George Rego: For one night only

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  • | 4:00 a.m. July 15, 2015
Sensei George Rego shows his students a move during class on Monday.
Sensei George Rego shows his students a move during class on Monday.
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Jukido Academy’s Chief Instructor Sensei George Rego loves to teach his self-defense style of jujitsu so much that he gave up competing years ago, but that only made his most recent accomplishment so much sweeter. Rego accepted an invitation to the 2015 AAU National Freestyle Judo Championships, which were held in June in Denham Springs, Louisiana.

“I went in confident at what I do, but I also had an understanding that this is their (the competitors’) world, this is their backyard,” Rego said. “They train specifically for competition, but, for me, it’s different.”

It might not have been his world, but it was Rego’s tournament. He cruised to the lightweight championship without dropping a single point.

“I was very happy our style held up on a national level, even though it wasn’t our bread-and-butter thing,” Rego said. “The part I was most surprised with was not giving up a point.”

With a national championship notch on his fourth-degree black belt, is Rego planning to sell Flagler County’s longest running martial arts dojo to pursue a mixed martial arts career? Absolutely not.

“My focus has always been on self-defense,” he said. “This was somewhat a personal thing, a little research, to get to ‘know your enemy.’ I wanted to see what were strengths and weaknesses, so I could teach my students.”

Rego believes there is a place for both, competition and self-defense teaching, but he’s confident the latter will help in realistic situations.

“I’d rather give a kid the sense that he can defend himself from a bully as opposed to giving him a trophy,” Rego concluded.
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