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EBJI at the 1996 Ore-Ida Tournament

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Editor’s Note: Every year for the
past five or six years or so, we have been taking some
students to the Ore-Ida Invitational Judo Tournament,
held in Ontario, OR. This tournament provided EBJI
students with a good chance to travel together to a
tournament that was not as rigorous as a national event,
where the students could test their skills against
students of a different region. In addition, we developed
a relationship with the people in this area, and they
have, in turn, supported our tournament almost every year
during this time. The students have a wonderful time,
playing with each other, supporting each other, and
really allowing their friendships in the dojo to
strengthen because of this common experience they share
outside the dojo. It is great to see these types of
experiences enrich the lives of our students, who would
not have been able to participate in such events if it
were not for Judo and EBJI.

Every year, the Ore-Ida Judo Club puts
on a tournament. Last year, a student from our judo club,
LeJon Butler and I (Sayaka Matsumoto) went to the
tournament. My father, David Matsumoto, also went as well
as Robert Fukuda and Mr. Makimoto from the Okubo Judo
Club in Sacramento. The tournament was held in January at
the Ontario High School gym in Ontario, Oregon.

We took an airplane to Boise and from
there we went to Ontario where we stayed at the lovely
Best Western Motel, where we stayed every year. I liked
the hotel because there was a swimming pool that was
indoors and it was heated.

After practicing with their judo club,
the Ore- Ida Judo club, LeJon and I were invited to go to
a basketball game the next day with one of the dojo’s
families, whom we knew for a long time. Before we went to
the basketball game, we went to pizza at a local
restaurant. It was fun at the basketball game, but it got
boring when the teams when into double overtime. It was
late by then and we were tired.

The next day when we woke up, we were
amazed to see snow everywhere. There had apparently been
a snow storm overnight it was interesting to see the
front of the motel now covered with snow about a half a
foot deep. We made it to the tournament O.K. and I was a
little nervous. LeJon was injured, so he didn’t compete,
but I did. I played against many different people, and
placed first.

Going to Oregon was a great experience
even though it was about my fifth time there. I am very
fortunate to be able to go to many different places
because of judo, and I would definitely go back to Oregon