Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Waiakea’s Tyler Yonemori bumps up to higher weight class in BIIF Judo

Judoka practice prior to competition

   Hear the terms Ippon, Wazari or Yuko and you know you are in a judo tournament as such was the case this past Saturday as prep judoka from around the Big Island Interscholastic Federation spent the day competing at the Waiakea High School gym.

Yonemori

Waiakea’s own, Tyler Yonemori, had two big wins as he battled in the 178 pound weight class. Yonemori, who normally competes in the 145 division, weighed in at 153 and was bumped up another weight class in order to compete against larger opponents.

   “I guess I’ve been eating too much ice cream,” Yonemori said with a grin of being eight pounds over his normal competing weight.

   Yonemori is in his 10th year of judo carries a first degree black belt, had little opposition going against heavier judoka.

   During his first match against Kamehameha senior, Eric Young, Yonemori used a high seoinage throw to secure the Ippon victory.

   In his second match Yonemori went against Hilo’s Isaiah Kanakanui and began with his usual strategy of keeping his right arm close to his chest while grabbing his opponents Judo Gi with his left arm in order to catch Kanakanui off balance.

   Yonemori beat the taller and heavier Kanakanui by using a sodetsurikomi goshi throw and won by Ippon.  The flip was picture perfect with Kanakanui flying over Yonemori’s shoulder and the Viking falling properly without injury.

   “I get a thrill from competing, it’s like being on drugs, without the drugs,” Yonemori said. 

Ogi

   Waiakea’s Steven Ogi faced Kamehameha’s Ikaika Villanueva in the 132 weight class with Ogi taking the mat with a calm focus.

   “My sensei has been telling me to relax and not be so excited coming into my matches,” Ogi said.  “Last year I would come out to hyper and this year I’m trying hard to stay focused and relaxed.”

   The advice paid off as Ogi succeeded with a hara goshi throw in the first 20 seconds of the match to secure an Ippon victory. 

  “He came in with a back leg reap and I shifted my weight and countered him backwards,” Ogi said of his win.

   Ogi, who is in his third year of judo and carries a brown belt, believes that mental attitude is what wins judo matches.

   “Our sensei, (Gregg Yonemori) is always telling us to go in to each match with the mindset that we’re going to win and that is what I always try to do,” Ogi said.

   While the Waiakea duo was displaying their talents on the mat a pair of Kamehameha girls were leaving their mark for the day.

Padaken

Kanoe Padaken, a sophomore, and Kalena Shiroma, a senior, looked unstoppable in their matches.

   Padaken began the day with a match against Waiakea senior Kiana Machado in the 109 weight division.

   Machado became the early aggressor in the match and tried for several quick throws, which were unsuccessful.  At the one minute mark of the four minute match Padaken took the inside position and did a seoinage to win by Ippon.

   Later Padaken was at it again this time going against Kealakehe’s Kandy Mento.  Padaken got Mento on the mat and then held her down in the pin position for the required 25 seconds for the win.

  “I used a seoinage to get her on the ground then held her down,” Padaken said of her victory against Mento.

   “I like judo and wrestling equally well,” she said.  “Judo is calmer and has less pressure than wrestling and both are very different from each other.”

Shiroma

Warrior teammate and the BIIF’s highest finisher last year at the state judo championships, Kalena Shiroma had one match in the 139 weight class before heading out to get ready for her senior prom.

   Shiroma went against Kealakehe’s Anna Kroger and wasted no time in ending the match which last few than 10 seconds.

   “I got inside of her and set her up by waiting until she was off balance then pulling her over my leg, using a taiotoshi,” Shiroma said of her Ippon victory.

   “Tonight is our senior prom and I’m excited about getting ready,” Shiroma said.  “We have a few girls on the team that are going, but we’ll all stay and support the other members of our team.”

   Waiakea’s judo coach, Gregg Yonemori, had double duty over the weekend hosting the tournament and coaching his judoka.

   “It’s difficult to do both, host and coach,” Yonemori said.  “But we’re lucky to have very supportive parents help out.”

   Yonemori was also optimistic about his team’s performance over the weekend.  “Waiakea has a very young team and we did as expected today,” he said.  “By the end of the season we should be competitive.”

   A total of six schools compete during the BIIF season which includes host Waiakea, Hilo, Keaau, Kealakehe, Konawaena and Kamehameha.

   Schools were pitted against each other in head to head competition as team scoring were decided as each school tried to field a ten person team with one competitor in each weight division.

   The Kamehameha girls, Hilo and Konawaena boys are considered by many judo enthusiasts to be the teams to beat this season with each school having their own individual favorites to cheer for.

      Team Results Girls:
Kealakehe (50) – Keaau (20)
Kamehameha (60) – Kealakehe (30)
Hilo (20) – Konawaena (20)
Hilo (20) – Keaau (30)
Waiakea (20) – Konawaena (20)
Kamehameha (60) – Waiakea (10)
Waiakea (20) – Hilo (20)
        Team Results Boys:
Kealakehe (40) – Keaau (30)
Kamehameha (30) – Kealakehe (30)
Konawaena (60) – Hilo (30)
Hilo (57) – Keaau (10)
Konawaena (60) – Waiakea (20)
Waiakea (40) – Kamehameha (20)
Hilo (40) – Waiakea (20)

April 6, 2010 Posted by | High School Judo | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment