USJA Nationals 2006

Daily Bulletin, December 8, 2006

USJA Winter Nationals held in Ontario

The opening ceremonies brought together judo players from all parts of the country

by Alexis Young, Staff Writer

The two-day competition brought out Judo Olympic medalists Jimmy Pedro, Jr., World Champion AnnMaria De Mars and her daughter Ronda Rousey, a current U.S. Olympic Team member. The event was directed by Gary Goltz, Chief Operating Officer of the USJA and head instructor of Goltz Judo of Claremont.

"Judo is a martial art that's been in the Olympics since 1964," Goltz said. "It involves throws and holds that can be either pins, arm locks or strangles. It's a relatively safe sport. Judo develops character in people and makes people challenge themselves. It teaches the value of cooperating with others.

"The goal of judo is to get people to be productive members of society," said Goltz, who started his judo club in 1987. "Judo means gentle way. It builds inner confidence in people. We're going to have two forms of competition. First is shiai or what you might call sparring, and then there's kata, which is the pre-arranged exercises. In kata, they demonstrate their holds and strangles and they are judged on their exhibition."

Competitors ranged in age from 5 years old to well over 60 years old. Goltz awarded medals in over 100 divisions. About 50 of the competitors were from his 170-member club, the largest club of the 800 clubs in the USJA. After the competition, professional judo players led a skills clinic for participants. For more information go to Judo Wiinter Nationals

Gary Goltz introduces Ronda Rousey and past Olympic and World Judo Champions