USJF National Kata Conference 2017

2017 USJF National Kata Conference 2Members of White Dragon Judo Club attended the 2017 National Kata Conference on July 26-30, 2017. The event took place at the James J. Eagan Center in Florissant, Missouri. The conference, hosted by Eiko Shepherd and Kitokan Judo Club, attracted judo practitioners from all over the country. Judo kata or forms are pre arranged patterns that 2017 USJF National Kata Conferenceillustrate the basic principles of judo. The forms demonstrate the proper execution of a technique and emphasizes the philosophical views upon which judo is based. Derick Wellman has been practicing judo kata for over thirty years now. His strong attention to detail has helped him prosper in this area of the martial art. Sensei Derick has achieved local certification for Nage no kata. His team took 4th place at the 2011 US Judo National Championships and bronze at the 2012 US Judo National Championships. White Dragon Judo Club teaches kata to all of its judo practitioners. Judo kata is a beautiful display of what judo is all about.

Neil Adams Judo Clinic

2017 Neil Adams Judo Clinic (1)The Neil Adams Judo Clinic took place at the Wahadachi Judo Club in Milwakee, Wisconsin on July 22-23, 2017. Members of White Dragon Judo Club attended this 4 sessions, 2 day rare sold out event. Neil Adams is and has been the voice of international judo. The legendary 8th dan has an extensive judo resume. Adams is a 2 time Olympic silver medalist, world judo champion and a 5 time European Judo Champion. He has authored or co authored numerous books on judo and has coached all over the world. Currently he is the owner of Neil Adams Effective Fighting. During the judo sessions, Neil Adams explained the importance of proper uchikomi practice. He emphasized good technique. He showed throws like tai otoshi, kouchigari and ouchigari. Adams also talked about the importance of practicing newaza. The hachidan demonstrated the basics of juji gatame. It was a awesome experience to learn from one of the best judokas in the world.

2017 USJA/USJF Summer Nationals

The 2017 USJA/USJF Grassroots Judo Summer Nationals took place at the Palm Beach 2017 USJA USJF Summer NationalsConvention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on July 7-9, 2017. Sensei Derick Wellman and the legendary 7th dan Randy Pierce assisted in the officiating of this tournament. Sensei Derick Wellman became a National Judo referee in October 2016. Since then Derick has been seen officiating at most of the major USA Judo/USJA/USJF sanctioned tournaments. Throughout the years Sensei Wellman has studied and maintained a thorough knowledge of Olympic and Freestyle judo rules. This has aided him in teaching his instructors how to teach judo. Sensei Wellman has set a new standard of dedication to the martial art of judo.

Summer Friendship Tournament 2017

The Belleville Judo Club hosted the first Friendship Tournament of the year on July 1, 2017. Chad 2017 Summer Friendship Tournament (3)Purdy was the tournament director for this event. Derick Wellman and the legendary 7th dan Randy Pierce officiated the event. This summer’s Friendship Tournament was different from the others because it displayed a different set of rules. The AAU freestyle judo rules were implemented for this tournament. It was a learning experience for all as the match scoring are based on a point system. Team White Dragon consisted of some the best junior judokas in White Dragon Judo Club. The juniors put on an exhibition of excellent Kodokan Judo. This tournament’s purpose is to help parents, junior and senior judokas learn about how a shiai tournament is conducted. Judokas young and old find out fast the purpose of all those drills and exercises they do in practice. Everybody WINS! Everybody gets a medal and everybody has fun. Interested? What are you waiting for? Get on the mat! There is plenty of room. Judo is a great exercise and you might gain a friend or two in the process. Contact us and checkout the website at

Happy Independence Day

White Dragon Judo Art Signs (6)In observance of Independence Day, classes for July 4, 2017 are cancelled. Sensei Derick Wellman, the administrative staff, instructors and members would like to wish you a Happy Independence Day.

Tohkon Classic XXII 2017

2017 Tohkon Classic (1)On June 10th, 2017 White Dragon Judo Club attended the 2017 Tohkon Classic. The club brought a small but compactly skilled team. With veterans Bryan Enlow and Demonn Smith, and up and coming fighter Philipp Vojta, the team had representatives at 81kg, 90kg, and 100kg. As well as a team of fighters, White Dragon Judo Club brought two national referees, Derick Wellman and the legendary 7th dan Randy Pierce, to assist in the tournament. The divisions were stacked, with Bryan Enlow battling his way through a division of international competitors and an olympic medalist. He also took part in a few exhibition matches, doing his part to encourage the developing judoka of the midwest. His drop sode tsurikomi goshi was on full display, carrying him to a bronze medal. Demonn Smith entered an equally challenging weight class, fighting many upper level competitors and making himself known. As always, the veteran didn’t shy away from competing in both the senior and masters weight classes, fighting throughout the day. Philipp Vojta entered the largest division of the tournament,with top ranked national competitors and former top ranking junior fighters. He fought valiantly against a national silver medalist in his first match and dominated in his second. Later in the day he battled his way to the final of the open division, securing himself a silver medal. The Tohkon Classic remains one of the toughest tournaments in the United States and Team White Dragon made a good showing, both in terms of fighters and referees. We can’t wait until the next one.

Promotion Night May 22, 2017

Promotion Night May 22 2017 (2)Promotion Night featured some up and coming judoka who have showed their dedication and persistence to the martial art. With Blair Watts and Demonn Smith presiding, Derek Clardy and Tsengee Erdenebayer were promoted to Gokyu Orange belt. TJ has been in Judo for almost two years and has progressed steadily. TJ made a big splash by scoring gold at the 2017 Midwest Collegiate Judo Championships. Derek Clardy has been in judo for 1 year and has won gold in his last 3 judo competition. Clardy displays raw athleticism, dedication and is eager to learn. With that attitude there is no limit of his success in the martial art.

33rd Annual North South Judo Tournament 2017

The 33rd annual North South Judo Tournament took place at the Family Sportplex in Belleville, 33rd North South Judo Tournament (2)Illinois on Saturday, May 6, 2017. The legendary Randy Pierce officiated this awesome event. David Burke assumed the head coaching duties for Team White Dragon. No member of White Dragon Judo Club was in the team competition. Team South fell to the North in convincing fashion. In the junior division, Mason Moore fought against superior competition in his category. Moore was relentless in his attacks winning bronze for the day. Trevor Judge was impressive in his second tournament of his short but promising judo career. The third generation grappler won gold going 3-0 on the day. Manareldeen Fajor won his second consecutive Fighting Spirit Award for his gold medal performance in this tournament. The senior division saw Byron Helmrich fight to a bronze medal in the lightweight division. Jay Baker won silver with a nice uchimata in the preliminary round. Phillip Vojta was splendid against a tough bracket and won silver. The MVP of the tournament was Derek Clardy. Clardy was tested facing some formidable opponents. The extra practice and dedication paid huge dividends as Clardy cranked out his third consecutive gold medal of the year.

2017 USA Judo Senior National Championships

2017 USA Judo Senior National ChampionshipsIt was a good day for White Dragon Judo Club at the 2017 Senior Nationals. With 5 fighters and the excellent coaches Dave Burke, Derick Wellman, and the legendary Randy Pierce, the club was well represented. Byron Helmrich had some impressive performances, hitting an awesome foot sweep in his first match and earning a silver medal in the brown belt 66kg weight class. Adnan Gutic fought in the longest match of the day, with 25 minutes of total mat time in his first fight. He finally won when his incredible conditioning proved too much for his opponent, allowing him to score a throw. Immediately after, he maintained his lockdown on the 81kg visually impaired weight class, moving straight into further matches and dominating the opposition with superior ground fighting. He took home a gold medal. Jay Baker entered a tough division, being the only non-black belt in the pool. Despite this, he fought hard in some very competitive and thrilling matches, displaying a defensive agility not before seen by the skilled fighter. BE Bryan Enlow had his work cut out for him, fighting in the open weight category, ages 30 to 50. He fought a strategic game, using his gripping and O Soto Gari to control his opponents, battling his way to a bronze medal. Philipp Vojta got off to a slow start but fought his way to a bronze medal, dominating his opponent in his final match of the day with an Ippon Seoi Nage, moving straight into a choke. Overall, Team White Dragon made great improvement since the previous year, with most of the competitors either moving into more difficult divisions, or placing higher than they had done previously.

2017 Indiana State Judo Championships

The 2017 Indiana State Judo Championships took place on April 8, 2017 at Jay County High2017 Indiana State Judo Championships (2) School in Portland, Indiana. The tournament was officiated by the legendary Randy Pierce, Derick Wellman and BE Bryan Enlow. Team White Dragon was led by team captain Demonn Smith. The junior division featured the Fajors trio. Dina Fajors got off to a slow start but finished strong to take a bronze medal in her division. Big sister Saba Fajors went 3-1 on the day and took silver. Manareldeen Fajors was in a tough weight class at this tournament. Manare’s talents shined to win a bronze medal. In the senior divisions, Jay Baker had a solid tournament and got a silver medal. Byron Helmrich pulled off a couple of upset victories on his way to a silver medal showing. Demonn Smith took bronze in the veteran heavyweight category. Phillip Vojta was the MVP of the tournament. Vojta had his best performance of the year winning gold in two division.