Destination@BritishJudo Update: Sheffield Hub

Sheffield is one of Destination@British Judo’s youngest hubs. The model moved into the Yorkshire area a little under two years ago lead by Gareth Howell and is growing at a good rate.

Forge Valley was the first area of the city to get a club and since then another four have been added with two classes at each location. The 10 sessions a week now attract over 120 Judo players.

Taster sessions are delivered on a weekly basis across many of the Sheffield Schools supported by the local SSP, SIV and the Archers project. The support given makes for easy access to the Schools and therefore the delivery of judo to hundreds of children.

The sessions are 30-45 minutes long, are energetic and include basic key judo skills and judo related games.

Gareth has not been well so the area has been looked after by Andrew Parton for the last six months. Everyone hopes Gareth will return to us very soon.

Sheffield is hoping to host its first Destination Rumble towards the end of the year and with the coaches encouraging the players to enter, the sessions have taken on a more focused approach.

Players are now learning about transition and the need to understand competition rules and the terminology that goes with it.

The emphasis is still on technique and fun however Randori is now beginning to take a more active role in the sessions, testing the player’s ability to practice with a small amount of pressure.

They are rising to the challenge and the glowing smiling faces at the end of the session prove it to be the case.

The team believe that incorporating key fundamental skills into games helps reinforce both learning and fun.

The primary game in Sheffield is “Spiders”. Two to three players crawl around the mat on their hands and knees and attempt to catch the rest of the class who are running on the mat area.

Once caught the player adopts a pre-chosen position lying on their back curled up in a ball standing still etc.

To be released the player must be held down with the required osekomi waza, turned with the appropriate movement or thrown with a desired throw this game has so much opportunity for expansion.

Gradings are a good way of showing progression and Destination@BritishJudo always try to encourage their players to move forward.

It is a very busy and rewarding time for players, coaches and Destination admin staff as gradings are coordinated across the whole project which means almost 2000 judoka are eligible to grade each time.

We are all gearing up for the next cycle which is due to be completed by 2nd June.