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Ravenmews
11/22/2011 6:56am,
Hey, I'm looking to start training in Judo in the new year.
I've been trawling the net looking for schools near to me.
But having absolutely zero experience with Judo I'm not sure what to look for.

Can anyone tell me if this looks to be a good school and if the intstructors are known/respected?

http://www.rainhamjudoclub.co.uk/

Help would be appreciated. Thank you.

judoka_uk
11/22/2011 7:53am,
Yeh looks fine.

Don't know him or the club, but he's a BJA 5th dan and they have a nice looking facility. Bit weird cutting a belt to open the club though, what's that all about?

For future reference the easy way to find a Judo club near to you is to go to the British Judo Association's (BJA) website and use their club finder.

http://www.britishjudo.org.uk/thesport/findclub.php

And click on your country.

As you'll see there are several other clubs in your area, as well as the one you've found:

Medkwai in Chatham
http://www.medkwai.com/Medkwai/Home.html

Parkwood in Rainham
http://www.pwjc.co.uk/

Two clubs in Sittingbourne
http://sittingbournejudoclub.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
http://www.sittingbourne.org/Young%20Judo%20Club.htm

And if you're feeling really brave/ want to see some real Judo, there's the Olympic performance centre in Dartford, where a lot of the Olympic squad train.
http://www.dartfordjudoclub.com/

General rule of thumb is to look for a BJA club, British Judo Council (BJC) can be ok. Anything claiming to teach 'Zen Judo' or claiming association to any kind of organisation with 'Budo' or 'Kyushindo' in the title. AVOID.

Usually the higher the dan grade the better, the more dan grades practicing at the club the better and the more notable competitive achievements the better.

Kids results are pretty meaningless, so don't be impressed by a club touting they've just had little Megan win the 9 year old national title. It means diddly squat.

Best of luck.

Ravenmews
11/22/2011 8:56am,
Hello judoka_uk. Thanks for the reply. That's very much appreciated.
I'll have a look at those other sites before I make a decision.

Thanks again for your help

judoka_uk
11/22/2011 10:29am,
No worries.

By the way when you pick a club/ session make sure you ring ahead to check if its running, because Judo clubs are notoriously crap at maintaining and updating websites. Also with Christmas rapidly approaching clubs are going to be closing and opening and they will only announce those dates at sessions.

Ravenmews
11/22/2011 10:48am,
Funny you should say that, I've just been on the website for medway park Judo club to get a contact number and noticed it hadn't been updated aince 2009 lol.

I called them and I'm going up on thursday.
The price seemed (very) resonable too at 2.50 matt fee.
He said they would give me details on the cost of joining the club on thursday.
I did manage to forget to ask how much the licence he mentioned was.

judoka_uk
11/22/2011 11:00am,
Funny you should say that, I've just been on the website for medway park Judo club to get a contact number and noticed it hadn't been updated aince 2009 lol.

I called them and I'm going up on thursday.
The price seemed (very) resonable too at 2.50 matt fee.
He said they would give me details on the cost of joining the club on thursday.
I did manage to forget to ask how much the licence he mentioned was.
Judo is cheap, never paid more than a fiver for a session.

Depends on which licence you get, you don't need a licence for your first 4 session. You and the club is insured for 4 unlicensed sessions. After that you will need a licence to be insured.

I recommend you don't buy a licence until you are certain that Judo is right for you.

If you do get a licence there are 3 types.

1. The normal licence which gives you it all. Insurers you, you can grade, compete, you get a record book, a training log and a subscription to Matside the BJA's magazine. 37.

2. The pay as you throw, valid for 4 months and doesn't let you grade or enter comps, is 14.

3. Recreational which lasts a year, but you can't grade or compete 20.

There's not really any point getting the last two, so if you want to stick with Judo get the full membership.

Available here:
http://www.britishjudo.org.uk/membership/individual_2010.php

They're normally pretty quick, turnaround is only a couple of weeks.

Lu Tze
11/22/2011 11:01am,
The license is your BJA membership. It also acts as your insurance, and will cover you for any BJA club in the country... so it's not such a bad deal (it keeps fucking going up though).

http://www.britishjudo.org.uk/membership/individual_2010.php

Senior new = 37.

Also, lolling at "pay as you throw", never noticed that one before.

That first club has nice mats btw.

Ravenmews
11/22/2011 11:58am,
Thanks guys, that's really helpful.
I'm looking forward to getting up there on Thursday.

Good matts are always a plus too I'd say

Lu Tze
11/22/2011 12:14pm,
They have a class specifically for adult beginners on Tuesdays, if possible, you should try to attend that.

Judo can be quite intimidating if you're thrown in at the deep end... and you'll probably be expected to already know certain things in the more advanced class, like ukemi (falling) and a few basic techniques.

Ravenmews
11/22/2011 2:08pm,
They have a class specifically for adult beginners on Tuesdays, if possible, you should try to attend that.

Judo can be quite intimidating if you're thrown in at the deep end... and you'll probably be expected to already know certain things in the more advanced class, like ukemi (falling) and a few basic techniques.


Thanks for the warning mate. I've got some falling experience.
I've been doing MMA for six months and have been doing some hip throws with instruction on falling correctly.

I think I'll take your advice and wait until tuesday though. I'm not the kind of person that has a little experience but thinks they can "run with the big boys" so to speak.
those people always end up looking pretty stupid.

judoka_uk
11/22/2011 6:56pm,
Yeh its always best to turn up for your first session on the beginner's night if a club has one.

As you'll probably appreciate with your MMA background having a noob turn up on a night you were set to do a serious training session means either your session gets downgraded for the noob or the noob gets left to lump it and try and keep pace with the advanced guys. Not really fun for either side.

But hey, we Judo instructors are used to people randomly showing up, unannounced at random times. Usually most Judo instructors are able to pull a lesson out of their arse and adapt and overcome.

Don't expect much cardio or conditioning training, most Judo warm ups are actual warm ups, not a 30 minute cardio session like most MMA 'warm ups'.

Alot of young and fit people with a combat sports background come to Judo and get disillusioned, because most clubs are run by 50 year old, overweight. accountants. Whereas most BJJ/MMA/Thai clubs are run by young/youngish, very fit people, who are full time martial arts coaches.

If you find this disillusionment, just take yourself up the road to Dartford and you'll get the Judo bug and never look back.

Ravenmews
11/23/2011 5:01am,
Yeah, I don't want to be the guy slowing the pace for everyone else.
As much as people try to make the noob feel welcome we all know its a little irritating.

I'm fine with a simple warm up. I do plenty of cardio as it is and I'll be cycling to training anyway.

Having no experience with Judo I'll go in with no expectations and an open mind.
Its a lot different from what I'm used to I'm sure.

I've seen guys turn up where I train now and look as though they're going to die after the warmup, struggle through the rest of the session then never come back, because they imagined they'd be learning to choke people out in the first ten minutes.