I'm looking to join a Judo club. Does anyone know about these two clubs? They say SFJI was founded by Mits Kimura, but what about Mits Kimura Judo? Which one's better?
Mits Kimura Judo
San Francisco Judo Institute
wow, i didn't even know these places existed. SFJI is a bit far from bart for me, but i might look at Mita Kimura's place.
thanks for the heads up!
Damn... these are some fine schools.
Now Sense, I would suggest that you talk with the instructors and watch practice at each (if possible), and then decide which one you like better.
I can't speak for other styles, but I've been
to a fair few Judo clubs in my area before I decided which one I wanted to practice in.
What I have found is that there are some intangible things about atmosphere in a particular club.
My own reccomendation would be the SFJI, since their instructors are seriously high ranks, and they have a regular open mat for students from other dojos, hence a lot more training partners.
And that means different body types, which means that it's a lot faster learning progression in terms of figuring what works or not, without the fear that the other guy will know your favourite throw, like in small dojos.
Hey, Sence. Just wanted to add my two. I haven't trained at the Mits Kimura place, but I have been to SFJI. I was in SF for a couple weeks visiting a cousin and was going through Judo withdrawal so I trained there, a M-W-F schedule if I recall. There were a lot of people there on any given night, usually at least 10 black belts, and they separate the kids and adults. The average night consists of about an hour of conditioning (it's rough) and then one of the higher ranks teaches the adults some technique. Then they go for about 200 uchikomi (yeah they're tough). Next is about 3-5 five minute rounds ne-waza randori, then 3-5 five minute rounds of tachi-waza randori. All in all a great place to work out, and the instructors are very skilled. The workout will condition you, there is no doubt about that. And you'll have enough training partners that you'll be able to train and progress with many different types of people. It's an all-around excellent club, and I'd be training there if I lived in SF. I vote you try both and see what you like, based on quality, teaching, driving time (MUNI?). Oh, and SFJI only charges 50 a month, which is fairly cheap.
I emailed SFJI and this is what they said:
"San Francisco Judo Institute has been founded by Sensei Mits Kimura in 1957 – it is located at 2530 Taraval Street in San Francisco and has been in the same location since 1965.
Some people have been using Mits Kimura’s name for their judo club – there were a court order against Mits Kimura Judo forbidding the people responsible of the Mits Kimura club to use the premises at SFJI.
San Francisco Judo Institute is not related with Mits Kimura Judo.
SFJI is teaching Kodokan Judo – you are welcome to stop by at the dojo on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 pm until 9 pm.
Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
forgot to post in here when i checked out the mits kimura place.
so it's inside the ralph gracie school on howard, just a bit away from civic center bart, meaning pretty easy access to anyone in the bay area.
they focus on competitive judo pretty much exclusively, spending little time on introduction of technique (meaning they assume you already know it), and no time on kata. there's a lot of time on uchikomi and refining technique, so i wonder how well white belt newbies would take to it. even the uchikomi is more focused on the details and competition grip variations than the basic waza style.
all three of the main instructors (two black belts and a brown belt) are really on top of their game, and i'm pretty sure that miguel is still competing. i didn't get a lot of feedback during randori, but during uchikomi there was a fair bit of personal attention. i'll take a moment here to say that things seem pretty unorganized though. they just started a few months ago, i believe, and haven't quite worked out a system yet. it's not so much a set curriculum, and the instructors go around helping you as they can until someone suggests they start uchikomi on a new technique. there's also a handful of kids running around, and i don't think they've got a good reign on them yet.
as far as training there goes, it's about 60/month for two lessons a week, which i guess is pretty standard for judo in the bay area. there's some perks to training at the gracie place as well, but i don't wanna get too specific. i'm definitely thinking of signing up for real, it's a good space and good instruction for improving competition skills.
With what Conde Koma said about the Mits place, and my own experience with SFJI, I think that either school would be good for Judo training. It would be nice to have an update from OP as to what school he chose.