Last weekend (October 28th - 30th) in Chicago, USA, the Menomonee Judo Club - USA Judo Paralympic National Training Site and USA Judo partnered to run a groundbreaking series of Paralympic Judo events in honor of World Judo Day.
For the first time, an IBSA Referee Certification Clinic, a Paralympic Coaching Certification Clinic and a technical clinic for players, run by the great blind Brazilian judoka Antonio Tenorio Silva, were held together at one venue.
The esteemed panel of clinicians were:
- Dr. Gary Berliner, IJF A Level Referee and IBSA A Level Referee, Chief Referee of the Rio Paralympic Games, and IBSA World Games.
- Sensei Mark Vinc, three time USA Judo team leader for the Paralympic Games (2008, 2012, 2016).
- Sensei Antonio Tenorio Silva, Brazilian legend and six-time Paralympic Games medalist, including four gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008).
During the three days that the event took place, over 100 judoka were on the mat participating. This included more than a dozen Judo players with visual impairment, 11 military veterans, as well as 50 students from inner city schools throughout Chicago.
This is the great Tenorio's second trip to Menomonee Judo in the last seven months. He spent over a week training at the dojo back in late March as he prepared to compete in front of his home fans at the Rio Paralympic Games. Tenorio, who celebrated his 46th birthday last week, earned his record sixth Paralympic Games Judo medal by taking silver in the 100kg division.
The Menomonee Judo Club, based in Chicago, was given distinction as USA Judo's Paralympic National Training Site back in May, 2012. The dojo has the largest group of Paralympic Judo athletes in the United States.