Grappling with change

Kenn Oliver
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Former Sea-Hawk wrestling star Marco Chiaramonte to represent Canada in judo

When competing in front of a crowd of raucous fans, some athletes thrive, feeding off the energy and using it to their advantage.

In Marco Chiaramonte's case, all that noise and energy is something the third-degree black belt judo martial artist looks to tune out.

St. John's native Marco Chiaramonte (in blue) is preparing to represent Canada in judo at the 2009 Deaflympics Summer Games in Taiepei, Taiwan. - Photo by The Telegram

When competing in front of a crowd of raucous fans, some athletes thrive, feeding off the energy and using it to their advantage.

In Marco Chiaramonte's case, all that noise and energy is something the third-degree black belt judo martial artist looks to tune out.

And considering he is hard of hearing and chooses not to compete with his hearing aid devices, you might say he has a slight edge on competitors.

He certainly believes he does.

"I think it's more of an advantage, in terms of focus, that when you're competing you can tune out some of the environment and focus on what you're doing," says Chiaramonte, visiting family and friends in Portugal Cove for the holidays before heading back to Vancouver where he lives with his fiancee.

This September, however, Chiaramonte's competition will have the same benefit as the 29-year-old represents Canada in judo at the Deaflympics Summer Games in Taipei, Taiwan.

"I don't know what my chances are, but I'm going for gold."

This will be Chiaramonte's second Deaflympics. In 2005, he represented Canada in wrestling and fell just short of capturing a bronze medal. At the time, judo wasn't an official event.

"My first love is judo and I haven't been wrestling for a few years now," the former Memorial University varsity wrestling standout says when asked why he chose to change sports this time around.

Anyone who's hit the mat or donned a gi will tell you the two grappling sports complement each other well, and many people who start in either discipline will often experiment with the other.

"I wrestled with MUN for a long time, and I developed a lot of different strategies and game plans. You don't have a gi, so you can use your judo to your advantage. And certain techniques in wrestling work well in judo as well, so you can pick out certain ones and really define your skills.

"You have a different perspective on how to develop new techniques."

He's also dabbled in a bit of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

"It has more modern techniques whereas judo is more old school on the ground. You can take advantage of some tricks in there."

Local judo coach Blair Bradbury will be Chiaramonte's mentor in Taipei. In the meantime, the latter will continue training at the Burnaby Judo Club. There he can avail of higher level of training partners and coaches, including a 2004 Olympic silver medalist from Japan.

"It's a perfect place for me to train," he contends.

And training is what it's all about over the next nine months for the Prince of Wales Collegiate graduate.

"I've been out for a couple of years, I'm back, trying to work my ass off and get in shape to represent Canada well."

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Burnaby Judo Club, Prince of Wales Collegiate

Geographic location: Canada, Taipei, Portugal Cove Vancouver Taiwan Japan

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • george
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    i am george owning of the knights of honour judo club in newfoundland.i done judo with marco in mun ,i learn alot when working out with him.good going marco and i bet you will do well.you show what judo is all about ,hope to seen you come back soon.

  • george
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    i am george owning of the knights of honour judo club in newfoundland.i done judo with marco in mun ,i learn alot when working out with him.good going marco and i bet you will do well.you show what judo is all about ,hope to seen you come back soon.