Sioux Falls 13-Year-Old Has Eyes Set on Olympics for Judo

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Taekwondo, karate and judo are all unique sports that fall under Martial Arts. However, they’re not as popular in the Midwest as the mainstream sports.

KDLT caught up with one group of judo athletes who are taking their skills to the national stage.

Flips and drops are consuming the mat at this judo facility.

The goal is to be in top shape for the U.S. Judo Open Championships in Florida next week.

“We’re very excited about the outcome of this. We’ve been training really hard,” says Coach Ryan Schiebout.

Sioux Falls Judo Coach Ryan Schiebout says his group has to travel for higher competition since the sport isn’t common in South Dakota.

He adds that there is a misconception when people think that Martial Arts is all about fighting and altercations.

“It’s really the complete opposite. Martial arts is about honing your spirit, your mind and your body, to the most efficient possible way you can bring it forth,” says Schiebout.

Four people are representing the Sioux Falls Judo Club at the championships including 13-year-old Chloe Phillips who is the only girl from South Dakota.

“Females at her level at this age, are far and few between close to home,” says Schiebout.

Chloe says judo has given her skills both on and off the mat.

“I was super shy when I was little, so I think it’s gotten me out of my comfort zone, and I think it’s done quite a bit for me,” says Phillips.

Chloe’s mom says her daughters been all about judo since day one.

“It’s a little surreal to see my daughter who is maybe 140 pounds to she can effortlessly throw a 200, 300 or 250 pound man,” says Holly Hines.

And this soon to be high schooler has got goals.

“I really want to go to the Olympics,” says Phillips.

“Having her come in here with the aspirations of the 2020 Olympics the 2024 Olympics only inspires us as well,” says Schiebout.

With the Olympics on her mind Chloe and her team must get through nationals first.

The Sioux Falls Judo Club is growing. It’s up more than 40 members since three years ago.

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