Monday, 28 January 2013

Bristol County training - Saturday 26 January

On Saturday 26th January I headed for Patchway Judo Club to take part in my first Bristol County training session, run by Sensei Chris Mockridge expertly supported by Tora Judo Kai's very own Sensei Rebecca Maslen. 

It was great to see some friendly faces from our own club as I arrived – Mark and Judy Maslen, Steve Chappell, and our British Championship medalists fresh from the rostrum, Renz Vallejera and Natasha Maslen. Following a surprising amount of man hugging evident in the foyer, training began with a warm up and some uchikomi-inspired drills. 

Teaching began with a chance to practice everyone's preferred combinations with some great guidance from Chris Mockridge, reminding us that what we're taught in the grading syllabus is the same as what everyone else learns too, so a bit of ingenuity is a good thing. Some ground work gave the opportunity to work with a variety of different partners. 

The session finished with a standing randori session in which I gave my breakfalls a good work out, and which reminded me once again of the need for relaxed arms, plenty of movement and not allowing your partner to get their favourite grip! The training session finished with a round-up from Sensei Mockridge of the impressive number of judoka present who had taken part in the national competition the previous weekend. 

I remain astonished at, and grateful for, the opportunity that judo gives to train with and alongside people for who judo is a way of life, and those who take part at a giddying level of competition. 

Judith Ogden

Thursday, 24 January 2013

National success for Tora Judo Kai competitors

Two members of Bristol-based judo club Tora Judo Kai fought their way to places on the rostrum at the prestigious British Championships in Sheffield at the weekend. Picking up three medals between them, 19-year-old Natasha Maslen won silver in the under 21s competition for her weight category on Saturday, followed with a bronze in the Senior Women's competition on Sunday.

Renz Vallejera took bronze in the under 21s in his weight category with a spectacular throw for ippon, judo's maximum score, in the bronze medal fight.

Natasha’s day in the senior competition saw her come through the group stages comfortably after four fights, winning two by throws for ippon, the first in just over a minute. In her final pool she won one fight and then lost out to a current GB squad member with whom she trains. Natasha commented, " I've been working really hard during my first year at Bath and the results are now starting to come for me."

Natasha has trained at the Tora Judo Kai club in Pill since the age of 12 and is currently a student at Bath University, studying for a degree in Sports Performance. She trains 6 days a week for up to 5 hours a day, and is a member of the England Talented Development Squad. Last year she represented GBR at the Hungarian European Cup, finishing seventh, followed by a bronze medal at the Spanish Senior European Cup. Her ambition for the coming year is to represent GBR at the European and World Junior Championships.

17-year-old Renz Vallejera started the day with a hard fought contest in which he managed a win. He was unlucky to lose his second contest by a narrow margin and to the eventual silver medallist, and fought back through the repechage finishing the day with the bronze. He started judo when he was 8 years old, is currently studying for A-levels and is then hoping to join Natasha at Bath University. He also is a member of the England Talented Development Squad and was specially requested to train with the GBR judo team in their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games last summer.

Tora Judo Kai was also represented by 17-year-old Chloe Robyns-Landricombe who fought well and was unlucky to be thrown towards the end of a close-fought match in her first round. She came through the repechage with a beautifully executed throw in her second fight of the day, but lost out to a much more experienced player in her third missing out on the medals on this, her first event at this standard of competition.

Chloe's instructor, Sensei Caroline Hooker, said "Through hard work and dedication Chloe has gone from an inexperienced judoka only 2 years ago to one who has shown she is capable of competing and winning contests at national level. The British Championships was only her second point-scoring competition, and she should be very proud of her performance."

The fighters were coached on the day by Sensei Judy Maslen, who said, "I am so proud of all three players, they are getting the results for all the hard work they are putting in."

All three competitors train with Tora Judo Kai, which runs clubs in Pill, Filton Abbeywood, Hanham, Kingwood, Shirehampton and Launceston in Cornwall. The club has been running for 19 years and trains over 100 children from the age of 6 years and adults in judo and ju-jitsu each week. Principal Steve Chappell said, "It’s a great club with a team of instructors who are able to facilitate its members judo requirements from beginner to competitors of the highest level. New members are welcomed into a positive and friendly environment."

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

March 2013 Invitational Competition

Tora Judo Kai's March Invitational Competition offers a great day’s competition under Bushido Budo Kai rules, in a leisure centre venue which has changing facilities, swimming pool and cafĂ©.

8 years and over but under 16 years on the day. National Medalists and National Squad members from any organization are not permitted to enter Juniors section.
Categories: Girls & Boys Under 25kg, U30kg, U35kg, U40kg, U45kg, U50kg, U55kg, U60kg, U65kg, Over 65kg
No arm locks or strangles in under 16-year-olds’ categories

14 to 17 years, grade and weight grouped on the day according to entries

16 years and over, grade and weight grouped on the day according to entries

If eligible, a fighter may enter two categories

• Weight groups with 7 or fewer entries: pools to knockout; 8 or more entries: double knockout
• Wins over points
• Championship controller may amalgamate weights
• White clean correct fitting judogi to be worn, not karate gi or blue gi
• Head referee’s word is final in all fighting enquiries
• All contests will be run as Bushido Budo Kai rules with Golden Score
• Closing date for entries: 11 March. No late entries

Weigh in
Juniors U40kg and below: 8am - 8.30am
Juniors U45kg and above: 8.30am - 9am
Intermediates & Seniors: 12.30 - 1.30pm

Entry Fees
Juniors £11.50 (BBK members £9.50)
Intermediates £13.00 (BBK members £11.00)
Seniors £15.00 (BBK members £13.00)
Second category entered £8

Adults £2.50, coaches and children free of charge

For more information and an entry form contact Steve Chappell, 07920 157 348 or email

Friday, 18 January 2013

Judo at Pill cancelled tonight

With cars sliding around the streets of the village already, and the snow forecast to fall all day, we've decided we'll have to cancel judo tonight at Pill. Apologies!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Spring Martial Arts Weekend - 4th to 6th May 2013

Sensei Steve Chappell and Sensei Ian Llewellin invite you to join them once again at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park, North Devon for the Bushido Budo Kai Spring Martial Arts Weekend.

Both children and adults will have an opportunity to practice a variety of Martial Arts under the instruction of well qualified coaches over the weekend. Practice your own art and maybe try something new, it’s up to you!

Kids, bring Mum or Dad and get them to try as well! We will have a range of activities for all levels and abilities.

Each evening entertainment will be provided by Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park, including a selection from comedians to vocalists. Accommdoation can be booked through us at a current 50% discount in a variety of caravans, or you are welcome to organise your own locally on campsites, in B&Bs or hotels.

Information about accommodation can be found online by visiting

We have a limited number of caravans reserved for the weekend but please note that availability is limited, so book soon!


A variety of accommodation has already been reserved by us, with costs to suit all budgets and available for the weekend or for an additional cost, the whole week if you wish to extend your stay. We are able to reserve more (subject to availability) if demand requires.

Full details of the accommodation costs are included on the course information sheet - click here to download.

Caravans vary in grade and have either 2 or 3 bedrooms, with further sleeping available in the lounge areas in some. Please make your booking with us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Should you decide to make your own arrangements to stay elsewhere, there are a variety of hotels and B&Bs in the area but once again early booking is encouraged.


Last year’s course was a great success and we hope as many people as possible are able to join us again this year, as such training fees for BBK members and those who trained with us last year on either the Spring or the Autumn Courses will qualify for Member rates.

If you are new to one of our courses then you will be charged at non-member rates to help cover the additional costs of insurance

Children and Youths (up to and including 17)
Members: £25
Non-Members : £30

Adults (aged 18 plus)
Members: £35
Non-Members: £40

Discounts are available where more than two people from a family are attending. In this case adults are counted first with the 3rd and subsequent persons receiving a 25% reduction on the above costs.

You only need to pay these fees if you intend on training with us during the weekend. Spectators are free!

To confirm your space on the course please provide a cheque or postal order payable to “Bushido Budo Kai” along with a completed entry form by no later than 25th March 2013

General Information

• Accommodation is limited so please book early
• Full course training fees plus 10% of the accommodation costs
are due at the time of booking
• Accommodation can be reserved by telephone and will be held
until the deposit is paid up to a maximum of 7 days
• All training fees must be paid by 25th March 2013
• All final payments must be made in cleared funds by 25th March 2013
• Prices quoted are per accommodation and not per person
• You may check in to the accommodation after 3pm on Friday
• Checking out is required by 10am on the day of departure
• Any damages caused during your stay must be reported and paid for directly to the camp
• Please complete booking forms completely and legibly to help us with the administration
• Cheques must be payable to “Bushido Budo Kai”
• Payment online by arrangement
• Full rules applicable to the course itself will be available soon

If you have any questions whatsoever please feel free to contact us in any of the
following ways:

Phone: 07836 619600 (Ian Llewellin)
07920 157348 (Steve Chappell)
Email (Please write “Bushido” in the subject box)