First Black Belts for Fishers Island Judo Club

Black Belts for Fishers Island Judo Club
Posted on 05/20/2017
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Congratulations to all our Judo students
on a successful year and lots of promotions!
Special congratulations to Thad Allen and Emma Cypherd,
the first Fishers Island students to earn their Black Belts in Judo!


By 
Ronald Egnor
Sensei Ron Egnor Instructor
Rokudan (6th degree)
May 20, 2017

It is not easy or quick to get a black belt in the Olympic sport of Judo. Now the Fishers Island Judo Club has two. A brief history of the journey to this auspicious day helps.

In the fall of 2010 Michael Shine (Class of 2011), arranged with Cynthia Riley who directed “Extra-curricular programming “ as one of her many titles, to have an 8-week introductory Judo program. Now living in Maine she sent her congratulations along with this quote:

“Please extend my congratulations to all, especially Black Belt recipients! Wow! I remember being paired with Emma in those first months. She always threw me!”

That trial program started in January of 2011 and is still going strong. Over these past 6 ½ years over 40 Fishers Island students have attended at least 10 weeks (20 hours) of Judo. Some of them now have over 250 hours on the mat. It is so enjoyable to watch them grow in life as well as judo and see many of them go off to college or the work force.

The club’s biggest fan, Principal Karen Goodwin, and I share a common factor that we both love the kids. In return, I feel that they earn this by their hard work and enthusiasm. They all work hard in school and on the mat. Principal Goodwin stated at the end of the day that all the members show great respect, discipline, and behavior to all around them. This is not just from judo but also from the school.

Sensei Sharon Hunt, (Yodan 4th degree), co-founder of New London County Judo to which Fishers Island judo belongs, was very impressed by the techniques used in the mini tournament she orchestrated. She was especially taken by the way the team put down the mats and was ready to go in perfect fashion.

We both want to thank the Fishers Island School for the honor bestowed upon us but we know we owe it to the kids.

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