Kingsley School 4-Week Judo Course Review

Over the last 4 weeks, I have been participating in a free beginners Judo course at ‘Kingsley School Judo Club’ in Bideford. 

It has been a fantastic experience and it was interesting to learn about the sport and how to hold, lock, and throw your opponent. 

During the last four Mondays, we have covered a lot of techniques which I will break down below. This gives you a feel of what to expect when stepping into a Judo Dojo for the first time and some of the skills you will learn along the way!

Week 1 

In Week 1 we played some basic positioning games which would help us understand the positions better, and what it takes to gain or escape from control.

From there we learned our first hold ‘Kesa Gatame’ aka Scarf Hold. Kingsley School 4-Week Judo Course Review

The basis of the technique requires the person on top to wrap their arm around the neck of the player below and pin them with their upper body. 

We also explored breakfalls, practicing Ushiro Ukemi (Rear Breakfall) and Yoko Ukemi (Side Breakfall). Practicing these techniques is important to minimize injuries while during training, and in competitions. 

Week 2 

In Week 2 we built on the scarf hold and transitioned to learning a couple of arm locks. 

The first was Ude-Gamari (Entangled Arm Lock) which used both arms to entangle the opponent’s arm while twisting toKingsley School 4-Week Judo Course Review control the elbow. 

The second was a version of Ashi-Gatame (leg lock) which included hooking your leg around the opponent’s arm and applying pressure by the elbow. 

We also had a try at Randori (Judo Sparring) starting on our knees, and attempting to use the holds and locks we’d learned in the lesson. It was great to roll with adults of different abilities and helped me to understand the exciting puzzle that Judo can be.

Week 3 

As you may have guessed, so far we have been building techniques that will allow us to transition from a standing position to a grounded one.

This week we started with a refresh of the previous, getting a feel of the technique we’d learned last week.

Additionally, we added Ude-Gatame (Straight Armlock) which gave us more ways to transition into submissions from the scarf hold. 

We were now informed we would be getting the first taste of throws, practicing them, and then transitioning into our groundwork. 

Our first throw was O-Goshi (Basic Hip Throw) which involved pulling your opponent onto your hip and throwing them down in front of you.Kingsley School 4-Week Judo Course Review

The second throw Uki-Goshi (Floating Hip Throw) was executed by breaking your opponent’s balance to the front right corner, while shallowly entering the hip and throwing them over by having your right arm around their waist. 

We then used these to transition back into the scarf hold and practice the submissions.

Week 4 

In our final week, we started by practicing all the techniques that were used in the previous 3, adding in some time for Randori to use them in a real situation. 

We then learned a new hold called Mune-Gatame (Chest Hold), and an escape. Kingsley School 4-Week Judo Course Review

For the final part of the class, we practiced sweeps. 

In a dancing motion, and to some 80s pop we practiced De-Ashi-Barai (Advancing Foot Sweep), including using the inside of our foot to sweep the trailing leg of the opponent. 

To end the class we did some foot sweep Randori.

Conclusion of Kingsley School Judo Club 4-Week Judo Course

The four-week course was fun-filled and had a steep learning curve. The techniques we practiced were effective and useful in the Dojo and beyond. 

The coaches were so helpful at explaining everything in detail, and often providing us with more than the hour allocated for training. 

I feel well on my way to eventually receiving my red belt and hopefully competing in the future.

If you have any questions about Judo, or anything else fitness & combat sports related, contact me below!

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