Rising Judo Star

Monday August 22nd, 2011

By Michel Belleau, Media Chairman

Rising JUDO STAR Monika Burgess a 16-year-old black belt who fights in the -63 kilogram division shines brighter than her medals. Securing several of them recently– she won gold (under-17) and silver (under-20) at the junior national championships in Sept-Isle, Que., and claimed a bronze at the senior nationals this past May in Edmonton.
Her athletic prowess giving her a position and opportunity to compete at the World Cadets Judo Championship (boys and girls under 17 years) held in Kiev, Ukraine, on the 11-14 of August.
The Kitchener native and judo prodigy comes by her talent naturally with a strong competitive family background. The family trains at the Asahi judo club together. Her dad Mark a former national team judoka holds a third-degree black belt, and is an instructor at Kitchener’s Asahi judo club. Her Mom a second-degree black belt and 14-year-old brother, Cameron is also a Judoka.
We asked Mark some questions about Monika and requested a quote from her on the latest experience at the World Cadets Judo Championship.
This is what was said:
Judo Ont.
"As a father and former national team judoka what are your training and conditioning philosophies for a young judoka like Monika?"
"My training and conditioning philosophies echo those of the Judo Canada LTADM, and the NCCP Competition Development coaching model. "
Judo Ont.
"What aspect of Monikas personality comes through when she is training and what sort of training partner is she?"
"Socially, Monika is a little shy but is genuinely happy for others when they succeed. Physically she has a willing breakfall, and a knack for working at whatever level her partners bring.
Together these make her an excellent training partner."
Judo Ont.
"What gets Monika motivated?"
"Clothes Shopping!!! We usually take her shopping after the shiai if she does well. Lately we have found our way to a lot of Lululemon stores..."
Judo Ont.
If Monika could quote or comment on her experience at the World Cadets Judo Championships.
"Well, it didn't start off great... I lost my phone on the bus, and the tournament shirts got sold out while I was cutting weight.
In my first match I started fighting too defensively because I was really nervous, I wasn't confident enough. It was bad, I nearly got countered for an ippon.
When the referees were waving that point down to a wazari I was thinking about all my friends and family watching me from home on the internet, and that I didn't want them to see me lose...
When the match restarted, I put everything into my gripping, and threw her quickly for ippon with Harai Goshi.
Then I had a really close match with the European Cadet Champion from Great Britian, I threw her late in the match with O Soto Gari but she spun out and I lost by yuko.
When that girl went on to win the bronze I realized just how close I was. The Cadet World Championships turned out to be a great experience!
I am looking forward to the U17 Pan Am Championships in Santiago Chile in September!"
On behalf of Judo Ontario we would like to thank Monica and Mark for their time and we wish Monika and family continued success.

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