Olympian shares his skills with Orange martial arts students

JUDO CHOP: Back (from left) Callie Garretty, Jess Lang, Ian Turner, Emmanual Wollstein, Matt Wade, Keelan Redmond, Aaron Langlands, Matt VanSchyndal, Geoff Adam, Greg Wiltshire, Steve Reeks, (middle) Sam Jones, Michael Jones, Matt D'Aquino, David Jones, Kade Parkes, Joel Chapman-Mortimer, (front) Grace Garretty, Amber Beehag, Maxine O'Neil, Victoria Ruming, Mollie Daniels-Sheenan, Sam Houghton and Jeremy Le'strange. Photo: BRINN JACKETT.

JUDO CHOP: Back (from left) Callie Garretty, Jess Lang, Ian Turner, Emmanual Wollstein, Matt Wade, Keelan Redmond, Aaron Langlands, Matt VanSchyndal, Geoff Adam, Greg Wiltshire, Steve Reeks, (middle) Sam Jones, Michael Jones, Matt D'Aquino, David Jones, Kade Parkes, Joel Chapman-Mortimer, (front) Grace Garretty, Amber Beehag, Maxine O'Neil, Victoria Ruming, Mollie Daniels-Sheenan, Sam Houghton and Jeremy Le'strange. Photo: BRINN JACKETT.

THE students of Orange’s 28Hundred Martial Arts Gym, and several from around the central west, had the unique opportunity to learn from an Olympic judoka - a practitioner of judo - on August 9.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Matt D’Aquino, who has also won multiple Oceanic titles and is a two-time Australian champion, was on hand to pass on his extensive judo knowledge.

Despite 28Hundred primarily teaching judo in a self-defence capacity rather than D’Aquino’s competitive field, gym stalwart Brinn Jackett said the class was hugely educational for the students on hand.

“There really is quite a difference in judo as self-defence compared to competitive stuff,” Jackett explained.

“But Matt adapted his style, and catered to everyone’s different levels. I was taking photos, but the guys involved seemed to enjoy it and no doubt learned a lot.”

Twenty-three martial artists of all levels from all over central west NSW attended the seminar, a chance rarely afforded to the area - more so considering 28Hundred is somewhat of a sanctuary for many of Orange’s less fortunate youth.

“We do get some pretty big names here,” Jackett said.

“But it’s rare for it to be in the field of judo, and any chance to host and learn from an Olympian is a unique opportunity in any sport.

“We had martial artists ranging from the earliest of white belts right up to some of the most experienced black belts in NSW.”

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