I'm a Judo player at this school and also another one in the Raleigh area. At the school in question (North Raleigh Judo Club), we train Kodokan-style Judo and have a typical Judo practice every time with randori at the end. It's a rec club, and Judo ranks are done through USJA. Visiting players are welcome to come by for a class Mon 6:00PM or Sat. 11:30 AM. Classes are usually an hour or so of technique/kata training and a half hour of randori.
I don't know what the lineage is of the JJ taught at this school...although from what I've seen my guess is it's reverse-engineered from aikido, combined with techniques from shotokan karate and judo. They train kata style, working with two folks and prearranged forms. I believe they mean that class to be more of a "dirty-tricks" compliment to their normal karate class than true JJJ in all it's budo-licious glory.
Originally Posted by RaleighJudo
Well, I tried to PM you to ask you all this crap, but it says you can't receive PM's, so I'll just junk up this old thread and ask here.
I'm out of training for a few months and looking to get back to it at the beginning of the year. I'm thinking of trying my hand at Judo, but options are limited in the Raleigh area. Maybe you can answer a few questions if you don't mind that would help me make a decision.
How long have you been training at this school, and do you have prior Judo experience? I'm just asking so I'll know where you're coming from when I ask my other questions.
What do you think of the Judo program overall?
How many guys show up to train at the average class?
Are they mostly adults, teenagers, kids, men, women?
How experienced are most of the other students?
How much time is spent on groundfighting?
I'm not a big fan of tradition, formal structure, kata, etc. But I realize there's always an element of that sort of thing in Judo. I view that as a tradeoff I will have to make if I want to become proficient at throwing people on their heads. What percentage of class time would you say is devoted to things other than developing usable technique and randori?
Would you describe the training atmosphere as more laid back or formal?
What do you think of the instructor(s)?
Do the students compete?
How much does the Judo program cost per month?
Is there anything else about the school I haven't asked that you think might be pertinent to my decision?
You said you also train Judo at another school in the area. What's the other school? How does it compare to this one? Would you recommend one over the other?
I realize I've asked quite a few questions, but it's always better to talk to a student than the school owner, because you're more likely to get a straight answer. Thanks in advance for your help.
Maybe I'll see you on the mat.
Here's the info you were asking about:
I've been working out with this school for 13 months, and have also been working out with another in the Raleigh area (White Tiger Judo in Cary) for about 6 months. I didn't have any Judo or wrestling background before starting up at North Raleigh Judo Club (NRJC), but after taking shotokan karate at another school for about a year I started cross-training in Judo and fell in love with it. So now, I'm only practicing Judo. I didn't really know anything about Judo before I started...just that it involved flips.
Overall, I'm really happy with NRCJ. My biggest complaint is that I wish we had more training days, as there is only practice on Monday night and Saturday morning. I get along with the other guys in the club, and there is a mix of light-med-heavy guys to work with. Everyone has a good attitude about working hard versus safety also, which is nice when you have to get up and go to work the next day.
Overall, I'm also happy with the White Tiger Club (WT). My biggest complaint with them is that they don't follow USJA/USJF/USA Judo. They have a great instructor who is very reserved in awarding grades, but they use different color belts which confuses everyone at tournaments. Overall though, belts are meaningless anyway and that is still a great school.
There are normally 4-6 students training each time at NRJC. On some Saturdays everyone will show up and we'll have 10 or more, but those extras are normally the karate folks who come play once or twice a month. There are a few women who practice, but it's almost always adult men in the class. The WT club is mostly high-school boys, with a few adult men. They have more students though, usually 10-15 at a normal practice.
At NRJC, about half of the students have been training 3 years or more, and the other half have been doing it for less than 2 I'd say. At WT, almost everyone is brand new except for a few advanced students with many, many years of experience.
When I was referring to kata, I really just meant two people working out with a prearranged form of some kind. At both schools it's really things like throwing drills or newaza drills that we spend the most time on. Like alot of uchi-komi's, throwing line, turnover/escape drills. There's almost nothing taught at either school that you wouldn't put to use in randori.
NRJC every once in a blue moon will have a class devoted to things like blocking strikes, wristlocks, and other more self-defense oriented topics, and WT never does that. Overall I'd say both focus on drills for throws, newaza, and randori.
At NRJC, I'd say we spend 40% on groundfighting and 60% on throwing. At WT, it's more 50% ground and 50% throwing. At NRJC, each class usually involves ground-only randori and standup-only randori. At WT, it varies depending on what they're teaching that night but there's always randori.
The atmosphere in both places is very laid back. I had been working out with a shotokan school for a while before Judo, and I'd say it's nearly the opposite of that kind of formal environment....I gotta split, but will answer a little more in detail about the school comparisons later.
Cost...quickly it's $75/month at NRJC (6-month or 1-year contracts for 2 days/week), and at WT club its $100 (for 1 year contract for 3 days/week).
Hey, thanks a lot for the info. I appreciate it.
I live in the area, and this program is definitely in-line with KI's reputation in the area. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do about it.
Originally Posted by SifuJason
I'm not sure I follow what you're saying. Would you say the reputation is good or bad? Are you making a joke that you wish the reputation wasn't good because they're your competitors? I just want to get what you're saying.
Just so let you guys know some of the other options in the area.
There's a judo club at UNC, with practice on Sun/Mon/Thurs (Sun 2-4, Mon/Thurs 8-10). It's 3 dollars a practice to get in.
I _think_ there was a Judo club at NC State, though apparently it died at some point and came back again. I've heard it's hard to get into. I don't know too much more about it.
There is a Judo club at Duke, meeting Wed., but again, it's hard to get into.
There is a Judo school in Durham called Bushido Judo, meeting M/Th/Sat.
Originally Posted by JohnnyFive
Thanks for the info. Durham and Chapel Hill are inconvenient for me, but I might have to check out the Chapel Hill club. The price is right, for sure.
I've tried to get some information on the NC State club with little success. Their website sucks ass, but like you said, it looks like they're on again, off again. Plus, parking is always an issue on the campus.
Raleigh is really best for me, but options are extremely limited. It puzzles me, actually. There are a boatload of schools around here teaching everything from MMA to Kung Fu, but Judo is sorely under-represented.
Ok, so to answer the other questions you had...
For both schools the students do compete, but typically only in local/regional tournaments listed on the ncjudo site. The NRJC students compete a little more frequently.
I recommend both schools. The mat at NRJC is a custom one, almost like a crash pad but firm enough to stay quick for randori. The facility at the WT place is great, with great mats also...but those are more like competition mats and aren't as forgiving for practicing tons of big throws.
As far as other Judo programs in the Raleigh area, I know that there is a UNC-CH judo club in chapel hill which is supposed to be very good. Also, there is a school bushido judo in durham. There is BJJ in this area at crossfitnc, and at Pendergrass martial arts in Wake Forrest if you're into that side of things. One of my Judo buddies at NRJC also works out in BJJ with crosstit and likes it there.
Originally Posted by RaleighJudo
Thanks again. I've done a little BJJ with the local guys. It's the throwing that attracts me to Judo. I'm leaning towards the North Raleigh club.