Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Russell and Nick Delpopolo

This past weekend one of our newest team members was able to go to a work out with Nick Delpopolo. Thanks to Grace Talusan for hosting this event!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Blaine Duhs Represents Hollis Park at US Open

In July Hollis Park was represented by Blaine Duhs in the 2017 edition of the US Open Judo Championships. The US Open is an annual, international Judo tournament conducted by USA Judo. This was Blaine’s first experience in the US Open and he acquitted himself well!

Blaine captured a Silver medal in the -100kg Veterans (35 years or older) division, which was his third international medal. Blaine also fought for the Bronze in the -100kg Senior (17 to 35 years old) division. Although he threw his opponent for a good score, the brassy Brazilian managed to out-maneuver Blaine in ground play for the match. The loss put Blaine in 5th place and a fifth place finish in an international event is nothing to be ashamed of!

Congratulations Blaine! 


Congratulations on Silver, Grace!!

Last month our own Grace went to her second World Masters IBJJF Jiu-jitsu tournament and just like last year secured herself a silver medal. Congratulations Grace!! You are amazing!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 Judo Nationals Team Review

Over the weekend of April 28ththrough the 30th, Blaine Duhs, Joe Taylor (pictured above with Olympian Kayla Harrison), Grace Talusan and Coach Weers traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2017 National Judo Championships. Salt Lake City is surrounded by mountains, which provides a picturesque setting for a well-kept city. Of course, the mountains also provide conditions conducive to snow, sleet and rain, which entertained us on our first day.

This was Joe’s first Nationals. Your job at your first Nationals is to experience the event, have fun and meet new people. Your first Nationals are not about to bringing home medals. Your first Nationals are not about determining your place in the pecking order of elite competitors.  Your first Nationals are more about seeing how you deal with the fact that you’re on the bottom of the pecking order. Joe Taylor handled that reality brilliantly! After going being eliminated in his second round, Joe, all smiles and exuberance, stated simply, ‘I’m coming back!’.

Uncontested at her ‘official’ weight, Grace entered an ‘Open’ division of the top middle and light heavy weight females in the country. In spite of a weight deficit in favor of her opponent’s, Grace finished 3rd in the division.

As usual, Blaine competed in the +100kg and the Open weight division. Unfortunately, early in a 100kg match Blaine ‘tweaked’ his back again. In spite of the constraints presented by the back injury, Blaine won one and lost two at 100+ kg and fought for the bronze in the Open division, where he went two and two. Although Blaine did not bring home the Bronze it was an outstanding performance. After the festivities Blaine decide that moving down to the -100kg division is the best plan for future events.

Upcoming events include the North/South Tournament on May 6th, the International Training Camp June 2nd – 4th, and the Tohkon Classic on June 10th. I need to know who plans to attend which events.

Congratulations to all our team members! Our national players can’t prepare for the big events without your help.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Midwest Collegiate Judo Championships Briefing

everyone! Wanted to give a quick recap on the events of the day. The team was in Savoy, IL at the 2nd annual Midwest Collegiate Judo Championships. We started the day off with Ken Tiessen and Natalie Habsburg testing for their final brown belt ranks in front of Sensei Eiko Shepherd and Sensei Doug Tono. This was a grueling test that took over an hour and in which Ken and Natalie demonstrated standing techniques, ground techniques and an overall knowledge of the language and art of judo. Thanks to Stefan Habsburg for being uke (demonstration partner) and taking falls. Congratulations to Ken and Natalie on their promotions.

Then the tournament matches. Ethan B. fought twice in his weight division and though he did not come away with any medals, he played marvelously - especially as this was his first competion. Joe Taylor fought twice in his division as well and fought hard even with an injured hand. Stefan Habsburg had one other competitor in his weight class and won both matches against his opponent to take home the gold. Blaine Duhs had a slightly larger pool of competitors but won all his matches and also took home gold.

And lastly, our players participated in the team competition. Ethan B. was drafted to fight for Indiana's team since they were in need of another team member. Blaine, Stefan, and Joe made up the majority of Illinois's team along with two other players. As a team, they fought three times and won, becoming the Champion team. More gold medals!

Congratulations to everyone on your stellar performances! Videos are being uploaded and will be posted soon.