Freshman Feature: Jayden Chon

Jason Locke, Senior Writer

Many people often overlook other sports that take place around the world, sticking mainly to familiar ones like football, soccer, and basketball. 

Freshman Jayden Chon, on the other hand, explored the sport of judo early in his life, and he does not regret his decision. Judo is an advanced sport that is shadowed from martial arts and includes a lot of unarmed combat derived from jujitsu which is a form of martial arts that includes grappling and ground fighting. 

“I have been competing in judo for six to seven years and it has been extremely fun. Meeting everyone that plays has been one of my favorite aspects of the sport,” Chon said.

Chon has always followed in the footsteps of his brother and uncle. Whether it was sports or other hobbies, his uncle always told him to get into something that he was passionate about. 

“My uncle tells us we need to get into something and we should do a sport. He signed himself up and quit but it is mainly because of him,” Chon said. “I looked up to my uncle and my brother doing judo. At first I did not want to do it, but now it has grown on me”.  

One specific thing Chon loves about judo is the friendships and mentality he has been able to build.

“You build a lot of friendships. Practicing the sport builds a lot of discipline. Going to tournaments and participating with judo friends is a nice memory to have as well as practicing during the week with them. It’s a separate type of friend group from those in school,” Chon said.

Judo has also taught Chon valuable lessons that will help him whenever he is struggling, whether it is in the classroom or elsewhere. 

“With judo, a lot of technique is hard to perfect, even with a lot of practice. You have to do a lot of repetition. The lesson I learned best was to not rush things and keep doing the same thing over and over again,” Chon said. “Like the gym and school, everything has taught me to be consistent and to take time in order to get better.”

As the training process is difficult and frustrating, Chon has realized with judo that learning various techniques is a complex process and tough to perfect even with a lot of practice.

So far, Chon has won over three competitions and consistently placed in the top three at each tournament he has been at. His confidence continues to grow as he gets better, and he has started to realize what his true potential could be.