By Luca Giannini aged 11 years
Judo – I LOVE it! I’d rather be given a double-dose of homework than play a football game, however when it comes to Judo, it’s a whole different matter because is so much FUN!
Being a big Pokemon fan, I first got into judo when I realised, by learning the Japanese language through judo, it would help me to understand Pokemon a bit more. Daunting at first, I quickly found myself keen to get to the next class because our sensais (teachers in Japanese), coach us carefully and patiently; however they play games at full-throttle. Bundling, jumping, running and laughing, you suddenly find you are practising judo when you thought you were having fun.
For those of you who need to know more about Judo, it’s one of the martial arts which is classified as a ‘sport’ – so it’s in the Olympics. Judo means ‘gentle way’, probably because, compared to other martial arts such as karate and Taekwondo, Judo is a lot more gentle. Judo may save your life! With strangles and arm locks and a good grounding in self-defence, it is a way to learn how to handle yourself if you ever get into tricky situations (although we are all taught never to use our skills on the streets).
I practise Judo for fun, however my sister, Yasmin, is a lot more competitive. Last month, Yasmin and her Judo peers went along to the Surrey Squad Trials, to see if they might represent their county team – and they did it! They met with crowds of other Judo lovers from all over Surrey and met on the mat to see who was the best. It was a record batch from our Judo club this year, with four kids (including Yasmin), all proving themselves to be good enough to get into the Surrey Squad. Our Judo sensai, Neil Bradford, was so proud because his students (Reece, Yasmin, Freddie, George, Sebastian and Georgie ), all made the newspapers with their success, and for the rest of the year they will be representing their county at Judo:
‘These are a great bunch of kids and the competition was tough this year at the trials. Yet they worked hard and deserve to now be representing their county. I’m bursting with pride six of my students will now be representing Surrey,” said Neil.
Judo might far from be the obvious sports choice for us school kids, especially when football and athletics are always pushed at school. However, if you fancy doing something a bit different this is SO MUCH FUN and helps you to make amazing friends, then check out your local judo club. You might find yourself in a future Olympics!
To learn more about Judo please visit: www.yoshinryu.co.uk