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Thread: Total Rookie planning to join a College Judo club next semester. Advice?

  1. #1
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    Default Total Rookie planning to join a College Judo club next semester. Advice?

    I know the whole "I haven't started yet but could use some tips" is probably a broken record to some here, but as said in the title, starting isn't far off for me and some habits to get into that would make me better prepared would be useful. Size in Judo might not be much of a factor but I should note that I am presently over 280 lbs (one of my reasons for taking up Judo is to get physical exercise.). Some advice on how to throw or lock a joint may be a good start. Thanks!
    Ethan Andrew McNeil

  2. #2
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    I hope Dusty Mars will chime in here, as he is a longtime judoka.
    It's been a while since I've been in college, but I'll throw in some thoughts, as I cross-train in judo at a small local dojo/club and have had a good experience with it.

    Generally, it's best not to try to teach anything to yourself beforehand -- just go to keiko (training) as a true beginner with an open mind, and let the instructor and senior students teach you from the very beginning. You will learn how to wear your judo gi, tie your belt, observe the protocols and etiquette for stepping on and off the mat and lining up for class, etc. They will help you learn how to take breakfalls and rolling ukemi, so that you can keep yourself safe during practice. Then you'll start learning the basic throws and techniques. Don't rush yourself.

    If you want to improve your conditioning before you start judo, so you feel that you can keep up with the class, you could start walking and/or swimming, first relatively slow and easy, then when you start getting more fit you can up the pace. Maybe get into a fitness group and start increasing your cardio capacity that way, too.

    One other thought -- while college clubs should have a faculty advisor or some permanent senior person overseeing the club, to provide structure and authority, a lot of college clubs don't have active supervision. And although classes should follow the judo curriculum so that beginners get the intro and basics they need, it's not always organized that way. You don't want to just end up as another body for the senior members to throw around for their own practice. ;o) Also, you want to make sure that the members aren't all inexperienced, with no one really qualified to teach. It happens, since students graduate and move on, and new members come in with varying degrees of experience.

    Maybe try it for a semester and see if you get something from the training. If not, you can always look into a private judo club off campus.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Not too sure if this is too late, but my advice is get in the best possible shape you can prior to starting. It probably won't be enough, but you have to start somewhere. I say this because of your weight, and the fact you want to use it to get into shape. Well, you need to be ready for class, and getting in shape prior to class starts is part of it.

    I used to struggle mightily through the basic warm up exercises when I first started, which detracted from my ability to learn as I was so exhausted. Push ups, sit ups, cartwheels, leg lifts, bear crawls, shrimping, leapfrogs, etc.

    Don't worry about lifting weights. Walk, run, or ride a bike for cardio, and later work on sprints for anaerobic cardio, which you will need. Just do basic exercises, such as burpees. Do as many as you can, and try to increase your number every week. I can't stress that enough.

    Judo is a physically demanding sport, and like wrestling, will make you more tired than you have ever been tired in your entire life. Your goal shouldn't be to just survive the class, but to actually learn and enjoy it.

    I'm speaking from experience, because I was grossly out of shape when I started Judo. I just tried to survive the class the first few months, and when it came time to practice throws, I had nothing left in the tank.

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