Police Judo Junior Program Overview 2015

Police Judo Junior Program Overview 2015

We hope you had a great Fall semester in 2015 with Police Judo.  It is hard to believe that we are fast approaching the start of 2016!

Starting in January 2016 the Police Judo Junior program will be a sanctioned Judo BC club. Students will have to be registered with Judo BC and belong to the Judo BC Association. This will allow for the opportunity to compete in tournaments, special camps and clinics, and will provide the insurance coverage for the programming. 

Over 20 years ago, our current Police Judo Association President Tim Laidler and the Tactical Training Centre Police Judo Head Instructor Brian Shipper were running Police Judo practices to a handful of committed police officers out of the old VPD gym at 312 Main St. In 2003 the Police Judo Junior Program started at the 312 Main St. Police Station gym, holding practices every Sunday morning. Now we are in our 12th consecutive year of running Junior Judo Programs (started with VPD Kids Judo, including Pleasantside Elementary Police Judo Juniors, Moody Middle Police Judo Juniors, Ray Cam Judo, and currently the SFU Police Judo Junior program now offered 3 times a week).

The Junior program was developed through the instruction of Sgt. Toby Hinton, Chin-I Hsiang, Sgt. Mark Steinkampf (also helping deliver drug education and judo workshops in high schools) and later Sergei Zamjitski and Yoon Choi (currently running Ray Cam Community Centre judo). A new addition to the Police Judo Junior program is instructor Tak Izumi from Ishikawa Judo Club. He is now joined up with Police Judo and is helping instruct both seniors and juniors. Together with dedicated volunteers from the senior Police Judo program and in partnership with other agencies such as Yo Bro Youth Initiative (under the direction of Joe Calendino) the program has grown significantly. The volunteers assist with mat preparation, extra oversight for the Junior Judo classes in a fun and safe environment. 

In the summer of 2016 we will be entering into our fifth consecutive summer camp at SFU!

The Police Judo Summer camp highlights a variety of sports including track and field, soccer, wrestling, rugby, as well as linking judo to self defence training. The program is a whirlwind of sport activity on top of all the judo drills! The summer camp receives incredible support from our Police Judo senior belts and volunteer coaches. Police Judo black belt Paul Blundel is one of our key instructors for this program, taking annual leave every summer to help deliver the camp. Past guest instructors have included Naoko Mori (former silver medalist - Canadian Nationals), and Sandra Hewson from Kensington Judo Club.

In addition to the established Police Junior Judo programs, our instructors and volunteer coaches have delivered Police Judo training clinics at school presentations throughout BC and the N.W.T.The Police Judo Junior program is a recreationally-based program designed to help youth develop physical literacy, athletic ability, judo basics, and provides an introduction to the basic philosophy of judo: learning how to take care of one's partner. Students are introduced to partner drills, break falls, throws and groundwork.

The youth who grow and develop can progress into working out and training with the adult Police Judo classes, and for those interested there is the opportunity to practice competitive judo in a tournament setting (this is the focus of the Monday Advanced Police Junior Judo class, instructed by Tak Izumi and Chin-I Hsiang, along with some seniors and black belts from from Ishikawa Family Club). 

One of the new coaches for the Junior Judo Program is Dante St. Prix from Ishikawa Judo Club, a former national champion in judo. Please find attached a few photos highlighting the Police Judo Junior program over the years. It should be noted that some of the kids have grown up now – Launa Hinton started with VPD Kids Judo when she was 3 ½ years old. She is now a carded athlete on the Provincial Team for Judo and finished with a silver medal in the Nationals in 2015 in Quebec. She is pictured below with Migs Mercado who has been training and competing as well (with Abbotsford Judo) and is doing very well with Police Judo. Both Launa and Migs have qualified for the BC Winter Games for 2016. 

We are also pleased to see many of the former Police Judo members have progressed on to a law enforcement career. We hope to see the members not only enjoy our training, but also gain experience in skill development, fitness, volunteerism, leadership and friendship.