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Who does Judo?

The sport of Judo is classless – taking people from all walks of life. Our club has merchant bankers, firemen, social workers, policemen, qualified accountants, postmen, computer database programmers, telephone engineers, office workers and university students.

Judo is very popular in Europe and in the past year we have had visitors from Russia, Poland, Belgium and France pop in for a practice on the mat.

Some of the adults have done judo at competition level all their lives, some did it in their youth and have taken it up again as a way of getting fit and some take it up because they see their children enjoying the sport so much.

We also get students of other martial arts who want to test out judo to see how effective it is.

Judo is a very honest sport because it is so simple, being based on the primal instinct of subduing an opponent. In ball sports such as football/rugby/hockey the referee often has his hands full in preventing a mass brawl breaking out, as participants would prefer to fight rather than play their sport. In judo we allow participants to fight but in a safe controlled environment. There is just you and your opponent, with rules to prevent you from injuring each other. There is nowhere to hide and no room for bravado.

After you have spent several minutes pitting all your cunning, skill and strength against an opponent and pushing yourself to near exhaustion, you cannot help but have full respect to your adversary regardless of the outcome. From that respect comes laughter, jokes and good friendship.

This respect also applies to parents. In Judo competitions it is unheard of competitors or their parents verbally abusing opponents or officials.

Because of the honesty of the sport of judo it is rare to find anyone with a chip on his shoulder trying to prove his worth by slamming everyone into the mat. It is far more likely to find the judo experts adjusting their judo when fighting less experienced people. They will ease off and try practicing some of their less favoured techniques so as to give you a chance whilst still allowing both parties to learn from the practice.

Judo provides a high intensity work out and so is useful for those who can only escape from the “wife & kids” for an evening a week. Having a sports bar within 100 yards of the mat means that you can also have a well deserved refreshment drink and a good chat with the lads after a hard session.

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Welwyn Garden City Judo Club

Based at Gosling Stadium, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.