Adult Beginner Course graduates capture gold medals

Three judo newcomers are celebrating their first medal triumph in the Olympic sport of judo after completing a British Judo Adult Beginners Course (ABC) in November.

Kelly Hughes, John Whittington and brother Phil all enrolled at the course at Tora Judo Ka in Pill, Bristol and the trio all starred at the Welsh Open in Cardiff on Sunday 8 January by capturing gold medals.

The club’s next ABC course starts on 16 February and once again offers you the opportunity to have a fun-fuelled, new experience while you receive expert tuition and become familiar with judo’s highly-motivating and rewarding non-competitive grading scheme.

Kelly Hughes, 34, who took gold in the +78kg category, said: “I was looking at different sports I could take up and I thought the ABC course price was fantastic value with 10 classes, insurance and a suit for £60.

“I have made some new friends and the instructors are brilliant and very patient with you, they have time for you and they always encourage you to go further.

“I had no intention to go into competition, but I have been enjoying it so much, I thought I would throw myself in for the experience. To win a medal was crazy, this being my first competition, this has been very encouraging for me, and brilliant for John and Phil. I can see myself staying with Judo Tora Kai for the foreseeable future.”

British Judo Development Director Mark Beecher said: “I’m delighted that the original group of ABC participants have flourished in the sport by not only passing their first grading but they’ve also entered kyu grade (low belt) competitions and won.

“I hope our next enrolment of ABC participants have the same level of enjoyment in practicing the Olympic sport and wish everyone well on their road to a coveted black-belt.”

Tora Judo Kai’s next Adult Beginners Course starts on Thursday 16 February at 18:30 – 19:30. Training takes place at Portishead Dojo, Unit 2, Harbour Rd Trad Est, Portishead, BS20 7BL.

For more information and to sign up visit