It’s a well-known cliché to not judge a book by its cover.
First impressions are important, but sometimes you need to take a second chance.
Darrin Schritt, a judoka in Saturday’s Prince George Open at the Civic Centre, was happy to step back on the mat. But the champion of the senior men’s blue belt and under minus-80 kilogram division, a member of the Murray Sholty Jui Jitsu and MMA (Mixed Marital Arts) club in Prince George, doesn’t neglect the way he felt after his first competition.
“The first judo tournament I went to, I didn’t like it. I lost all my matches,” said Schritt, a 25-year-old native of Burns Lake. “There are a lot of rules that I wasn’t used to I guess. Now I’ve kind of got it figured out a bit more.”
Schritt’s words make him come off as being modest. After all, he won all four of his matches to top five other competitors in his division. His class was comprised entirely of Prince George judokas with two other members of his club, Clayton Sheen and Garret Werstiuk, in addition to Mary Brutenic, Fred Slooyer and Matthew Foulkes of the North Capital Judo Club. Schritt defeated Sheen in the final, while Werstiuk finished third.
Am electrician by trade, Schritt has been living in Prince George for the past six years. He took his schooling in Prince George before returning to Burns Lake. He found choices for extra curricular activities like martial arts to be limited in Burns Lake, a town of 2,100 residents.
Schritt began training in mixed martial arts after he competed in judo. As a judo competitor, he met mixed martial arts promoter Murray Sholty and Sheen.
“I knew that they were doing some striking and stuff on the weekends and I wanted to learn to defend myself completely,” Schritt said.
After Sholty and Sheen accepted him as a member, Schritt didn’t go back to judo much. He said a busy schedule also made competing in both martial arts forms difficult, so he focused more on jui jitsu.
When Sholty mentioned the Prince George Open competition, Schritt decided to give judo matches another try.
“I like jui jitsu tournaments too, and the throwing from judo really transfers over to the jui jitsu tournaments because you get points for throwing a guy in jui jitsu,” he said. “But it doesn’t end a match if you throw him on his back. You still have to go for the submission or the positional dominance.”
For more on the Prince George Open, including a list of all of the winners, turn to B5.