Father loses 3 stone through British Judo’s Adult Beginners Course

By Julia Buckley, FitnessRocks

Raymond Deans went a step further than just encouraging his kids to try a martial art and joined them in judo class. Six months later, he’s 20kg lighter and much fitter and urges other adults to give judo a try. 

British Judo’s motto is ‘Judo for All’ as the sport can be practiced by all ages as I have discovered for myself. It is a sport requiring strength, explosive power, endurance, and flexibility. As someone who relied only on aerobic exercise previously, it proved to be a challenge for me initially, but I’m very glad I stuck with it. 

I was lucky to spot an article on the British Judo Association website for their Adult Beginners Course where, for a fee of £60, you get 10 weeks judo tuition, a British Judo adult licence, a judo suit and the opportunity to take your first grading – seemed like a bargain! I downloaded the form, completed it and sent off my cheque. Before long I was standing ready to train at Huddersfield Judo club where my children go to classes and I was known as that vocal parent on the sideline. 

Learning the Basics 

This time I was on the mat, though mercifully separated from the more experienced Judoka (people who practice Judo). The initial training was safety orientated. As a beginner, you learn safety rules and falling skills. You then progress to basic positions for throwing or pinning. When you feel confident in performing basic techniques, your coach pairs you with a training partner who adds movement or resistance to make it more realistic, and you learn ways of defending against attacks. 

Respect & Improvement 

I’ve since practiced with some of the rising stars of Judo who are members of our club and the English and British Champions in their respective age groups, as well as past champions who have represented Great Britain. 

I’ve found Judoka to be the most respectful, patient individuals I have ever met. It is easy to see how the philosophy of mutual respect and self improvement permeates this sport at all levels by their example. 

Fitness Challenge 

Another aspect of Judo is the conditioning. Judo is a sport where you spend a lot of time utilising your anaerobic energy sources which presented me with a challenge. The fact that I ran 10K races helped me very little and for the first few months I was allowed to sit out during the sessions when I became exhausted until my Judo specific fitness improved. 

However, circuit training and Judo drills soon got me in shape. Now I often describe judo as high intensity interval training that uses people for resistance. 

Lean and Keen! 

In the six months I have been training, I am 20kg lighter than when I started, as fit as I have ever been and certainly fitter than most 50 year olds I know. 

I’ve acquired new skills, am starting to fight in ‘low grade’ competitions and really enjoy stepping onto the mat with my 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son who relish throwing their dad about. 

I’m looking forward to grading and becoming a coach so that I can follow my children through the sport as well as aiming to fight in Master’s competitions where you are graded by age and weight. 

My experience of this sport is real proof that Judo is indeed for All!