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.
Anna Feygina took silver in the 57kg female category at the 2013 Irwin Cohen Memorial Judo Tournament in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Coached by Andrew Lazarz, Anna dominated her opponent with superior kumi kata and slick ashi waza. The nationally ranked judoka went 2-1 on the day.
Team White Dragon made its way to the 2013 USA Judo Senior National Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The USA Judo superstars were in full attendance and Team White Dragon was more than up to the challenge. Derick Wellman was coaching his 13th USA Judo nationals under the White Dragon logo. He had the job of coaching against some top level talent. Eugene Hamilton fought well in the brown belt division but was unable to medal. Demonn Smith encountered some heavy opposition in the Masters divisions in his 3rd US Judo Nationals. It was a tough day for Smith as he failed to crack the awards podium. Anna Feygina fought an excellent nationals and placed 5th for the second successive year. Adnan Gutic was one of the superstars of the tournament. Adnan fought in the visually impaired and the brown belt divisions. Gutic displayed some awesome newaza and won most of his matches via pin. Adnan took silver in the 81kg brown belt division and gold in the 81kg visually impaired category. With a 1st place finish in 81kg visually impaired, Adnan Gutic has a chance to make the USA Paralympic team for 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
White Dragon Apparel can be found at: http://fighterattire.webs.com/
The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) came to Saint Louis, Missouri on March 23, 2013. The submission grappling tournament took place at the University of Missouri Saint Louis campus. Hundreds of competitors with grappling disciplines from all over the region compete at this tournament. This year two judokas represented their judo/jiujitsu dojos and fought well. Adnan Gutic displayed his patented awesome ne waza on his way to a 2nd place finish in the Gi division and a 3rd place finish in the No gi category. Dave Copeland showed no signs of rust after a brief hiatus from the mat. Big D displayed a hefty arsenal of throws and submissions finishing first in the Masters Gi division and 2nd in the Heavyweight No gi division. This is only the beginning for NAGA as the submission tournament will return to Saint Louis in the fall.
The White Dragon Judo train made a stop in Kansas City, Missouri for the 2013 Kansas City Open Judo tournament. This was the first USA Judo sanctioned event in quite sometime. Derick Wellman’s team was poised and eager for success in this regional tournament. In the junior division, Jocyln Butler placed fourth in her division. Devin Busch took bronze in the age 9-10 boys division. Anthony Darevsky was the judoka of the day. Anthony fought in a large and highly talented division. Anthony went 4-0 on the day, winning the gold medal match via pin.
In the Master division, Andrew Lazarz scored ippon in the last minute of his gold medal match. For the second consecutive tournament he used his patented spina (Russian drop seoinage) to win the match. Dan Dillon placed fifth in his division. Eugene Hamilton continues to show improvement. He took home a silver medal. Adnan Gutic fought extremely hard, showing off some awesome newaza. He took home a hard fought silver medal for his efforts. Demonn Smith finished with a silver medal in the Senior Men’s Heavyweight class. Anna Feygina continues to tune up for the 2013 US Nationals with gold medal finish in the female lightweight division.
Team White Dragon traveled to Spring Hill, Tennessee for the 2013 Tennessee Judo Championships. Coach Derick Wellman brought in a talented team of judokas who did not disappoint the Tennessee audience. Andrew Lazarz had the throw of tournament, executing his patented “spina” technique. He took home a silver for the day. Dan Raney scored gold in the Masters Heavyweight division. Greg Gordon had an impressive showing in his tournament debut. The marine scored double gold in Masters and senior 90kg divisions. Adnan Gutic was relentless in his division, getting a bronze medal for his efforts. Anna Feygina continues to solidfy her national top 10 ranking with a 2nd place finish in the women’s lightweight division. An awesome display of judo from Team White Dragon as all members medaled in this tournament. Note: Photo courtesy of Felix Lanier.
Team White Dragon started off the new year with a bang. The team took its talent to Mapleton, Illinois for the Hollis Park Judo Invitational. Coach Derick Wellman had an equal number of senior and junior judokas eager to start the year off on the right foot. In the junior division, Anthony Darevsky had his work cut out for him in his large weight pool. Darevsky’s day was highlighted with an awesome osoto gari that put him in the gold medal match. He went 4-1 on the day and took silver. Jordan Ashen hit a beautiful harai goshi that should have been the throw of the tournament. He took home silver. Devin Busch put out his best performance to date, taking gold and going undefeated for the day. In the senior division, Demonn Smith had an off day, taking bronze in the heavyweight and open categories. Eugene Hamilton took silver in Mens Middleweight. Adnan Gutic started the year off right with a strong performance that resulted in a gold medal. A strong start with a judo team that is growing and getting stronger each day.
There were a number of promotions that took place in January. Notably, Demonn Smith was promoted to Nidan January 9, 2013. Smith has trained under Derick Wellman for 11 years. He has been practicing Judo for 18 years. Demonn Smith brings a high level of dedication, desire, and motivation that has been very contagious at White Dragon Judo Club. His humble attitude and will to learn and practice diligently has contributed to his success in the sport of Judo. Smith placed 5th at the 2012 Grand Masters World Championships. He plans to appear at this year’s US Judo Nationals in Virginia Beach, Virginia. White Dragon Judo Club would like to extend its congratulations to Demonn Smith on achieving this milestone.
2012 was a year of prosperity and growth. The dojo has reached new heights and is the largest dojo in the state of Missouri. The dojo saw its judokas young and old achieve several goals. The year saw White Dragon Judo Club reach a single day junior practice attendance record. Attendance has grown tenfold due to an improved marketing effort, instruction, and a new junior promotion system. The new junior promotion system was very encouraging because it showed the junior judoka how much progress the individual was making. With the known progress, the judoka will return to practice and practice more to get better. The Friendship Tournament took on a new format. Instead of the event occurring annually, the tournament was directed towards junior judoka development and occurs every other month. White Dragon Judo Club was involved in 5 Friendship Judo Tournaments in 2012. Sensei Derick Wellman was not the only teacher giving out valuable judo instruction. New instructors had emerged to assist Sensei Wellman in his quest to spread the sport of judo.
From the junior ranks we saw the emergence of Anthony Darevesky. Anthony aspires to be an Olympic gold medalist in the sport of judo. Throughout the year Anthony worked countless hours, even joining the adult classes, working on his basic skills. Anthony only got better. Anthony competed at the 2012 Junior Olympics in Dalla, Texas. Although he did not medal, he managed to win his first match in national competition. Anthony received his green belt in September. He is the highest ranking junior judoka in the club.
Adnan Gutic fell short of making the US ParaOlympic Team but is still one of top judokas in the visually impaired and senior divisions. Tiffany Choi teamed up with Sensei Derick Wellman to win bronze in the kata division at the 2012 US Senior Nationals. Anna Feygina had a great year, winning numerous medals, placing 5th at this years US Senior Nationals and was ranked 9th nationally in her weight class. Demonn Smith placed 5th at the 4th IJF Grand Masters Championships.
White Dragon Judo Club hosted its 2nd annual Gateway Invitational Judo tournament. This tournament continues to grow and promises to be one of the largest regional judo tournaments in the nation.
In conclusion, the year 2012 was one of the most productive years in White Dragon Judo history. White Dragon Judo Club is currently the largest dojo in the state of Missouri. Families are registering their children for judo everyday and even the parents, family members are getting involved. Don’t miss out on the fun. 2013 is already looking to be a great year. We will see you on the mat.
In 2012, the Friendship Judo Tournament, an idea developed by Derick Wellman, has taken on a different persona. Once a small in house judo tournament amongst the members of White Dragon Judo Club, other judo clubs around the Saint Louis metro area have participated in this event. The tournament is directed towards young junior judokas. This gives the judoka an opportunity to compete and have a better understanding of tournament judo (shiai). The fees are very inexpensive, the kids get a lot of matches and most important the kids have a lot of fun. Every judoka gets a medal for their participation in this tournament. All of the medals are the same color because everyone wins. In 2013 White Dragon Judo Club will have about 5 of these types of tournaments. Several judo clubs around the Saint Louis area have express their interest, participation, and some will host the Friendship Judo Tournament. What an evolution! Stay posted to the website and Facebook on when the next Friendship Judo Tournament is. Have fun and we will see you on the mat in 2013.