Trio are tremendous at national championships in Nottingham

ELEVEN-year-old Charlie Pearse led the way for Ipswich Judo Club at the British Judo National Championships (10-11 years), held in Nottingham, last weekend.

The Claydon High School pupil won bronze at the event after winning four out of his five contests, including the third-placed decider.

His team-mates, Tom Martin, 11 and Max Unwin, 10, also impressed despite narrowly missing out on medals - Tom finishing fifth and Max, giving a year away in the 34kg group, coming fourth.

All three boys were up against the cream of the crop from Great Britain and Northern Ireland and were guided at the event by the club’s senior coach, 6th Dan, Dave Martin.

Charlie was in the hardest group, containing over 20 boys, but was in cracking form and progressed through to the semi-finals with three good wins with strong Tachiwaza (standing techniques) and Newaza (ground techniques) skills.

He lost to the eventual gold medallist in his fourth match but came out battling hard again in the bronze fight and totally frustrated his opponent who gave away three Shidos (penalty scores) in the match.

Max, who goes to school in Frimley, fought hard and pushed some of the older boys to their limits. He progressed through the earlier rounds but unfortunately lost to the eventual bronze medallist.

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Finally, Charlie’s school mate, Tom started slowly and narrowly lost his first match by a Yuko score. He worked harder in his second match and won by Ippon score (a 10 Point score) with a strong hold down called a pin.

Tom secured a A Wazari (seven-point score) in the bronze fight (this could easily have been an Ippon) from a rolling Seoinage, but unfortunately he got countered by his opponent late in the match trying the same throw and had to settle for fifth place.

“It was nice to be mat side to see all the boys from Ipswich Judo Club give their best as this was their first experience of competing at such a high level,” said Dave Martin.

The club practices on Mondays and Thursdays (Juniors 7-8:30pm) and seniors (8-10pm). For more information visit

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