Judo comes to West Edmonton Mall

By Erin Cripps-Woods

EDMONTON — West Edmonton Mall’s indoor ice rink turned into a huge judo competition arena for the International Judo Championships on March 30.

West Edmonton Mall's indoor ice rink transformed into a large judo competition arena for the International Judo Championships on March 30, 2012. Photograph by Erin Cripps-Woods.

Mark Hicks, organizer of the event, says one of the attractions of West Edmonton Mall is it’s a great venue. “It’s a great way to present our city because it’s [West Edmonton Mall] a great showcase of Edmonton.”

The tournament is now in its seventh year of running and Hicks sees the venue choice as the key way to promote the judo community.

“We do this tournament because we want to promote judo,” says Hicks. In this mall, 100,000 people walk by this event. I would consider them passive participants.”

The Edmonton Yudanshakai Judo Society organized the International Judo Championship this year.

Davis Johnston is an orange belt in judo and has been competing for about four years now. He belongs to the Kodokwai Judo club and has friends who also train in judo.

“My dad influenced me to just go ahead and try judo,” says Johnston.

Johnston also says he likes to compete and that he would probably have five fights during the International Judo Championship. At the end of the day he claimed bronze in the U-13 category.

“Most of the people that do judo are just involved with the sport because they love it,” says Hicks.

The judo championship saw people from right here in Edmonton, all the way to a few competitors flying in from England. In past years others have come from as far away as Japan to compete.

The University of Alberta Invitational is coming up on Nov. 5, in Fort Saskatchewan.

Take a look at some of the action at the mall:


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