Philip Jones, a third degree black belt in Judo, visited the Abaco Judo Club on October 12 offering advice and tips to the young judoka (participants in Judo) as he prepares to open his own Judo Club in Grand Bahama.
Sensei Jones, originally from Nassau, lived in Columbus, Ohio for over 30 years and competed in Judo at the collegiate level while in the United States earning a state championship title and eventually earning a third degree black belt in the Olympic sport. He has now returned to The Bahamas, living in Freeport, and he wants to share his knowledge through a Judo club there.
He said that while he prepares to set up his Judo school in Freeport he intends to travel to Abaco and Nassau and train with the clubs there. Sensei Jones goal is to see a team of Bahamian Judoka reach and compete in the Olympics.
He has invited the Abaco Judo Club to Freeport for a Martial Arts Tournament on October 26 where there will be a Judo demonstration. “It’s about growing Judo in The Bahamas right now.”
He saw the Abaco’s judoka compete at the Judo US Open in Fort Lauderdale recently and noted that “from 2006 to 2013 Judo has grown a lot. They were able to achieve some medals and we are getting to the point where eventually we will get someone not just in the Olympics, but competing for a medal.”
He noted that a lot of the countries that dominate in Judo have professional athletes – they don’t work as the government takes care of them as they concentrate only on training and he felt that it would be ideal if The Bahamas could do the same.
He said Judo is good for any age and it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or boy. “It’s a rough sport but it’s a good sport,” he said.
The Abaco Judo Club’s goal this year is to have Abaco represent The Bahamas at the CAC Games and US Open and win. They held a variety of fundraisers, including a bake sale and a throw-a-thon recently, to raise funds and are still seeking private or corporate sponsors to assist.