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

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

‘Chest Air’ show in Surrey for storyteller/author Ivan Coyote, prior to city’s Pride festival

‘I want to stop the gerbil wheel a little bit,’ says award-winning artist, who has moved back to Yukon

South Asian Mental Health Alliance receives $112K to train 100 ‘youth ambassadors’

The first batch of 25 youth will begin training in Surrey next week

Delta police donate recovered bikes back to the community

18 bikes were donated to R.E.C. for Kids, a non-profit that provides sports equipment to kids in need

VIDEO: Life-threatening injuries in South Surrey motorcycle crash

Air ambulance dispatched following incident at 148 Street and 30 Avenue Monday

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read

l -->