2015 Judo New York Open Results
By Syl Peterkin, RCM MMA/Judo/Jiujitsu Correspondent
New York, NY (March 30th, 2015)– The 2015 New York Open was an overwhelming success. The event which was held at the New York Athletic Center, featured Olympic Gold Medalists, World Champions, and National Champions. The New York Open has been going on for over 30 years with competitors such as Jason Morris, Jimmy Pedro, Flavio Canto, Armen Bagdasarov, and more. In 2011, the format of the New York Open was switched from an individual to a team format with national teams vs. national teams. The tournament committee includes Judo legend Dr. Mel Applebaum (8th degree black belt), former US National Champion Dr. Arthur Canario, and former bronze medalist in the US National Championships, John Walla.
In the crowd were former national players including Shintaro Higashi (Kokushi Budo Institute), 2 time Olympian Travis Stevens, and coaches who have trained players up to International Levels including Jimmy Pedro, Ronaldo Veitia, Mike Swain, Kiyoshi Shiina, and Yoichiro Matsumura.
This year saw the participation of the Cuban Women’s Team; which came about as a direct result of the lifting of the US embargo on Cuba. Cuba has been a verifiable powerhouse in many sports including Baseball and Judo. Cuba would bring in 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Yalennis Castillo and 2008, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Yanet Bermoy Acosta, and 2012 Olympian Dayaris Maestre Alvarez. This was matched by the USA womens team which would bring in 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Marti Malloy.
The New York Open is well known as a prize tournament with $10,000 in total given out in 2013 (with $7,000 going to first place). This year each win by Ippon earned a competitor $100 in bit coins. The first place teams each earned $1,500.00 and second place earned $500.00.
New York State Judo President Sylwester Gawel was at hand offering support to all competitors and especially the competitors from Poland including Patryk Obiedzinski and Kozlowski Kamil. Team France took home the Gold for the Men’s division in the 2013 and 2014. Germany faced France while Poland faced the United States in the initial team match ups. France would beat Germany to move up while the United States would defeat Poland. France would later defeat the United States to move on to the finals. In the consolation pool, Germany beat Poland and afterwards beat the USA to face France in the finals. France finished the Men’s matches by beating Germany to earn its third consecutive gold in the New York Open Championships.
The crowd was treated to a masterful performance of Nage No Kata (a pre-arranged sequence of throws typically required for promotion to black belt) by Lloyd Llamas (Gentleway Masters) and James Yim.
In the womens division, Cuba would beat France and the United States would beat France in the next match. This would leave Cuba in the finals against the United States. Cuba would take an early lead but it was tied up when the USA was given a win by default. This was the result of a Cuban player being injured in an earlier match against France. Olympic bronze medalist Marti Malloy would beat her Cuban counterpart and earn a win via juji gatame (arm bar). 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison would round out the final US victory over 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Yalennis Castillo via a juji gatame (arm bar).
Final Record Standings
Men’s (1) France (2) Germany (3) United States (4) Poland
Womens (1) United States (2) Cuba (3) France
Vincent Massimino of Team France was named Most Valuable Player. US Senior National Silver Medalist Andrew Jacobs ( a member of the US Team for the 2015 NY Open) offered words of advice in order to improve in Judo and life “Step above and play harder competition … and make sure you work on your conditioning in order to succeed.”
Judo has been having a resurgence not seen in many years as a direct result of the popularity of former Olympic Bronze Medalist and UFC Champion Ronda Rousey, Mixed Martial Artist and former Judo Olympian Hector Lombard. Judo has also been proven as an effective martial art for other martial artists to cross train in due to its effectiveness including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu stylists, Wrestlers, Kick boxers, etc.
Uchi Mata Throw
Turnover into Pin
Marti Malloy Win via Arm bar
Harrison vs. Castillo