June 23-26, 2022, HPAL’s Martial Arts Team traveled to San Jose, CA to compete in the 2022 USA Judo Junior Olympics. This Annual National Event serves as a vehicle to earn national qualifying points and gain experience in preparation for international competition. Last year we sent 5 competitors. Due to our generous HPAL supporters we were able to send 10 competitors this year, including 5 first time participants.
Our coaches and kids had their first driving road trip since covid, traveling over 300 miles on Thursday morning to make it for registration, check-in and weigh-ins. Later in the day they had pool time, dinner and an early night to rest up for the first day of competition.
All throughout the two-day tournament, Gilberto, Valerie, Vincent, Darlann, Manny, Yaritssa, Miguel, Isiah, and Eros, stretched in prep, took advise from their coaches, and completed matches working up the brackets for their individual divisions.
Each match lasts for three to five minutes during (based on age) where points and penalties are awarded by the match referee assisted by judges. At the end of each match there is one winner and one loser. The main objective of each match is for the player to score an “Ippon” (winning point) before the time runs out. Matches continue in brackets as the competitor moves up to the next round.
With over 900 competitors, we are excited to share that all our kids placed top 14 in their respective divisions.
Let’s give a huge shout out to Manny (first time participant) for taking home a Bronze medal in his division.