Information for Beginners
Judo is a competitive and fun recreational sport. It will teach you how to walk and move with very good balance, how to fall and be thrown without injury, and how to upset an opponents balance with speed and skill instead of strength. Judo promotes physical well being and is an excellent form of self defense. Learning how to fall properly will be your first important goal. Later, you will learn many throws and wrestling-like techniques to control and off balance an opponent. There are no kicks or strikes allowed in judo. This allows you to spar against one another without holding back but with little risk of injury. Open sparring, or randori, is an especially enjoyable part of judo that you should get to within a few months.
Judo training has many forms for different interests. Some students train for competition by sparring and entering the many tournaments that are available. Other students study the traditional art and forms (kata) of Judo. Other students train for self-defense, and yet other students play Judo for fun. Black belts are expected to learn all of these aspects of Judo.
Until you own a judogi (judo uniform), wear a loose fitting, long sleeved, sweat shirt and a loose fitting pair of long pants. Do not wear any shoes or other footwear on the judo mat. Also, remember to remove any rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, etc. Proper personal hygiene in judo is both a way of showing respect and consideration for your fellow judoka, and an important safety consideration. Your feet and hands should be clean, as should your clothing. Most importantly, make sure that your finger and toe nails are kept trimmed to avoid catching them on clothing while practicing with others. Judo is great exercise and a lot of fun. We'll see you on the mat.