Earl Marriott Secondary student Sam Kim (in white)

‘Humbling’ experience for local judoka

Sam Kim takes home top prize at nationals, qualifies for international competition

When describing the moment he realized he’d won gold in his division at the Canadian Judo Championships in Richmond, Sam Kim summed it up in one word:

“Surreal.”

The 17-year-old Earl Marriott Secondary student had won three matches in the 90-kg U18 junior division, with his final going into overtime at the national event held over the July 4 weekend, qualifying him for the Cadet Judo World Championships held in Miami last month.

“I was trying to process what was happening,” he said of the win. “Going into nationals, I was really training with my coach, about four to five times a week.

“We just had the goal of taking it one thing at a time, one match at a time.”

For Kim, who has been practising judo since he was in Grade 4 and plays out of the Steveston Judo Club, winning nationals has been a longtime goal, with three previous attempts under his belt.

Moving to Canada in Grade 1, the South Surrey student had already had experience with taekwondo before moving on to judo in order to learn a martial art that incorporated grappling.

“The thing about judo is that it disciplines you. It’s a combination of physical strength and mental strength as well. After the first four minutes of the match, you get really tired and you have to fight through it all,” he said.

The discipline also extends to training, Kim said, noting that in order to focus completely on judo, the athletic teen gave up rugby and other sports last year.

Now that he’s in his Grade 12 year, Kim acknowledged that he won’t be able to devote as much time to the sport as he has in the past, making the win this summer that much more gratifying.

“I knew this year was a really great opportunity for me. In the past, I’ve gotten so close. So, when I made it in the finals, it was all so surreal. I thought ‘what do I have to lose now? I can go fight my hardest,’” he said.

As part of the requirements for the world championships, Kim packed his bags last month and headed to Montreal, where he trained with the Canadian judo team at the National Training Centre.

The opportunity to train with Canada’s best judokas helped Kim keep his spirits up after he was eliminated at the international competition after losing his first match.

“The experience was really humbling,” he said.

“Winning nationals and going to worlds and just seeing how popular judo is all over the world and seeing how hard people train all over the world, you just kind of put things in perspective.”

 

 

Just Posted

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

Player-of-year Seumanutafa leads UBC to women’s rugby title

Semiahmoo grads help Thunderbirds to first-ever Canada West rugby title

Diwali in Surrey: ‘Festival of light’ celebrations at several halls, a library, other venues

This year Diwali is on Sunday, Oct. 27, but Surrey-area events are held over a two-week period

People’s Party of Canada not finished, defeated Surrey candidate says

Surrey’s five PPC candidates combined received 4,213 votes

Owner of now-closed South Surrey seafood store pleads guilty to illegally importing fish into U.S.

‘We would not put customer health and safety at risk’: Seven Seas Fish

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

VIDEO: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Three sprayed with mace during altercation at Port Coquitlam high school

Mounties are still working to determine exactly how many youth were involved

Most Read

l -->