It is my great pleasure to be able to offer Judo as an extracurricular activity starting after October half term. Two years ago, we were successful in forging a strong partnership with both Sport England and the British Judo Association and were able to secure funding to be able to offer free training to all members of the St Crispin’s school community.

As you may know, Judo is an Olympic sport first developed by Jigoro Kano in Japan in the 1880s as a physical, mental, and moral pedagogy. Judo is a tremendous and dynamic combat sport that demands both physical prowess and great mental discipline. From a standing position, it involves techniques that allow you to lift and throw your opponents onto their backs. On the ground, it includes techniques that allow you to pin your opponents down to the ground, control them, and apply various chokeholds or joint locks until submission.

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ju, which means “gentle”, and do, which means “the way”. Judo, therefore, literally means ‘the way of gentleness.’ Although the gentleness may not be immediately apparent to newcomers who see bodies flying through the air and people pinned to the ground, it is this principle of gentleness, or yawara (which is the same character as the ju in judo), on which all judo techniques are based.

But beyond the development of physical prowess and athletic ability, judo students learn much more. They learn how to control their feelings, emotions, and impulses. They learn about values of perseverance, respect, loyalty, and discipline. Judo students develop an outstanding work ethic, as well as important social manners and etiquette. They learn to overcome their fears, and to show courage under pressure. Through competition and the rigors of daily practice, they learn about justice and fairness. Through their experience, they learn about politeness, modesty, and many other wonderful values that contribute to their development as successful citizens of society. As such, judo facilitates the development of important moral knowledge and values, those that are important to help people to become active and contributing members of their communities, nations, and the world. In this way, judo students play an important role in developing societies, and creating new and better communities for the future.

The pandemic has affected us all in a number of ways, and judo has sadly been put aside for more than 18 months. However, we are very excited to be re-opening the doors of St Crispin’s Judo Club on Wednesday 3rd November and will be offering training sessions at the following times:

  • ‘Juniors’ (Years 7-9) – Wednesday 3.20-4.20pm
  • ‘Cadets’ (Years 10-13) – Thursday 3.20-4.20pm

Due to space and insurance limitations we will be able to accept classes of 30 students at a time. Those who are current members of St. Crispin’s Judo Club will be given priority, with further spaces being offered on a first-come first-served basis. Any student expressing interest after this would be added to a waiting list.

As part of our commitment to the wider Wokingham community we will also be offering judo classes for all who wish to take part on Wednesday evenings at St. Crispin’s school. Lessons cost £4 and take place as follows:

  • Juniors (ages 8-13) – 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm
  • Seniors (ages 14+) – 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm

As an introductory offer we will also give you your first 2 lessons totally FREE!

To express interest please email judo@crispins.co.uk with the following information:

For extracurricular clubs: your child’s name, age, tutor group, current grade (if applicable) and BJA license number (if applicable).

For evening classes: your/your child’s name, age, current grade (if applicable) and BJA license number (if applicable).

In order to partake in Judo certain equipment is required, both for practical and safety purposes:

  • The judogi is the main piece of equipment all judoka It includes a jacket, trousers and obi (belt). It is crucial that a thicker Judo suit is worn rather than those worn for other martial arts to prevent ripping or injury. These are available to purchase from the club via Tucasi, though students should see Mr Hatton first to ensure they order the correct size.

  • A water bottle is also an essential piece of equipment and are cheaply available from many retail outlets. Research has shown that in a 1-hour session of Judo we lose 1-litre or more of water through sweat. This level of dehydration can result in deterioration of both cognitive and physical ability, and so it is crucial that students hydrate themselves during training. Students will not be allowed to train without having a water bottle on safety grounds.

  • For ladies only, a sports bra is recommended and a white t-shirt is required to be worn under the jacket. Both are cheaply available at various clothing suppliers.

  • Zori must be worn when not on the tatami (mats). These are footwear such as flip-flops which stop dirt and other horrible things being spread onto the mats where judoka are going to be working.
  •  Students may wear a ‘rash vest’ if they so wish, but is not expected. However, these must be short-sleeved so as not to cause injury when gripping.

 

  • It is also important that those taking part in Judo do not wear any jewellery, tie back hair and keep nails trimmed short so as not to cause injury.

Any new Judoka can train for 4 sessions before getting a license with the British Judo Association which will allow them to train at any BJA member club. For under-16s this comes at a cost of £10 per year (discounted from £31!) by using a discount code when signing up for a membership with the BJA; this will be provided once a student has completed 3 training sessions. Over-16s require a ‘senior’ license which costs £42 per year.

Existing judoka must renew their British Judo license before stepping back into the dojo for the first time and will not be eligible to train without doing so. Please email for the discount code mentioned above.

If you have any further questions please contact judo@crispins.co.uk

I look forward to welcoming students into the Dojo soon.

Mr Sean Hatton

Head of Year 10 @ St Crispin’s School

Head Coach @ St. Crispin’s Judo Club