Warwick Judo – General Grading

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Friday 3rd December saw the first general Grading of the Judo Club, a major event held every term which tests the technical ability and knowledge of each player. Over twenty people participated, with success all round as every single player managed to pass the test. This term, the club has run a beginner’s course in order to teach those new to the sport some of the basic breakfalling techniques, standing throws, and pins on the ground. For a new course, there has been a huge amount of interest and the success of the Grading demonstrated that every member of the course has learnt a number of efficient, well-executed techniques in Judo. Our excellent world class coach Dave Nicholls 4th Dan (4th degree black belt) deserves our gratitude for taking the time to make sure every newcomer to the sport now has a thorough grounding in the basic techniques.

The first belt on the journey to the much coveted black belt is that of the red belt (known as the 6th Kyu). For this grade each player is required to demonstrate five key elements of Judo. Firstly, a firm grasp of breakfalls must be demonstrated; a fundamental ability in order to further your training and progress, providing safety for yourself as well as your partner. Secondly, they must demonstrate three standing throws, which involve a hip throw, a foot sweep and a backwards throw. Thirdly, a knowledge of groundwork techniques must be displayed as players need to demonstrate three pins and three escapes. After this, the standing and ground techniques need to be combined to prove that each player is able to make a smooth and effective transition from fighting standing up to fighting on the ground. Finally, players need to demonstrate a basic grasp of the Japanese terminology which is used in Judo for the names of techniques and actions in competitions and training. We are pleased to congratulate the 20 people on the course who all managed to effectively demonstrate the knowledge of these five key Judo elements with flying colours.

Furthermore, special mention goes to newcomers John Thornby, Philip Hartley and Robbie Ripamonti, who, despite being complete beginners to Judo this year, all managed to grade successfully to orange belt (4th Kyu), having passed red and yellow belt Gradings already this term. Their fast progression through the first 3 grades is a credit to their conscious training attitude, hardly missing any of the four sessions a week. Alongside them, Strictly Come Dancing contestant Sapphire Samiullah graded to green belt (3rd Kyu), becoming another member able to join the University team and compete in this year’s BUCS tournament next term. The success of the Grading bodes well for this year’s Warwick Judo team at BUCS and the numerous other competitions coming up, and we are confident that there will a number of beginners able to start fighting in competitions successfully this year.

One of the main dates to look out for next term is the culminating event of One World Week, when the Warwick Judo Competition will be held in the Sports Centre on Saturday 5th February. This has always been a highly successful annual event for the club, with many Warwick competitors in the past taking home medals for both team and individual performances, and we hope that this year will prove just as successful. With over 15 other clubs from different Universities taking part it’s not an event to be missed. Make sure you come support your Judo players on the day!

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