A group of 8 athletes and coaches from Comberton JC visited the International Budo University in Japan during June 2017.

    Many thanks to Bob Challis for the below write-up

    As part of our full-time training at Comberton Judo Club, athletes and AASE players were given the opportunity to train in Japan for two weeks. The team spent two days in Tokyo to sight see and acclimatise. We visited the Kodokan, the Mizuno store and a couple of shrines. However, our main quest was to find Jessie a cat café.

    At the Kodokan we had the opportunity to observe an adult beginners class and a children’s class, in addition to visiting the museum, which holds one of Jigoro Kano’s Judo Gis. You wouldn’t believe it didn’t have the IJF regulation label!

    Jessie Edwards, AASE player:

    “Visiting the Kodokan was a very eye-opening experience, and helped me understand how Judo has evolved as a sport.”

    Jessie Edwards throws for ippon

    After our short stay in Tokyo we made the move to the International Budo University (IBU) in Katsuura, although it is possible we didn’t take the most direct route. We made it there just in time for our first Judo practice – 4:30pm – 7:30pm.

    IBU specializes in sport and has fantastic facilities including 4G rugby and football pitches, a swimming pool and an athletics track all surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of rural Japan, approximately one mile from the beach.

    Although there is a variety of sports, the University’s main focus is Budo. They have separate dojos for men’s and women’s Judo, Aikido, Shirinji Kempo, Iaido, Kendo, Kratedo and Kyudo, most of which we were able to observe or take part in during our visit.

    The Judo training is always 4:30pm – 7:30pm for both men and women on weekdays and 9am – 12pm on Saturday mornings. The Japanese also have cardiovascular training at 6:45am and we were given the choice to join them or use the gym 9:30am – 11am. You can guess which one we chose! The men’s Dojo is 20 x 40m with approximately 80 players per session and the Women’s is 35 x 15m with around 20 players.

    Holly Newton, who studies at Anglia Ruskin whilst training full-time at Comberton JC:

    “Having experienced both the men’s and women’s Dojos, we found that the women’s was much more disciplined but the randori was very enjoyable and diverse.”

    The quality of Judo is of a high standard, with the men’s session being lead by Tadanori Koshino, a World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist. The women’s session was run by Shuji Oshima a World Nage-No-Kata Champion.

    The coaches and athletes were all very welcoming, and the team was well looked after by the international office, particularly by Yukiko Yoshino. Others visiting IBU include Yu Song, current World Champion for over 78kg, and Jake Bensted, 2016 Olympian.

    Toby Beamiss, AASE player:

    “When I initially arrived I was overwhelmed because of the number of players and  I saw World Champion Yu Song, but I soon realized that everyone was friendly and I was able to throw for ippon in randori.”

    Toby Beamiss training at IBU

    As well as accepting visiting teams IBU offers a 1 year International Budo course where students study their chosen discipline, the Japanese culture and language. It gives them the opportunity to train full-time whilst studying. This course is ideal for students just finishing university, students with a sandwich course and people taking a gap year. If anybody would like anymore information they can contact us at combertonjudoclub@yahoo.com.

    Head Coach at Comberton JC and lecturer in sports coaching at Anglia Ruskin, Bob Challis said:

    “It has been great bringing a team over here, I came over and looked at a few universities in December and I felt that IBU was very welcoming and had the correct level of judo for our team.

    “Bringing the full-time athletes from Comberton JC here is great for the standard of judo within the club and a great experience for the team. I look forward to bringing players again in 2019 from our training group and the AASE programme.”

    There is more information on individual athletes at: http://combertonjudoclub.weebly.com/our-athletes.html

    Comberton Judo Club is a community club that provides judo for everyone. They have child beginners from 7 years old, adult beginners and high performance players in various programmes. There is more information on our programmes at: http://combertonjudoclub.weebly.com/train-with-us.html

    More information on Comberton Judo Club can be found at www.combertonjudo.org