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    Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

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    Socratic

    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2014-12-27

    Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by Socratic on Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:11 am

    Hello, i've been wanting to start learning Judo for some years now and last year I decided to try out a local club.
    On my first lesson the teacher said the lesson was £5 gbp, i only had a £10 note, i asked if he had change, so he took the money and walked off without giving change and sat down without saying anything. After a few minutes I was bothered by what he did, so I asked him to confirm the lesson was £5 and that I had given him £10 and did he have the change. He said he had forgot. It seemed odd that he would try to short change me for so little money and he was pretty arrogant about it. This was the first few minutes of being with the club and already I was bothered by the attitude there.
    Over the next few weeks I had to fight black belts that were almost twice my weight and basically I got battered. I was walking away from the classes busted up and injured. The guys weren't very friendly, it came off like they were fighting dirty, fingers in the eyes, throwing elbows, kicks to the nuts etc. After two months I left because it was clear I wasn't going to learn Judo there. On my last lesson I'd had two guys sticking thumbs in my eyes, kicking me in the nuts and I'd had a tooth cut through my lip from an elbow to the mouth. I walked out of the class with my gi covered in blood.
    Is this normal for a Judo club? I'm only 65kg so I'm wondering am i too small for Judo? There aren't many clubs around where I live so I'm wondering if I should carry on looking for other clubs or if I'm wasting my time if this is the norm. Feedback would be appreciated, thanks.
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    Heisenberg

    Posts : 99
    Join date : 2013-03-03
    Location : Central FL

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by Heisenberg on Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:15 am

    What you describe is not normal based on my experience.

    First, We always invite guests to have their first practice for free. Not uncommon to charge, but that's just how we do it.

    As far as "beating up" on the new guy, we don't, because A) we want you to come back, and B) you might hang around long enough and become good enough to return the favor. I generally encourage my more advanced players to play at the new guy's weight or skill level. Limit the techniques to ones they have seen or been instructed. Big guys play little guys "at their weight", meaning you take your falls and don't muscle the throws. It makes for a friendlier dojo.


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    Jacob3

    Posts : 50
    Join date : 2013-09-17
    Location : Netherlands

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by Jacob3 on Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:30 pm

    Well, the answer to this is quite easy. You have NOT been to a JUDO school. No matter what they claim.
    At first, when other students try to 'win' by all means, regardless of their partners well-being, they do NOT practice judo. Since one of the core-principles of judo is, to take care of one-another. Real judoka would be helping you to learn the basics.
    Secondly the teacher.... I cannot say anything about the money, since he might genuinly have forgotten about it. But he is definately NOT a judo sensei when he teaches his students ( or even allowing them ) this kind of attitude.

    No, you are never too light for judo. Your partner(s) should adjust to you, and you to your partners. That is judo. You have probably run into a purely competition-based school, and not even a succesfull one if they need to apply those kinds of tricks to win....

    Try to find another school. Ask the teacher if you can try a lesson. Like Heisenberg already said, it is quite common that the first lesson is for free. At most clubs I know, even the first three are for free. Ask the teacher if there are also kata practiced at this school. If they do, you can be fairly sure that it is not a purely competition-club. If they don't, chances are that you will fall into the same problems again. However, it might also be a purely recreative school with hardly or no black-belts and therefore less interest/knowledge in/of kata. If that is the case, then you might want to give it a try, since those are mostly quite friendly clubs aswell.
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    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts : 790
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:06 am

    Socratic wrote:Hello, i've been wanting to start learning Judo for some years now and last year I decided to try out a local club.
    On my first lesson the teacher said the lesson was £5 gbp, i only had a £10 note, i asked if he had change, so he took the money and walked off without giving change and sat down without saying anything. After a few minutes I was bothered by what he did, so I asked him to confirm the lesson was £5 and that I had given him £10 and did he have the change. He said he had forgot. It seemed odd that he would try to short change me for so little money and he was pretty arrogant about it. This was the first few minutes of being with the club and already I was bothered by the attitude there.
    Over the next few weeks I had to fight black belts that were almost twice my weight and basically I got battered. I was walking away from the classes busted up and injured. The guys weren't very friendly, it came off like they were fighting dirty, fingers in the eyes, throwing elbows, kicks to the nuts etc. After two months I left because it was clear I wasn't going to learn Judo there. On my last lesson I'd had two guys sticking thumbs in my eyes, kicking me in the nuts and I'd had a tooth cut through my lip from an elbow to the mouth. I walked out of the class with my gi covered in blood.
    Is this normal for a Judo club? I'm only 65kg so I'm wondering am i too small for Judo? There aren't many clubs around where I live so I'm wondering if I should carry on looking for other clubs or if I'm wasting my time if this is the norm. Feedback would be appreciated, thanks.

    What is the name of the "club" you went to? Do they have a web site ?


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    medo

    Posts : 276
    Join date : 2012-12-31

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by medo on Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:31 am

    Socratic wrote:Hello, i've been wanting to start learning Judo for some years now and last year I decided to try out a local club.
    On my first lesson the teacher said the lesson was £5 gbp, i only had a £10 note, i asked if he had change, so he took the money and walked off without giving change and sat down without saying anything. After a few minutes I was bothered by what he did, so I asked him to confirm the lesson was £5 and that I had given him £10 and did he have the change. He said he had forgot. It seemed odd that he would try to short change me for so little money and he was pretty arrogant about it. This was the first few minutes of being with the club and already I was bothered by the attitude there.
    Over the next few weeks I had to fight black belts that were almost twice my weight and basically I got battered. I was walking away from the classes busted up and injured. The guys weren't very friendly, it came off like they were fighting dirty, fingers in the eyes, throwing elbows, kicks to the nuts etc. After two months I left because it was clear I wasn't going to learn Judo there. On my last lesson I'd had two guys sticking thumbs in my eyes, kicking me in the nuts and I'd had a tooth cut through my lip from an elbow to the mouth. I walked out of the class with my gi covered in blood.
    Is this normal for a Judo club? I'm only 65kg so I'm wondering am i too small for Judo? There aren't many clubs around where I live so I'm wondering if I should carry on looking for other clubs or if I'm wasting my time if this is the norm. Feedback would be appreciated, thanks.
    Seems a little strange where abouts in the uk is this club? Any leakage of blood would normally be a cause of concern as for dirty tactics that in my experience happens to visiting high grade judoka not beginners.

    Find another club  Rolling Eyes you do not state your age, 65kg is fine depends on what association you join. When you get to dan grade a line up of 80kg plus means you got to be fitter, faster and strong to achieve that goal, point systems will help, you need to be training regular at a few good clubs.

    jkw

    Posts : 130
    Join date : 2013-01-04

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by jkw on Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:49 am

    Socratic wrote:Over the next few weeks I had to fight black belts that were almost twice my weight and basically I got battered.

    I think this is a very unusual experience and potentially unsafe way to begin judo. It sounds like you are not a good fit for this club and I suggest you try and find another place to train.

    Look for somewhere that begins by teaching you how to fall correctly. Also you should not be allowed to participate in free practice or 'fighting' until you have gained -

    a) some confidence in falling safely
    b) basic understanding of a few throws
    c) instruction in the correct attitude to have in 'free practice' (it's actually not at all like 'fighting')

    It's worth bearing in mind that your attitude as a beginner towards your training partners can sometimes inadvertently cause problems, but - realistically - experienced dan grades should adjust to suit this.
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    Stacey

    Posts : 553
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by Stacey on Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:45 am

    we don't know whether he was "fighting" the black belts on the ground or standing. I'm going to assume on the ground as it's much easier to catch an elbow or get something to the mask of the face on the ground than standing. The OP would have to get back to us to tell us what was going on.

    The OP didn't mention ukemi, but then he didn't mention a ton of stuff. As for "fighting" black belts - it is common for new students to think this is really fighting, and that they are being matched up with heavier black belts for the purpose of being cannon fodder. That's rarely the case - black belts and higher level students are usually assigned because they are safer - they can control their techniques and prevent a new student from hurting them. Sometimes it takes a while for a new student to settle in and realize that he's not getting his ass kicked, and that if he settles down and works the technique that he's been taught, the upper belts will help him. Spazz out, and the answer is different. Treat it like a fight and not ronduri, and the answer is different. And yes, the more a new student spazzes out or has difficulty with doing the techs without over doing them, or risking his own safety, the more apt I am to pair him with heavier higher grades. I'd much rather pair a new student who's not picking up on things well with a larger student than a similarly sized student or a smaller student, assuming all are the same skill level. The last thing I want is an injured student, and a larger student usually prevents harm when it comes to such new students (mentality has some to do with it as well, but you know what I mean).

    Listen, we don't know a lot of stuff. We don't know how many similarly sized students of brown or black belt level were available to roll with the guy. We don't know what context the 5 pound bit was in - if you're in the middle of the class, watching people randori, and explaining things to a new student in his first class, explaining that the classes cost 5 pounds - it would be odd to have a student whip out a 10 pound note and ask for change then and there.

    We don't know what's happening. Whatever is happening, the OP's not having a good experience, and he doesn't feel like he's being heard by the instructors or other students. Going to a different dojo would be the best bet. Going to a few different dojo, if that's an option, and shopping around for the type of experience and dojo he wants makes the most sense.

    But, OP needs to understand - you're going to be paired with higher ranks - they keep you safe as you get your feet under you. They are not there to kill you. You should not be paired with a similarly ranked judoka until the school's comfortable with your ability to fall, take a fall, and basic understanding of technique. You'll randori with them on the ground usually before you get to your feet.

    OP also needs to know that we don't fight in class. Randori is not about fighting, it's not about winning.

    medo

    Posts : 276
    Join date : 2012-12-31

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by medo on Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:05 pm

    Money wise most small club's just have a money box and participating judoka place their subs into it and take change from it if needed. Bigger clubs set up standing orders paying in monthly installments.
    Most dan grades help beginners but I have been to some clubs in the uk that class any new blood as mat fooder. randori in their eyes, is full out contest its your fault if you get hurt, its the tough boys club not suitable for beginners. Ok if you can handle yourself and a good workout for seasoned contest guys Very Happy
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    millymei36

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2015-01-12

    Re: Looking to start learning Judo - Is this normal?

    Post by millymei36 on Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:25 pm

    Your weight is definitely not a problem! Anyone can do judo, regardless of weight - there have many awesome under 50kg judoka competing internationally. This does not sound like a 'proper' club, however, don't let this discourage you, there are many wonderful judo clubs around! Wink

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