Chicago Shimpo
Judo Clinic and Junior Tournament
150 Judo Kids Compete with Waza

• The 2nd Komatsu Judo Clinic and JCCC/Komatsu Cup-Junior Tournament took place on July 14 at the Soccer City Palatine, and about 150 Children under the age of 16 participated in the event.
• In the morning of the day, the Judo Clinic was given by 5th-dan Ayumi Tanimoto, Assistant Manager of Komatsu’s Women’s Judo Club and a double Gold medalist in Beijing and Athens Olympics, and 5th-dan Megumi Ishikawa, Coach of Komatsu’s Women’s Judo Club.

• The Junior Tournament started after Japanese obento-box lunch. The participants were divided into a team and competed against each other. The tournament was heated, and even small children were using their waza, judo techniques.
• As special guests, Consul General Naoki Ito; Kazuaki Tsuda, Chair of JCCC (Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago); Kenya Yamada, Vice President and Regional Manager of Japan Airlines; Koji Hamada, President of Kintetsu International Express (U.S.A.); and Kenichi Hyuga, General Manager of Sumitomo Americas were watching the exciting tournament.

• According Hideyuki Takatsuki, President and COO of Komatsu America, the sales volume in North America accounts for 25 % of the entire company’s sales and the biggest branch in the world. “That’s why we want to be rooted in the U.S. as a corporate citizen, and contribute to education through judo, and give back to the local society that is a responsibility of a corporate citizen. That’s the reason to host this judo clinic and tournament,” Takatsuki said. Komatsu’s headquarters in Japan has a Japan’s top-class women’s judo club.

• Takatsuki said that Komatsu America initiated the judo event two years ago and met Douglas Tono, owner of Tokon Judo Academy on Chicago’s north side. He said, “Besides Tokon’s long history and stability, many of its spiritual development policies, which do not stress on merely becoming a strong player, matches our corporate policies, so we decided to collaborate to host a joint judo event.”

• Takatsuki also said, “Participants came from seven states last year. Connecting small judo classes through networks made it possible to hold this event. I’m also pleased to have more corporate supporters this year. I wish that this event will become one of the summer events for judo kids rather than selling Komatsu’s name. It’s my hope that we can contribute a little bit to strengthen the presence of Japanese companies in the U.S.”

• After more than three hours of the tournament, team Monkeys won the boys tournament, and a girls’ team, which had no name, won the first place.
• Each of the winners was honored to receive a gold, silver, or bronze medal from Olympics gold medalist Tanimoto and Ishikawa, who has won numerous championships.

• After the ceremony, a raffle thrilled the participants. Significant prizes were four tickets for a Bull’s game by Sumitomo Americas, a round trip to Japan by JAL, a pair tickets for domestic flights except Hawaii and Alaska by Kintetsu International Express (U.S.A.), and one-fifth size of Komatsu’s miniature models.


The winners of the JCCC-Komatsu Cup Junior Team Tournament were:

Boys -- Monkeys team members:
• Azamat Dzhapar, 6, Tohkon Judo Academy, Chicago
• Connor Ecke, 10, Pride Martial Arts, New Lennox, Illinois
• Carter Rommelfanger, 12, Hogosha, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
• Anthony Glenn, 15, Tohkon Judo Academy, Chicago
• Adam Eckardt, Menomonee Judo, Chicago

Girls: No Name, team members:
• Ottawa Hogan, age 9, Selkirk Judo Club, Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada
• Chanelle Ortiz, 8, Tohkon Judo Academy, Chicago
• Nanda Kibi, 10, Warrior Judo Club, Canton, Michigan
• Jenna Lowder, 10, Dynamo, Bettendorf, Iowa
• Celestine Uherka, 14, Hogosha, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

The first place, the second place, and the third place winners receive medals from Olympic Gold Medalist Tanimoto (R) and Coach Ishikawa.

The first place, the second place, and the third place winners receive medals from Olympic Gold Medalist Tanimoto (R) and Coach Ishikawa.

Hideyuki Takatsuki (L) and Douglas Tono