in no mood to spend too much time fighting and his first contest was over and done with in 8 seconds with a powerful tai otoshi throw. His second contest took a little longer but was still a convincing win scoring first with tai otoshi again, before then scoring ippon with his favourite ura nage pickup. His final contest returned to efficiency, throwing again with tai otoshi for a waza-ari score and finishing off with an armlock to gain a submission, finishing the contest in 17 seconds. That put Daulet into the knockout stage as well having won his pool convincingly.


Daulet throws for waza-ari with tai otoshi before finishing the contest with an armlock


Things got more hectic as we moved into the afternoon. First we had Callum in the U90kg pool stage. With a pool of 3 players to compete with and he was able to win both his contests convincingly, first with a hold and then with a nicely executed sumi gaeshi sacrifice throw.


Callum, holding for ippon

Next we had Edgar returning for the knockout stage in the U81kg category. Having made the pool look easy, we knew the knockout would be a different proposition with the middle weights always being packed with good quality players. A relatively comfortable win against a “home” Sheffield player in the first round set him up with a quarter final against Gytis Jucikas from Nottingham University. This turned into a battle of wills with each player scoring multiple times with the lowest yuko score and conceding penalties for technical infringements of the contest rules. After 5 minutes of tense competition the contest went to Gytis with 4 yukos to Edgar’s 3. Unfortunately, perhaps partly due to fatigue from the quarter final, Gytis was thrown for ippon in the semi final which meant Edgar was not given the chance to compete for bronze via the repechage.

The last player to get started for the day was Sarah. With a smaller entry for the lighter women’s weight groups Sarah was competing in a combined U48kg/U52kg category as in the previous week’s competition at Warwick. Some strong players were present in the U52kg sub section and unfortunately Sarah wasn’t able to follow up the Warwick gold with a BUCS medal.

Next to return for the knockout was Daulet. With a bye in the first round, he entered the competition in the round of 16 and this time won with a choke on his opponent from Oxford. That set up a quarter final with a russian player, Dmitry Nikonov, from Loughborough; this turned out to be the toughest contest of the day and Dmitry showed that he was very keen not to be caught by Daulet’s big throws with some very strong defense. Eventually he wore Daulet down and was able to pin him in a hold down to move onto the semi final. Fortunately a rapid win in the semi final for Dmity meant that Daulet would return in the repechage to compete for a bronze medal.

In the repechage things returned to fast and efficient work and in the first round Daulet produced another armlock in under 20 seconds to setup a bronze medal fight against Edmund Richens from Anglia Ruskin. Once again the tai otoshi throw was brought out and the bronze medal secured in just 15 seconds.


Winning the bronze medal in style

Final contests for the day for our team was Callum in the U90kg knockout. His first contest in the quarter final stage was another quick encounter with his opponent thrown in 9 seconds with o uchi gari. The semi final was a more cagey affair against a lively player from the strong looking Durham team. Playing things carefully, Callum was able to throw twice for waza-ari and moved into the final.

His opponent in the final, Cian Grace from Leeds, had looked good in earlier contests with some very clean throws so we knew this was going to be a difficult proposition. That proved to be the case and a nicely timed throw caught Callum out, but left him a very worthy winner of the silver medal.


Bronze for Daulet (right)


Silver for Callum (left)

After collecting our rewards for the day is was back to the hotel for some recovery before returning on Sunday for the team competition.

Team Competition

The Sunday at BUCS is a team judo competition. Players are organised by weight and institution teams compete for the highly regarded trophies, in particular the Yukio Tani vase awarded to the winning men’s team.

While we have had some success in the competition in the past, this time we knew we were going to need an awful lot of luck to make it very far – a team of only 3 men where up to 5 are allowed meant that we could not lose any contests! Unfortunately the draw was not kind to us with Bath, Nottingham and Wolverhampton in our pool. Seeing Bath in the pool is always challenging but the seeded team was Nottingham who were medallists from the previous year. As it turned out, Wolverhampton were also a force to be reckoned with.

It was an uphill battle. After a losing convincingly to Wolverhampton, Edgar and Callum ensured we did not go home without victories in our matches with Nottingham and Bath, but ultimately the pool was won by Wolverhampton with Nottingham second, and they went on to take gold and bronze medals respectively in the knockout. Wolverhampton completed a successful day by also winning the women’s team competition.

After 2 hard days of judo, it was a slightly smoother drive back south, some people happy to have come home with medals and others with a clearer idea of the level of competition to prepare for in coming years.

Well done to all who took part, and big thanks to Sarah who took on the bulk of the organisational duties.

Warwick University Competition 2017

February 12, 2017

This weekend we took a trip to the midlands to take part in Warwick University Judo Club’s annual competition. It’s a small and friendly event with a good split of categories to provide anyone with a great opportunity to compete, and this year we had a mix of players getting their first competitive experience, some stepping up to a bigger competition, and others looking for a nice warmup ahead of the university championships next weekend.

First onto the mat once things got started were Sarah, Anastasija and Jade. Fighting in a pool of 4 in the o70kg category, Jade put on a very impressive performance for her first competition with a confident and attacking approach that took her to 3 wins and a conclusive gold medal.

img_7246Sarah was competing in a combined u48/u52kg group that meant a pool of 5 players. Despite losing her first contest, she was able to turn up the pressure in subsequent fights to score ippon wins on the ground and with powerful counter techniques. As an added bonus, a 3 way tie at the end of the group contests meant she had an extra 2 fights to decide the final ranking. After 6 fights with 4 wins she was 2nd overall and first of the u52kg players.

Anastasija was fighting in the u57kg category and again there was a single pool with 5 competitors. Despite being the lowest graded player in the group with just a few months of experience she fought very hard and took a very well earned win with 2 waza-ari throws to finish 4th in the group to take the second bronze medal.

As the girls were finishing their competition our entries to the male individual competition were taking to the mat. We had 2 players in this category for orange belt and below, Joe stepping up from his previous experience of local team competitions and Marc taking part in his first competition after a few months of experience.

img_7267Joe put on a very strong performance in the u81kg category in a pool of 5 with some confident wins but unfortunately he had drawn a very strong pool which was won by the players that would ultimately take the gold and silver medals so he was not able to proceed into the knockout stage.

Fighting at u90kg, and despite a niggling neck injury from a training session in the week, Marc won 2 out of 3 contests in his pool of 4 with very nice ashi-waza and kaeshi-waza techniques to proceed into the quarter final of the knockout. Despite a confident start in the contest his very tall opponent presented a difficult challenge and eventually caught Marc with a well timed foot sweep to put Marc out of the competition with a final 5th place position.

Once the individual contests were complete, the mens team competitions took to the mat, where we fielded an intermediate grade team with Joe, Callum and Daulet joined by Nathan Coles guesting with us at the u73kg slot. With the 6 teams (we were joined by 2 Warwick teams, and teams from Sheffield University, Bangor University and Samurai JC) set to compete in a single pool the scene was set for a busy afternoon.

Our first match was against Warwick 2 and with confident fighting from all players we took the win and progressed on to our second match with Bangor. They turned out to be the strongest team of the day and despite some spirited fighting we were unable to come out in front in this match. Bangor would go on to win all their matches to take a well earned gold medal position.
img_7286We won both of our next matches against Warwick 1 and Sheffield setting up a contest with Samurai that would decide the silver and bronze medal positions for the day. Again everyone fought with impressive energy after a long afternoon, in particular Joe put on a strong performance to try and even up the scores as 4th man but Samurai were able to edge us out and the final result was gold for Bangor, silver to Samurai and bronze for us.


Throughout the competition all our players fought very positively and everyone had some good results to feel good about and things that they can take away to work on. Aside from medal results, kudos goes to Joe who over the course of individual and team competitions had 9 hard contests and Daulet who won all his fights in the team competition with strong ippon victories.

Next stop is BUCS in Sheffield next weekend with the signs looking positive for some more success.

A few more photos on Flickr here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/southamptonuniversityjudo/albums/72157676731926473

London Universities Open – 2016

November 14, 2016

It was time to get some competitive judo underway for the new academic year today, with a small but strong team off to the London Universities Open at the University of East London SportsDock. Having been running for a few years now, this competition has gone from strength to strength to become a highlight of university judo.

First on the mat today was first year student Edgar Polovinkins making his first appearance as a Southampton University player but with a solid track record as a junior player. Fighting in the junior U81 category there was a fairly straightforward first round contest and then things steadily got more serious with a number of international players present in the group. A gripping oriented semi final against a Luxembourg player led to a final against a strong player from Strathclyde. Unfortunately a strong reverse seoi nage technique provide tricky to avoid and Edgar had to settle for silver.

Edgar throwing for Ippon in the semi final

Next in action was Alexandry Augustin, making his first competitive outing for some years. A strong run of contests with some determined defense saw Alex make his way to the semi final in the Kyu grade U81 category before dropping to the bronze medal final. Unfortunately fatigue started to become a factor and Alex was caught out with a strong foot sweep from his fast starting opponent to finish the day in 5th position.

Alex in action

Having done a fine job of organizing our attendance at the event, Callum was next up, having the experience of fighting up in the U90 weight group and against higher graded opposition. Losing his first contest to a strong player from Oxford University, Callum fought back in the repechage to make his way to the bronze medal contest. Unfortunately he again found himself facing his first round opposition from Oxford and was not able to turn the previous result around so also ended the day in 5th place.

Final group of the day for us was the senior U81 category with Marc Morris and a second appearance from Edgar. Unfortunately Marc injured his shoulder when thrown in his first round contest and had to withdraw but once again Edgar pushed strongly through the knockout to the final. Once again he faced the Strathclyde player and could not change the earlier result and came out with his second silver medal of the day.

Edgar collecting his first silver medal

A great day of judo with strong performances for everyone. Great to come away with some good results but just as importantly everyone knows what they need to work on in the next few months before the University championships in February.

Today's medal haul