Monday, December 10, 2012

Tonbridge Bushido Judo Club

Judo has been on the decline for some years, so when I had a call from Vic Court 4th Dan Tonbridge Bushido and we got talking and he told me he get sometimes 300 kids to his competition, I was somewhat taken back. So on Sunday I visited the competition which was held at St John’s Primary School; Tunbridge Wells, Yes he did have that sort of numbers and the competition was held over 3 mats. So why does this club get so many players well first Vic and other Coaches teach in the schools in the local area so he has a natural catchment but to keep his members he has to offer more and here a some of the things which I think he does well:

1)     Entries have to be in 2 weeks in advance, this way he can see what he is dealing with
2)     Children are matched weight, grade and age
3)     They are the put into pools of 5 so everyone gets 4 fights
4)     They drop the time to 1.5 minutes
5)     He also get Children to referee as he said not all kids want to be fighters and this way everyone is involved. For those who have a long memory I done this when my John was just 13 years old he is now 39, I got ridiculed and I ceased doing it so I am glad Vic has the same idea
6)     Every Children got a medal

Admittedly you cannot do this with every competition but what Vic and his Tonbridge Bushido Judo Club has proved that Judo is not dead. What we need do is bring in new ideas and revive some of the old ones. I have been in Judo for 55 years and since 1970 I have been Coaching but even I have to realize that times change, as do the people who participate in Judo. Judo needs new people and new ideas and people like me who try and cling to the past and hope those halcyon days of the 1960’s to 1980’s return must accept that will not happen.
I hope Vic and the Tonbridge Bushido Judo Club keep up the good work, I have put his web site here have a look

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