White Dragon Judo Club is the Saint Louis area’s fastest growing Judo club. We offer classes to students of all levels, children and adults alike. Please take a look around our website to see what’s new with us, and learn a little about the wonderful sport of Judo. Thanks for stopping by!
White Dragon Judo Club is committed to providing the Saint Louis area with instruction in Kodokan Judo. It is our goal to attract and develop high quality judoka (Judo players). Keeping in mind that Judo is an art concerned with improving ones physical fitness and above all the character of the judoka. We encourage diversity so our club is a rich cultural experience as well as a ton of fun.
White Dragon Judo Club hosted a judo open mat session on July 4, 2016. Judo open mat session are open to members of the club and non members. There is no mat fee just wear the proper judo uniform. The practice was led by Dan Raney. Sensei Raney demonstrated Uchimata. He showed different versions of the technique. Sensei Raney had our student practice practical drills that would improve their entry and execution of the technique. The session was concluded with tachiwaza and newaza randori. Are looking for a dojo? White Dragon Judo Club has a full roster of great instructors that will give you the proper direction in the martial art of Judo. There are many learning opportunities like this one. All it takes is a commitment to the martial art and most important, yourself. The monthly rates are affordable and you are never too old to start. Join the club. We will see you on the mat.
The 21st Tohkon Classic took place at the Oak Lawn Park District Pavilion in Oak Lawn, Illinois on June 11, 2016. 7th dan Randy Pierce assisted in the officiating of this tournament. Demonn Smith was the player/ coach for Team White Dragon. This tournament has proven to be one of the most competitive events of the year for Team White Dragon. The margin of error was slim to none. Adam Young showed significant improvement in this tournament scoring a win in the preliminaries but was unable to advance to the medal stand. It was an enlightening learning experience for gokyu Tsengee Erdenebayer. Robin showed lots of potential and made the best of his opportunity by scoring a bronze medal in his tournament debut. Byron Helmrich got off to a slow start but came on strong in the end. He did not qualify for a medal. Phillip Vojta scored wins against some credible opponents. He took bronze in his category. Bryan Enlow won the only gold medal for Team White Dragon in this tournament. He went 4-0 on the day. Demonn Smith showed signs of returning to mid season form with a solid performance. Smith took bronze in the veteran’s heavyweight category and silver in the open division.
White Dragon Judo Club conducted its first promotion day in quite some time. With Dan Raney, Demonn Smith and Andrew Lazarz presiding, newcomer Manare Fajors was promoted to Blue belt on June 5, 2016. The Palo Alto, California native is a grappling dynamo. Manare also competes in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The youngster displays great athleticism, work ethic and discipline that is rare these days in a junior class judokas. Manare recently took gold at the 2016 North South Judo Tournament. He was also awarded the Fighting Spirit Award for his awesome performance at this tournament. Since then the preteen continues to push himself to be a better version of himself. Manare’s star potential is limitless.
Ryan Morrow was promoted to Nikkyu on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Morrow started judo at age 9. He made his return to the practice after watching his son participate in the junior judo classes at White Dragon Judo Club. This year Ryan has dedicated himself to being a great teacher, passing down his judo knowledge to the youths. His patience and charisma is contagious and it shows in his students. Are you someone that has practice judo and would like to get back into it? What are you waiting for? There is plenty of room in our adult classes. Do you have a son or daughter? Why don’t you enroll them too? You are not too old and it is not too late. Ryan will see you on the mat.
Koji Uchida was the guest instructor for Saturday judo practice at White Dragon Judo Club on May 21, 2016. Uchida is a Sandan, third degree black belt in Judo. He started judo at a very young age and became a prominent judo player during his high school and college days in Japan. Koji now resides in Seattle, Washington. The practice consisted of a strong emphasis on the fundamentals. Uchida stress the fundamental concepts of kuzushi, off balance. Sensei Uchida also demonstrated a counter to tai otoshi, ko soto gari. The session was followed up with nagekomi and randori. It was a technically enlightening experience.
It was a big night for one heavyweight judoka. With 7th dan Randy Pierce presiding, Bryan Enlow was promoted to shodan, 1st degree black belt. This was a crowning achievement for Bryan. The former youth pastor and army veteran has been in judo since he was a teenager. Judo has help shape him as a person. His contribution to judo are beginning to pile up. Bryan Enlow is one of the junior instructors at the dojo. He has contributed to the junior judoka program’s success. Bryan has also develop as a referee. This is often a hard transition for a shia competitor like Bryan but he has made it look easy. White Dragon Judo Club would like to congratulate Bryan Enlow and wish him continued success in the martial art of Judo.
Members of White Dragon Judo Club were in attendance at the AnnMaria De Mars Judo Clinic on May 7, 2016. The seminar took place at the Tulsa Judo Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. AnnMaria De Mars is the 1984 World Judo Champion at 56 kilograms. The matriarch of juji gatame is also the mother of 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey. The seminar revolved around De Mars’s mastery of kansetsu waza (joint lock techniques). Sensei De Mars went over the basic concepts of the armlock. She then demonstrated modification and advanced versions of the technique. Judokas from all over the Midwest region were able to learn and practice with a World Champion.
May is the month of graduation for many high schools and colleges. White Dragon Judo Club hosted its first promotion night of the month on May 2, 2016. The event featured the graduation of Byron Helmrich to the rank of Ikkyu. The legendary Randy Pierce presided over the examination. Helmrich executed a near flawless examination on his way to a unanimous decision for promotion. Byron is a role model of dedication and commitment. The New Jersey native worked hard the past couple of years and it paid off. Byron competed in kata and placed third in his division at the 2016 USA Judo Senior National Championships. The sky is the limit for this young man with unlimited potential.
The 32nd annual North South Judo Tournament took place at the Family Sportplex in Belleville, Illinois on Saturday, May 18, 2016. The event was well officiated by Sensei Derek Wellman and Randy Pierce. Bryan Enlow made his coaching debut joining Dan Raney as the coaches for Team White Dragon. In the team competition, junior Cameron Duffield was the only judoka on Team South representing the White Dragon Judo label. Cameron won his match but the South lost the team match. The North retain the rights to the North South trophy. In the junior category, Cameron Duffield continued his winning ways pinning his opponents to win gold. Reisin Riley was up to the challenge in a talented bracket. She won her second consecutive North South silver medal going 3-1 on the day. Issac Valdez de Soto rebounded after a slow start to win bronze in his division. Veronica Booker was one of two juniors to make their Team White Dragon debut. Booker fought a tough gold medal match and got silver. Manare Fajor was the MVP of the tournament. He displayed flawless technique winning all of his matches by ippon. He went undefeated on the day to take the gold home. In the senior division, Phillip Vojta showed significant improvement in a tough bracket. He went 3-1 on the day with a silver medal for his efforts. His teammate Byron Helrich performed even better. With his family in attendance, Byron executed a splendid seotoshi (shoulder drop) for ippon in the gold medal match. The Rolla, Missouri native has proven to be a worthy opponent. Jay Baker fought exceptionally well but was unable to pull out a medal in this tournament. In the veterans category, Bryan Enlow returned to the mat after a 10 year hiatus. Bryan outlasted his opponents to take a silver medal. Demonn Smith endured a tough day on the mat getting the bronze in the super heavyweight weight class.
The 2016 Tennessee State Judo Championships took place at the Harding Academy Gym in Memphis Tennessee on April 23, 2016. The tournament was well officiated with 3 referees (Randy Pierce, Bryan Enlow, Derick Wellman) representing White Dragon Judo Club. Team White Dragon had two representatives, Demonn Smith and Jay Baker, competing in this tournament. The brackets were stacked with judo talent from across the midwest region. Both judokas fought very well but were unable to medal at this contest.