Local Judo Team Prepares For Games of America
POSTED: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 7, 2012 - 8:44am
HARLINGEN — The Harlingen Sports Center recently had 10 Judo members secure spots at the upcomming Games of America.
"To have our Valley athletes here going to compete at that high level, it's a big accomplishment," said head Judo coach, Juan Caballero.
The students first had to beat out athletes from across the state at the Games of Texas in Corpus.
"You gotta win either 1st, or 2nd...some 3rds are invited to compete in the Games of America. There's only two other schools here in the Valley, other than ourselves and we're the only school that qualified," said Caballero.
The sport takes great discipline.
"It's like playing chess with another person, but we're using Judo techniques. You gotta be ready to do any technique and counter the techniques they're using on you," said Caballero.
The concept of Judo is to throw your opponent on their back, apply a chokehold or arm bar until they tap.
"It's fun, we get to meet new people at competitions," said one student.
The athletes train hard and before competitions spend up to 8 hours a week perfecting their technique. It's something they enjoy doing.
"When I come in here I feel a bunch of excitement just blew up in my mouth," said one student.
For now, the team looks to the Games of America where they'll be able to challenge other Judo athletes from across the country.
Games of America will take place in Pennsylvania next year.