Base judo and jujitsu students earn promotions

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Provided photo HS2 José Varela (front right) is congratulated by instructor Dr. Lisa Capriotti (front left) on his promotion to black belt in the art of judo. Other members of the Samurai Judo Association in attendance include members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Charleston County Police Department.


The Samurai Judo Association, a free MWR Martial Arts program offering judo and jujitsu at NWS Joint Base Charleston, recently tested several of its members for promotion, with the following results:

José Varela, USCG, Health Services Technician Second Class of the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Charleston): First degree black belt in judo. A native of Puerto Rico, HS2 Varela has been practicing judo since his childhood. His positive attitude and competitive spirit are second to none. In preparation for his examination, HS2 Varela became a certified instructor and performance judge in kata, a demonstration of throwing techniques applicable to both competition and self-defense. During his examination, he demonstrated a high level of proficiency with 50 throws as well as pins, chokes and joint locks.

Gerald Brandon, USAF, Staff Sergeant of the 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron: First degree black belt in jujitsu. Staff Sgt. Brandon also holds a Second degree brown belt in judo and recently earned a gold medal at the Beaufort Grappling Tournament. Staff Sgt. Brandon has recently received orders to the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron in Ramstein, Germany, where he intends to continue his training in judo and jujitsu.

Alexandria Zylks, USN, Fireman, NNPTC: orange belt in both judo and jujitsu. Although FN Zylks has been practicing judo and jujitsu for only a few months, she competed at the Hometown Hero’s Tournament in Fort Bragg, NC, where she won a gold medal.

Robert Hancock, USN, ENS, NNPTC: orange belt in judo, yellow belt in jujitsu.

Stan Singer, USN (retired): orange belt in jujitsu, yellow belt in judo.

Noah Saunders, USN, Fireman, NNPTC: yellow belt in judo.

Bradley Norman, USN, Electronic Technician Third Class, NNPTC: yellow belt in judo and jujitsu.

Heather Morrison, USN, Electrician’s Mate Third Class , NNPTC: yellow belt in judo.

Zachariah Vail, USN, Electrician’s Mate Third Class, NPTU: yellow belt in judo.

Gafar Odufuye, USN, ENS, NNPTC: yellow belt in judo.

• Free classes with black belt instructors are held at the MWR Athletics Facility, NWS, in the group fitness room across from the gym are held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7-8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9-Noon.

Judo is a dynamic Olympic sport that developed from jujitsu, the art of self-defense. Typical judo practice sessions include vigorous calisthenics, rolling and falling techniques, instruction on throwing techniques, hold-downs, chokes and joint locks. Jujitsu classes focus on street survival and ways to eliminate threats.

Beginners are always welcome. Active duty and DoD personnel and their adult dependents are eligible for classes.

This is the largest judo and jujitsu club in the United States Judo Association. For further information, phone senior instructor Dr. Ronald Allan Charles, Eighth degree black belt, at 843-553-6702, visit the club’s website at www.judostamps.org/samuraijudoassociation or watch the club’s video at http://youtu.be/Kbvs37lv0hQ.

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