Mark is a master at judo
Gorebridge judo exponent Mark Taylor is savouring success second time around in the sport at the age of 41.
Mark started judo aged eight with the Yoshin Judo Club in Gorebridge, coached by Ged Wynn.
He also travelled to England for coaching before returning to his local club, then known as the Heikokwai Judo Club.
He then joined George Kerr’s Edinburgh Club and by his late teens/early 20s was fairly successful with numerous Scottish and some international titles, the best being a Commonwealth Senior Bronze when he was 17.
But, sadly, he didn’t quite get to where he had hoped due to injuries.
Mark then decided to travel to Hong Kong some 20 years ago to teach in various schools and clubs whilst training.
His aim was to go to Japan to train but whilst teaching the Macau National Team he snapped his cruciate ligament, forcing a return to Scotland and him eventually giving up the sport.
Twenty years on, Mark now works as Residential Child Care manager in Glasgow but continues to keep fit while offering some judo coaching with the young people he works with.
This led to him get back into judo after a 20 year break thanks to encouragement from David Gibson, of Saltire Judo in Gorebridge, and JudoScotland.
Since then it has snowballed with him winning the British Open Masters, Scottish Open Masters, German Saxony Masters and a silver in France at the European Tram Championships.
He also competed in last year’s World Championships in Florida but despite not achieving he said it gave him something to build upon and aim for.
In March this year, Mark competed in the Veterans European Championships in Zagreb and despite being knocked out in the second round, his performance led to him receiving an invite to compete for the German number one team in the German Saxony Masters.
He helped the German team to the final only for them to be beaten by a Russian team but he earned a European silver medal.
Mark said: ‘‘It has been a whirlwind year and I hope to continue it and improve on my international results.
‘‘The Veterans and Masters movement in judo abroad is thriving and is starting to take a grip here in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
‘‘I am now looking forward to fighting at this years World Veterans Championships in Olbia, Italy in October.’’