Every kid likes to go to a camp during their summer break. However the summer camp that Jonathon Taylor is going to is unlike many others. Taylor will be going to a national training center for judo in Schenectady, NY run by four-time Olympian Jason Morris.
“This is arguably one of the toughest judo clubs in the country,” said Brian Germain, Taylor’s coach at Summerlin Judo. “Jason Morris is the real deal. He took second in the ’92 Olympics and third in the ’93 World Championships. I trained with Jason back in the day during training camps and he was always a tough competitor. When he retired from competition he began focusing on coaching and has produced numerous junior and senior national champions throughout the years as well as Kyle Vashkalut, a 2012 Olympian. USA Judo has also designated his dojo as one of four national training centers. This is a huge opportunity for Jonathon to train there.”
There is no secret to Jason Morris’s success either.
“Jason and his athletes just work harder than anyone else,” said Germain. During their summer training program Morris states that his athletes workout Monday–Friday, two times a day, two hours per workout. Saturday is just one three hour workout.
“This camp is certainly not for your average kid but then Jonathon is not your average athlete either,” Germain said.
“I want to find out what’s inside of me,” said Taylor, an honors student who just finished his sophomore year at Summerlin Academy. “I’ve always been taught that your character is defined by your actions. So I just don’t want to say I want to become a judo champion. I’m going to do whatever it takes to improve my skills and achieve my goals.”
Taylor is planning to stay a month and then returning to Florida to compete in the Jr. U.S. Open Judo Championships in Fort Lauderdale on July 26.
Taylor hopes to enlist in the military after high school. He would like to become part of the All Military Judo Team.
“After a month with Jason Morris he will know much more about himself and where he stands with the elite in judo”, said Germain. “I know he will be pushed hard but I also know he is up for the challenge. I am very impressed in how Jonathon is embracing this challenge.”