Jonathan Crane of North Caribou Lake First Nation took part in his first judo tournament in late October.
“My first fight, I lost,” the 20-year-old recalled. “I got caught with a hip toss.”
With that match, he learned a valuable lesson.
“Be aware, they could come quick,” he said.
The Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School student carried that lesson into the next two fights and won. He finished with a win-loss record of 2-2, good for third place at the 2011 Kevin Kennedy Memorial Judo Tournament, held Oct. 22 at the Thunder Bay Judo Dojo.
“I feel pretty good, because I won that trophy right there,” he said, pointing to a judo trophy sitting on a shelf in principal Jonathan Kakegamic’s office. “It may be small, but I’m still happy about it.”
“He did good,” Kakegamic said. “Proud of him.”
Crane has always been an athletic youth. He previously played hockey, baseball, wrestling and soccer. He also represented DFC when playing for the senior football team with Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute two seasons ago.
When he was about 17, Crane went to his first mixed martial arts lesson.
“My cousin got me into martial arts,” he said. “He would constantly watch videos of it.”
Then, about a year-and-a-half ago, he joined the Sanug Dojo, a judo dojo run by Kakegamic at DFC.
The dojo started three years ago in a partnership with Sakamoto Judo Dojo. Kakegamic said he felt it would benefit the school and students.
“It teaches discipline,” said Kakegamic, who wants to get his black belt. “You need to attend regularly, and we have five current members, and I’m trying to teach my staff so they can help me run the club.”
Crane and possibly another student will be traveling to Wisconsin in December to attend another judo tournament.
“I’m excited for the next tournament,” Crane said. “I’m going to train with a wrestling team to work on my wrestling for judo.”
“The thing with him, he’s very technically sound,” Kakegamic said of Crane, “it’s that he needs to work on his cardio.”
Crane is a yellow belt, but hopes to get his orange belt by Christmas.
Crane said it’s a rush whenever he enters a tournament.
“I like that feeling of being nervous,” he said.
Ontario Native Women’s Association executive director Cora McGuire-Cyrette enjoyed participating along with National Chief RoseAnne Archibald and W
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