Carmarthen Judo Club
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Black marks for Mark.
Source : Carmarthen Journal, July 1998.

Luke Preston in action
Mark Griffiths presented his black belt by Gwilym Vanderbrink.
Carmarthen Judo Club has again produced a young judoka who has gained a black belt. Mark Griffiths was recently successful in achieving the distinction at the National Sports Centre, Cardiff.

The black belt is only awarded after the applicant has successfully completed two distinct areas of expertise. The first is an arduous theoretical examination; this requires the applicant to recognise and demonstrate judo techniques, refereeing skills and terminology, all in Japanese. Mark completed this stage during an examination set and supervised by the Senior Examiner for Wales, Mr John Perrins.

The second, and some say most difficult, is where the applicant must compete against others who are seeking the black belt in a series of physical examinations.

These contest area against individuals of equal expertise and the applicant must win two contests by Ippon (maximum points score) before being given the opportunity to take part in a ‘line-up’.

This line up is a series of three fights, which the applicant must win by Ippon; however they are fought one after another without a break.

Needless to say this is a difficult task where only the best are good enough. It is to Mark’s credit that he showed excellent judo skills in achieving the milestone in his judo. The contests were scheduled for five minutes each but Mark completed each well within half of the allotted time.

He was congratulated by all at the club and was presented with his black belt on the day with a ceremonial belt at Carmarthen Judo Club by Mr Gwilym Vanderbrink, club chairman.

Mark, who works part time at TK Maxx and studies computing at Pembrokeshire College, thanked all at Carmarthen who helped him throughout his time in judo,

He is now coaching at Carmarthen and hopes to enter more judo competition within the next year in an attempt to add further trophies to his gold medal at this year’s Welsh Student Judo Championships.