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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2022
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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
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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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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