Bruce Bender, senior instructor for Marion PAL Judo Club and the tournament co-director said the majority of the competitors are between the ages of 8 and 16 for juniors, and early 20’s and 30’s for seniors.
A junior is classified as a participant between the age of 6 and 16. A senior is a participant between the ages of 17 and 29. A master’s participant is above the age of 30. This judo tournament featured many junior, senior and master club judo teams from the surrounding area.
Bender has been involved with the judo community for 48 years. He said the sport is a lot of fun, and for the most part, is a very safe contact sport. Judo is the second most played sport in the world.
Spencer Baker watched his first judo competition on Saturday to support his nephew.
“I thought judo was an aggressive high contact sport, but after seeing what it actually is, it looks like a fun sport that involves a lot of strategy,” Baker said.
Andrew Taylor is a parent of a young judo participant.
“My youngest son has been involved with judo for the past two years. I enjoy watching judo because I can be involved on the sidelines and act as a coach or manager for him while he is competing,” Taylor said.
Along with a participant entry fee, there were many sponsors that enabled the Red, White and Blue Classic to come together for the 15th meeting.
Results for each category of the tournament can be found on Marion PAL Club Judo’s website.