Date: 25th October 2013
Location: Colchester Judo Club
Cost: Four free lessons.
Rules: Judo contests last for a maximum of five minutes with athletes attempting a combination of throws and holds to beat their opponent. It's fought on a tatami (mat) 8mx8m. Reflecting it's origins, much of judo's terminology is Japanese. The best score is Ippon, and other scores are for waza-ari, yuko and koka. At the start of each contest the athletes stand 4m apart facing each other on the mat. The referee gets the match underway by shouting 'Hajaine!' and stops it by shouting 'Matte!'.
Sarah: 17 (waza-ari 7 and ippon 10)
Ellie: 12 (waza-ari 7 and yuko 5)
Sarah: I wasn't expecting too much from judo when we first went along, and came away from the first lesson firmly in the 'not a fan' camp. And the aching over the following two days was crazy! But, something happened over the next three lessons, and I found myself beginning to understand the sport and really get in to it. We built on our throws, falls, holds and strangles (really) each week and by the time the final match came around they all started to come together and make sense. Judo means 'the gentle way'..I'm not sure if I completely agree with that definition; the tactics and strength involved combine to make it a very physically intense sport, but one which I really began to enjoy.
Ellie: Judo was our first attempt at a martial art and again it was another event that far exceeded our expectations. 'The Gentle Way' really stuck in my head as the meaning of the word Judo as it didn't feel very gentle after the first session. We had skinned fingers and toes and aches throughout our bodies. It was great learning the moves and the tactics - which are further reaching than you could possibly imagine as a spectator. I felt that once we were into the actual match my mind dissolved the tactics I'd learnt and I couldn't think of anything other than trying to stay upright!
We were made to feel so welcome at Colchester Judo Club, and were so lucky to have some excellent coaching. We were majorly impressed by the dedication and strength of the players; many of whom have been practicing judo since they were small. The club has classes for all age groups, so if you're interested, their facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colchester-Judo-Club/161252287257516