1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Dirty Jersey

    Cranford Judo & Karate Center

    I'll start with a breakdown of the schedule. The judo schedule at this dojo is as follows:

    M - 6:30 to 7:30
    T - 7:00 to 9:00 (7 to 8 is newaza)
    Th - 7:00 to 9:00 (7 to 8 is newaza)
    F - 6:30 to 7:30
    Sat - 11am to 12pm

    In a normal 1 hour session, we start by bowing in - then stretching/cardio under an assistant instructor/senior student. Pending the number of people attending the class, ~5-10 minutes of uchikomi (fitting in) follows. The rest of the class (~40-45m) is dedicated to randori. Class often flows over 7:30 by 15 minutes or so.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays the structure is a bit different. The first hour of newaza is optional, as you can come in at 8:00 and not incur ridicule about tardiness or anything. In that first hour, we start off with mat workouts - pulling yourself across the mat/shrimping/backrolls - a whole slew of minor workouts, then we partner up for a bit to finish out the normal routine. While partnered, we work on sweeps, then leg lifts followed by armbar/triangle/kimura/etc. technique for a bit. Sensei will then call our attention to show off a new technique/move, or invite David Ellis to show off a technique/move - which we then drill for (~15m? time flies in newaza, not accurate by any means), either multiple techniques are introduced, or we begin newaza randori for the remainder of the class (probably 30 minutes).
    The second hour of the class begins with an undetermined amount of uchikomi, followed by randori for the rest of class, usually an hours+ worth, as we go 15-20 minutes after the 9pm cutoff.

    There is often a surprising lack of white belt students - brown belt/black belt students outnumber new students 95% of the time. Only on a monday will you occasionally find several new students.
    This is not to say colored belts here are akin to potato chips, all the students have put in their time.

    Competition is strongly encouraged - as advancement heavily relies on it, there are ~2 invitationals at the dojo itself every year under sanction of the USJF. As well as a window into all local NJ competitions (Sensei is the president of the Hudson Judo Yudanshakai) http://www.hudsonjudo.org

    As far as pricing, paying month to month $120 will allow you to attend 1-2 times per week. Paying for 6 months with 3 months down up front will allow you to attend as many classes as there are. Whether the 'unlimited' refers to Karate in addition to Judo, I have no idea - a phone call I'm sure would answer this. There are multiple pricing plans - obviously discounted the more money down up front. But the 6 mo pricing plan is the most logical if you enjoy the school after the first month.

    If you have children, the children's program is very popular. Sensei as well as senior students like Toshi are very good with children (and keeping them in line :D), I've yet to see a miserable child in those classes.
    *I've specified no full contact fight team, because I don't really know how that applies to this school. There are plenty of serious competitors, and this is judo - not pillow fighting, so the full contact thing...
    Last edited by Madcap8; 7/14/2009 10:42pm at . Reason: botched equipment ratings - pricing

  2. #2
    1point2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    BJJ blue, judo ikkyu
    Nice review. It was a nice place when I saw it. Equipment deserves better than a 1. It's a nice place with mats and a good locker room. Are there showers? I don't recall. I don't know enough to submit a rating, however.

    They hold a yearly judo tournament and, AFAIK, have sumo instruction too. I've heard high praise of the club and the head instructor.
    What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates

  3. #3
    Dark Overlord of the Bullshido Underworld supporting member
    Tom Kagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    New York, NY USA
    Taai Si Ji Kung Fu
    Cranford has produced multiple Olympians, yet gave them a 7 in grappling? You are a tough critic. :smile:

    Nice review.
    Calm down, it's only ones and zeros.

    "Your calm and professional manner of response is really draining all the fun out of this. Can you reply more like Dr. Fagbot or something? Call me some names, mention some sand in my vagina or something of the sort. You can't expect me to come up with reasonable arguments man!" -- MaverickZ

    "Tom Kagan spins in his grave and the fucking guy isn't even dead yet." -- Snake Plissken

    My Bullshido fan club threads:
    Tom Kagan's a big hairy...
    Tom Kagan can lick my BALLS
    Tom Kagan teaches _ing __un and bigotry?
    Tom Kagan: Serious discussion here
    Lamokio asks the burning question is Tom Kagan a ***** or just cruising for some
    I'm Dave the gay Kickboxer from Manchester and I have the hots for Tom Kagan
    World Dominator 'Kagan' in plot to lie about real Kung Fu and Martial Arts
    Tom Kagan just gave me my third negative rep in a day
    I am infatuated with Tom Kagan
    Tom Kagan is a fat balding white guy.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Dirty Jersey
    I've been under the impression that if it is not a 'specialist' school, then that higher range of 9-10 does not apply - 7 is a bit low for this dojo, an 8 would be more accurate.

    As for a new student jumping into the newaza classes, it can seem overwhelming, and randori will kick your butt constantly - leaving you confuzzled.

    I've only been here 5 months, but if you wanted to train heavily in jiujitsu/newaza, you are free to do so, early tues/thurs morning you can do an hour each of jiujitsu with david ellis (a bjj brown belt) plus the 7-8pm newaza class on tues/thurs.

    And beyond that, if you are training to compete heavily, be a friendly non-asshole and you should be welcome to stay after class to participate in an advanced open mat (not on mondays/fridays, as a karate class follows directly after)


    I kind of shot through the equipment rating, but if you consider the locker room (with showers and 2 toilets! - women's locker room contains a scale) as equipment, then the rating should be higher. As for the mats, they're clean all the time, and very conducive to not destroying you during stand up randori. There is ample seating despite the basement size, parking is a crapshoot sometimes, as the spa-goers nextdoor often confuse the JKC parking lot for the spa's. Sensei has not instituted airport-esque spike strips for entering the wrong way as per my suggestion.


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