Judo continues to grow in popularity in Saskatchewan

The sport of judo isn’t for everyone – the physically demanding sport pits martial artists against each other on the mats.

But the sport is growing in popularity on the Prairies.

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Competitors from across the nation met in Regina over the past few weeks as they looked to score points for their teams and better their chances of making the national team.

But how does one actually win a judo match?

“I compare it most closely to wrestling,” said Warren Seib, an athlete’s representative for Judo Saskatchewan.

Click to play video: 'Judo in Regina a family affair'

Judo in Regina a family affair

“Throw your opponent fully on their back and that’s a point. You can also score half a point so if you do that twice you win.”

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You can also beat your opponent on the ground by pinning them to the ground for 20 seconds or making them submit with a choke or an arm bar.

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As for why the sport is growing at such a fast rate in the province, the president of Judo Saskatchewan has some ideas.

“Judo is becoming really popular in Canada and especially on an international scene,” T.V. Taylor said. “Judo starts out to meet friends, but it teaches skills and discipline and allows them to grow. Grow and compete against their own age and weight.”

What also makes judo such an interesting sport for spectators and competitors alike, is the fact that a match can be over in a matter of seconds, or can be the ultimate test of endurance and go for 10-plus minutes.

“When it’s over in 10 seconds, that can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes,” Seib said. “But if there are no points after four minutes, it goes into golden score and then the first point wins – and there is no time limit on that.”

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Regina will continue to host judo competitions this February when some of the top young athletes compete at the Saskatchewan Winter Games.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton hosts elite national judo championship'

Edmonton hosts elite national judo championship

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