It was a special day April 2nd Judoka were celebrating the life of Russell Dodds. The Angels took Russell last June but he will be remembered by countless amounts of People. Russell was a very keen Judoka and spent several years promoting Judo by travelling the World to compete and learn, plus he organised countless competitions and courses in Bedford. Russell was a Dan Grade, Referee and IBF Coach he founded the very successful Bedford Grappling Academy which now run by Adam Dodds and Kerry Maxwell, the strength of a Club is when it continues to run after a major tragedy like this especially when it has been handed down Father to Son.

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It was decided to run a junior competition because of the empathy Russell shared with children. The Junior Judo Event was organised by the International Budo Federation UK. There were two mats for the Judo.

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The Judo was extremely well supported with a 100 competitors taking part, the Swallows is the ideal venue for this type of Competition and since it Opened the Clarke Family alongside the Young Judo Club/Swale Martial arts Club has run countless competitions in Judo, Sambo, Kent Belt Wrestling, Kurash, Karate, Shiai Jutsu and CombatSombo Wrestling, sadly this may be the last event at the Venue because of the Hire Cost.

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IBF UK has had a bit of resurgence in Judo thanks to the very successful Judo events in Faversham hosted by the Faversham Judo Club over the last couple of years and John Clarke’s Judo Events at the Swale Martial Arts Club.

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As expected the standard was very high with the Kids giving a great display of Judo, to mention any one child would be unfair to all the others who tried their hardest.  Today’s judoka are not the same as yesteryear most just want to train once a week in their own club but this could not be said of this group who were prepared to give up their Saturday and travel to honour a great Judoka Russell Dodds. Adam Dodds Russell son done us the honour of presenting the medals and the special certificates to celebrate the day, every competitor and officials received a certificate.

dodds05I would like to thank Keith Costa for organising the event, Miles Brown for being Senior Referee and all the other Referees and Officials who gave up their day to support the event, lets also remember all the competitors and spectators because without them we can not run tournaments.

Unlike the past it is very difficult to get Judoka to referee Judo events so it is always pleasing to see old stagers like Miles Brown, John Barrett and Brian Woodhall still prepared to come and help out. It is also pleasing see youngster like 15 old Frankie Aspey and 17 year old Connie Clarke Lawrie prepared to do their bit.

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