Around 200 judo players, coaches and officials gathered here in Cagayan de Oro City to launch the 1st Mindanao Judo for Peace with a tournament of judo athletes (judokas) and judo clubs. Participants come from various schools and universities in the cities of Iloilo, Davao, Zamboanga, Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro and from Metro Manila as well.
In the opening program this morning, Engr. Jose Aluyen, the President of the Southern Philippines Judo Association (SPJA), gladly welcomed the participants, saying: “This is an opportune time to renew friendship and camaraderie. While judo teaches us to clear our minds and sharpen our senses, we must also pursue discipline and become responsible citizens. Thus we must promote judo at the community level.”
“This is the most appropriate time to undergo this undertaking and this tournament since we are celebrating the Mindanao Week of Peace. And Mindanao is also the most appropriate place to hold the launch of Judo for Peace as it is most connected with peace,” said Dr. Danilo Corteza, president of the Zamboanga City Judo Association. He said that peace is also the fundamental platform of the International Judo Federation where the Philippine Judo Federation belongs.
“Judo is becoming popular because it is a dynamic sport and because of the values it promotes to judokas, internally, physically as well as spiritually. But to learn judo, you have to know what the judo is all about,” he added.
Before the start of the game, Paul RA Paraguya, Executive Director of Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. and a co-organizer of the 1st Mindanao Judo for Peace, thanked the co-sponsors SPJA and the Cagayan de Oro Judo Club (COJC) and then made all the participants and the audience do the “bow” which a judoka does before and after playing judo. Paraguya and Aluyen demonstrates the “Judo bow for peace” as well as the opening throw with Mr. David Corten, the President of the Philippine Judo Federation.
All the judokas entertained the audience with simultaneous warm up exercises, movements and drills followed by the day-long endurance competition of teams and individuals.
Winners were already declared from 120 matches for the first day of the tournament but the Aluyen reminded the judokas that “the success in sports is not so much in winning the game but how we play the game.”
From this first tournament, a series of games will follow. The three-year program of the Mindanao Judo for Peace hopes to be pursued by the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. and the Katilingbanong Pamahandi sa Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. and the COJC headed by its dynamic president, Architect Eduardo Daang, who was very committed in promoting judo among the youth and children.