Siblings now preparing for national tournaments
By Kyle LoJacono
Bradley and Peyton Lane have been training in judo for the last four years and their hard work has earned them numerous medals on the state, national and international levels.
“I used to get very scared watching them,” said Stacey Lane, the boys’ mother. “It’s rough and definitely not for the thin skinned…Now I just want them to win and it’s very exciting to watch them.”
The most recent accomplishment for the brothers was when they both won gold medals in their age/weight group during the 2010 Florida State Judo Championships in Delray Beach.
In total, the two have won 31 medals in state, national and international competitions. Bradley has eight gold medals and also a bronze in the 2007 U.S. Junior Open. Peyton has four golds and has medaled each year he has entered the Sunshine State Games event.
“Winning competitions is always fun,” Bradley, 13, said. “Before a big tournament I get kind of nervous, but then I try to focus on what I’m doing.”
Peyton, 11, said of winning his most recent gold medal, “It’s exciting to win gold medals. It was the first tournament after months of off-season training. It was great to see that all that hard training paid off.”
Bradley’s next big event is at the Junior Olympics this July in Atlanta where about 350 athletes from across the nation will compete in judo. Both boys will enter the Junior U.S. Open in Fort Lauderdale. The U.S. Open is an international event where 800 children from 80 countries are expected to attend.
“I’m ready for the Junior Olympics and U.S. Open,” Bradley said. “I can’t wait to compete in both and hopefully win two gold medals.”
The Lane family has lived in Wesley Chapel for seven years and the boys are home schooled. Neither Stacey nor her husband, John, participated in martial arts while growing up.
“They both started because Bradley played soccer, but kind of outgrew it,” Stacey said. “He wanted to play tackle football back then, but my husband and I didn’t think he was ready for that. We started taking them to judo practice and they’ve loved it since then.”
Peyton and Bradley train at Del Diez Mambi Judo in Town ‘N’ Country, about one hour from their home, three to four times a week. Their teacher, or sensei, is fifth-degree black belt Del Diez.
“These two enter a lot of big events and they almost always win medals in state or local competitions and win a lot on the national level too,” Diez said. “…They are very disciplined and physically talented. They’re dedicated to the sport and have risen very fast in ability. Also their parents are very supportive and that always helps greatly in a kid’s development.”
Diez has been teaching judo for 30 years, 20 of which were in Cuba before he came to this country.
Peyton and Bradley both have reached the rank of blue belt, which means they have advanced past white, yellow, orange and green. Next up is the purple belt, followed by three levels of brown and eventually black.
Unlike most forms of martial arts, judo is based more on gripping, grappling and using holds on opponents instead of punching and kicking. The sport started in Tokyo, Japan in 1882 by professor Jigoro Kano, according to Diez. The word judo means “gentle way” in Japanese because it involves more technique and timing versus brute strength.
In Florida state and national competitions, athletes are not allowed to use choke holds until they turn 13.
“I was nervous when Bradley started choking, but I know they pay close attention to make sure no one gets hurt,” Stacey said.
Bradley said he did get dizzy once during one of the first times an opponent used a choke hold on him, but did not pass out.
While parents may be concerned about students being able to choke each other, for the athletes less than 13-years-old it is the safest contact sport, according to the American College of Sports Medicine
The sport was first introduced as a Summer Olympic event in 1964, according to the International Olympic Committee’s Web site of www.olympic.org. The Lanes’ goals are to eventually make the Olympics, but they also want to reach the Pan American Games.
The Pan American Games involves multiple sports like the Olympics with nations from North and South America and the islands around them competing. It is every four years the year before the Summer Olympics. In 2011 the games will be in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“It’s hard sometimes because I get sore from training, but I love the fighting,” Peyton said. “We only use it for self defense, but in competitions it’s really fun to be able to fight. I want to keep doing it for a long time.”
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