After an outstanding performance last weekend, the Swansea University Jiu Jitsu Club has returned from the 2012 Randori Nationals with eight medals and two mentions.
A total of 74 universities competed and must now wait to hear the results for the final positions.
The Randori Nationals are regarded as one of the largest Jiu Jitsu events in the world and is fully recognised by the British Jiu Jitsu Organisation. While essentially working as a student-based event, it also holds competitions against non-students, and pits the skills of one opponent against another in a series of knock-out rounds where each winner goes on to the next stage of competition.
The Swansea University Club won a total of 8 medals between the 25 team members who entered in the competition, with 4 gold medals, 2 silvers, 3 bronzes, and 2 mentions (4th place).
Team Captain David Townsend was proud of the entire team and spoke with The Siren about his thoughts on the overall result.
“Everyone, whether they won a medal or not, showed extreme talent and courage over adversity,” he said.
“They demonstrated pure technique and have obviously learned a lot from being on the team and working together. This is a watermark in what the club can achieve from complete novices all the way up to expert, and it just goes to show that absolutely anyone can learn and do Jiu Jitsu- male, female, children, adults- anyone.
“Those who won medals… I’m extremely proud of them. We put a lot of effort and time into training. The performances on the day were fantastic, and I think some of the team even surprised themselves with just how well they did.”
The team won the BUCS shield in 2011; an achievement that no other Swansea University Jiu Jitsu team has made in the 26 years of the club’s inception. Over the past year they have swiftly become the main contenders in competitive events around the UK, with their main rival being the University College London team.
Apart from a slight problem with the hotel, which didn’t provide the breakfast the team was hoping for, the weekend was a huge success.
“It’s turned into a bit of a running joke,” Townsend explained. “The hotel we were staying at didn’t have any bacon, and this has happened for two years in a row. We weren’t very happy about it but that was the only hiccup we had for the entire weekend. We’ll make sure to bring our own next time!”
Discussing his hopes for the club in the future, Townsend said that he’d like to see even more people signing up to learn the martial art.
“The club is incredibly diverse already but I’d like to try and make it even more so with every aspect. I want to see more people join and pick up Jiu Jitsu as well as to start getting involved in even more competitions and events.”
Listed below is the full list of the team members who won medals or mentions at the Randori Nationals
Kostantins Lazars: (Novice ground fighting): Gold Medal (Heavy weight)
Idris Birch: (Yellow belt ground fighting): Gold Medal (Middle weight)
Joe Kershaw: (Yellow belt ground fighting): Bronze Medal (Light weight)
Gordon Cummings: (Orange belt ground fighting): Bronze medal (Light weight)
Katrine Salomonsen: (Green belt standing & ground): 4th place mentions (Heavy weight)
Leon Nell: (Yellow belt fighting- light blue standing category): Silver Medal (Heavy weight)
Katie Palmer: (Yellow belt fighting- open category): Silver Medal (All weight categories)
Russ Marsh: (Purple belt standing- light blue category): Gold medal (Middle weight)
David Townsend: (Purple belt ground- light blue category): Gold Medal (Middle weight)
Click on the links to see some of the performances at the Randori Nationals