I train at . . . well, I guess we're just called Casper Judo. We're a young judo school that meets at Casper Martial arts. 50 bucks a month gets you three classes a week. Classes are segmented by age - below 11 is the kids class.
Instruction is traditional judo, with a light emphasis on crossover or nogi skills and a main focus on judo competition.
Class begins with a warmup including stretching, quick calisthenics, and up and down the mat mobility drills such as shrimping and moving ukemi.
The instructor is Larry Chapman, a black belt (I don't know what dan, offhand). He has trained with numerous clubs, including the kodankan itself, and is a former student of Willy Cahill. Two brown belts also train at the club.
Material is introduced gradually, with a demonstration, then partner-work in the new technique, as the instructor and anyone assisting him rotate through the room working with the pairs.
Class generally concludes with either free or limited randori. Randori is full-speed, grappling only sparring. We roll under the rules of judo, meaning in general, upper body submissions and powerful throws are the techniques stressed in training.
The facility is a multi-class martial arts academy where several arts are taught. There are two classrooms, a matted room and a wood floored one. Both classrooms are spacious, unobstructed, and mirrored. The matted classroom has contigious, well mantained mats that are cleaned several times weekly. There are male and female locker rooms and a small gear and juice store. A seating area is provided partitioned from the classroom. If you wish to supplement your training, taking judo provides an existing member's discount on the other classes taught there, which include Krav Maga and Tae Kwon Do. I have not participated in these classes. (I'm lucky if I can make it to judo). There are no month to month contracts, although I believe there are optional long-term discount purchase plans. Several of the instructors have experience in education as well as martial arts.
As this is the first judo school I have trained at, I can't say how it falls in the ranks - but we have been able to medal in competitions, and the judo feels practical and alive to me. I walk out of each class having refined a practical and usefull technique, and having trained it live and full-speed. The instructors work to tailor your judo game to your unique body type.
Casper Martial Arts is also the home of a dummy production company that produces some highly realistic training dummies used by martial artists and first responders all over north america - since we have several of the dummies on hand, we can use them for full-speed throwing practice when no partner is availble for an odd-numbered student or when refining certain techniques. The gym is also stocked with a full assortment of mini-mats, striking bags and shields, loner sparring gear, and hanging bags.
Training at Casper Judo is a great introduction to a well known practical martial art for all ages, and you may watch or attend a class before commiting to train.
edit as of 08-07:
Note - due to the unfortunate passing of our instructor, Casper Judo is currently closed for the forseable future.
Nice job, Mr. Cache.
I hate Judoka, though. They've hurt me, more than once. I guess who I really hate is karate + judo blackbelts, fucking cheaters - STICK TO ONE ART!
Oh well, I bet I could beat up one of those dummies.