“In the past year I have attended a tournament in each the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trips.
In February I attended the Belgian Ladies Open in Arlon, this particular tournament was a great choice because the draws were done is a pool system, rather than single elimination, which meant that I had a total of 5 matches over the two days of competition. I won my first match against Lucille Marino of France by yuko – it was an incredibly close match. I lost my next bought to another competitor for France by 2 shidos, again it was a close fight. The final match of the day was against a competitor from Germany who unfortunately managed to hold me down for the ippon. I ended up 9th overall.
The second day of competitions was seniors. My first match was against Aurelia Issomalia of France, who scored ippon by harai goshi in short order. I rallied for my next match, scoring a yuko against a competitor from Belgium, but eventually losing by 4 shidos.
The number of shidos that were given away was astounding; I believe I personally collected 9 over the course of the two-day tournament. The majority of my penalties were earned via being outgripped and bend over – this is a definite area for improvement.
The training camp was what you could call a lesson in humility and involved a remarkable number of breakfalls on my part. It was, however, a good indication of what I need to improve; specifically my gripping against left handed fighters.
Overall, I was very pleased with my trip to Belgium trip as I accomplished by goal: I won a match. I would like to say a big thank you to my parents, the coaches of the Lethbridge Judo Club, and Judo BC for helping me get there.
In approximately 2 weeks I leave for Thuringa, Germany to attend an all-woman’s tournament; I couldn’t be more excited. I highly recommend international competition to any Judo BC athletes, it is well worth it.”
– Ali Briggs