Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 10/3/2017 (1297 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brian Jones is a force of nature.
The 80-year-old St. Vital resident was recently inducted into the Judo Manitoba Hall of Fame in the builder category for his work and commitment to the sport in the province.
"It’s probably the highest honour of its kind in the sport in the province," said Jones, who is a Rokudan 6th Dan black belt and the head sensei at Sakura-Judo-Club that operates out of Corydon Community Centre (River Heights site).
"It’s a very prestigious award and something I never dreamed of getting. You’ve got to have a lot of meat and potatoes on your plate to get this."
While Jones’ mantelpiece is jammed full of awards and accolades from his decades in the sport, his judo resume is voluminous enough to be leather-bound. Having first tried judo in 1956 at the YMCA, Jones since embarked on a distinguished instructing, coaching and refereeing career in the sport, and his volunteer work in the community includes facilitating more than 300 workshops in schools.
One example of Jones’ of meticulous record-keeping skills is that, at press time, a total of 5,827 students have passed through the doors of workshop he has facilitated, whether they were participating or watching the action. Jones has appeared at a long list of school through the years, including Dakota Collegiate, Glenlawn Collegiate and River East Collegiate — to name a few.
Reflecting on his long career, Jones — who shows no sign of hanging up his belt anytime soon — said he has come a long way from those few judo sessions all those years ago.
"If someone had told me, after those first few workouts, that I’d still be doing it all these years later, I’d have said they were crazy, as I was getting my butt kicked all over the mat. But I carried on," Jones said.
"Judo came out of self-defence thousands of years ago, so my workshops reflect a mixture of the two. The kids must have liked them because they keep asking me back. It’s a hobby, but I’m still promoting a skill and passing on information in an educational way. I think it gives kids, especially girls, some good benefits. Plus, the whole thing is a lot of fun."
"I don’t drink, smoke or gamble, and I’ve worked too hard to blow my money, and sports keep you in shape. I also like putting goals in front of me, as they help keep you involved in the sport. I’ve been in sports all my life, and this here (points to award) came clear out of the blue sky. Another thing about sport is that it’s just about people. Colour of skin or religion doesn’t enter the picture, and that’s what I like about sport. Everyone is there for the camaraderie. I couldn’t even name all of the nationalities of all the people I know in the sport," he added.
As well as his beloved judo, Jones has also enjoyed swimming, boating, scuba diving, waterskiing and parasailing over the years.
Also inducted into Judo Manitoba HOF this year were Gary Sova in the builder category and Ewan Beaton in the athlete category. The trio joins Moe Oye (2013) in the builder category and Mark Berger (2014) in the athlete category as the only five inductees to date.
For more information about Jones’ instruction and the Sakura-Dojo-Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7111
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