20th challenge completed – Judo

Tonight I took part in my 2nd Judo session with Ealing Judo Club.

I started the Judo challenge last week by joining the beginners session at West Acton Community Centre in West London. A session described as ‘Seniors – Novice to Green Belt’. I was hoping that there would be others in a similar situation to myself – maybe not attending for the first time, but at least relatively new to the sport. Unfortunately most of the people, whilst not professional, were experienced. This meant that the session was run with the assumption that everyone knew the basics – which I clearly didn’t. We mainly practiced joint locks, which largely involved locking the arm into a position that causes your opponent to tap-out as a result of the pain. The first time I was subjected to an arm lock I almost passed out and it was only when the instructor came round to see how we were getting on that she informed me that if I was in too much pain I should tap-out. Might have helped to know this at the start.

Bruised and battered, I didn’t really enjoy the first session, but decided to go back for another week to make sure that I got more of a rounded experience of the sport. Tonight was a lot better. There were more people taking part and as a result a few people closer to my level. We focused more on grappling, throws and technique and I felt that I was able to go at a pace that suited me. Ultimately we were trying to get the opponent into a choke but this didn’t feel like the main focus, so I was more comfortable. The session finished with Randori (free-style practice). This was hard work but it was great to put some of the skills to practice. I felt like I was able to hold my own from a strength perspective but my lack of experience ultimately told.

I think I could be ok at Judo, but I’m not sure I really enjoy the close physical contact. I may do another session but I feel after my 2 sessions that I have a decent idea of the sport of Judo.

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