INFO - TRAINING TIMES - 6.00 to 6.45 : 5 to 7 year olds - 6.45 to 7.45 : 8 to 12 year olds - 7.45 to 8.45 : 13 years +
Dr. Jigaro Kano

What is Judo?

Judo is many things to different people. It is a fun sport, a martial art, a recreational or social activity, a fitness program, and a means of self-deference or combat.

Judo is accessible to players of all ages, of both sexes and to those with many disabilities. As a sport it has much to offer, including developing physical and mental co-ordination, keeping fit, or just having fun.

Judo is the only Martial Art that is a permanent fixture at Olympic, Special Olympics and Commonwealth level.

Judo is a recognised sport within the UK Educational P.E. Curriculum at Primary and Secondary Level.

Judo can be a chosen sport in the Physical Recreation Section of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and within GCSE and A Level P.E.

How Do I Start?

To begin Judo all that is needed is an old sweatshirt and a pair of tracksuit bottoms, a willing to learn and sense of fun.

Do I need a Licence?

A licence is required for insurance reasons. There are different levels of licence, these can be can be purchased from the Northern Ireland Judo Federation at very reasonable rate. The Club can complete the paperwork and apply for a licence on behalf of any member.

Do I Need Judo Suit?

A player does not need a Judo Suit (Judogi) until he/she is confident they will continue the Sport for a period of time. A Judo Suit can be bought through the club or through many web sites or sport outlets. A heavy duty Judo Suit is reinforced in the right places and consists of a jacket, trousers and a belt. A training suit can be used for a number of years.

Judo for Children

Through Judo, children can learn self-discipline, respect for themselves and others, self confidence, concentration and balance.

Do Women Do Judo?

They certainly do. At present actively within the British Team there is Kate Howey who won the Senior World Championships and a Silver and Bronze at the Olympic Games, Karina Bryant who won Gold at the Senior European Championships, Double Junior World Junior European Champion, and there are also many Commonwealth Games Champions.

At the recent Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2 women qualified to represent Northern Ireland, one of which won a Silver Medal.

Judo as a Self-Defence

There is no complete self-defence and it is very reckless and foolish for a sport or martial art to make such claims. However because of its close contact Judo helps to develop a keen awareness of danger.

Active Resistance involves an immediate assault on your attacker. The purpose is to startle or incapacitate him/her so you can escape. Any act of physical resistance should be aimed at breaking the attacker’s grip and getting away.

Judo is a full contact Martial Sport where you continually outwit your opponent by use of resistance and counter resistance. Therefore Judo will promote self-confidence, and a competent Judo player can use Judo as a very effective Active Resistance to an assault.

Many of the skills that are taught in Judo are incorporated within Self Defence classes. Upon the completion of the Novice Judo course if sufficient interest is shown the club will provide Self Defence classes.

Does Judo get you fit?

Judo is one of the most complete physical sports that encompass speed, agility, endurance, strength and technique. Judo is both an aerobic and an anaerobic sport, therefore whilst burning off those extra calories it will improve your cardiovascular system and promote muscle tone and definition.

An example is Brian Jacks Olympic Judo Medallist, when asked about his extraordinary fitness he displayed on winning the British and European Superstars titles he attributed it all to his former Judo training.

Novice classes will initially begin at a slow pace and as a player becomes more competent the techniques will involve more skill and become more physically demanding. Therefore a novice or someone who is choosing to re-enter the sport will not be overcome by the physical side of Judo. However, in a relatively short period of time a player will find the body adapting to the sport and his/her fitness levels will improve, often at a surprising rate.

Mental fitness will also be stimulated. Judo is often described as a physical form of chess as opponents continuously try to outwit each other with a game plan before executing physical techniques to overcome.

Judo can be used to vent stress and when you have completed a hard training session in a full contact sport such as Judo you will experience a great feeling of achievement.