As long as I can remember, I wanted to do Judo. I don't know why and what attracted me to it, but I eventually plucked up the courage and went to my first class, at the age of 32...
I've decided to make note of my progress and experiences as I go along and the best way I could think of was to write a blog. This is it!
I currently have a 6th Kyu (red belt) and hoping to get to the next level soon.
I'll start of by explaining when and why I started Judo.
I started wrestling when I was 7, so I've always been into contact sport (I also love rugby). I was not the best wrestler ever, but I at least held some provincial titles, so I was not bad either. I stopped wrestling at 17. I don't know why though. I did it for 10 years, so I obviously enjoyed it, but I just got to the point where I had enough. I still like it though, as my wife found out during the 2012 Olympics, when I literally spent a whole Sunday on the sofa watching the Freestyle wrestling (thank you BBC!).
I remember wanting to take up Judo as a kid, together with my wrestling, but never had the opportunity, as we lived in a small town and there was no Judo club in our town, or the next. I was obviously gutted, but I was also 7/8 years old, so I got over it quickly.
In 2009, after living in the UK for 4 years, I had a bit of a difficult time and, pondering about my issues one night, decided to start playing rugby again, after 9 years...
Needless to say, when I went for my first training session, I felt like I had been run over by a tank! But I got fitter and ended up enjoying my rugby very much.
It was in this time that I met my wife. When we moved in together, we got 2 dogs and we were obviously starting to think about the future as well. With all this, there wasn't really much time for rugby, as it was training twice a week and then game day on Saturday which takes up most of the day. I was also nursing a niggling back injury, so I quit rugby, after 2 very enjoyable seasons.
My wife (then GF) actually played rugby as well, which is how we met, and she quit at the same time as me.
While driving together one day, she asked if I could think of anything we could do to replace rugby, which will give us the same exercise, but not take up as much time. I couldn't really think of anything, until out of the blue I just shouted JUDO!, like my mouth had a mind of its own! I don't know why, because I've never even thought about Judo up until that point. She knew about my wrestling background, but she didn't know that I wanted to do Judo, as I have actually forgotten about it...
So, in November 2011, we went to our first Judo class, at a very well known club, which will remain unnamed. We both enjoyed it and it was very close to where we live. However, after the 3rd class, I didn't seem to enjoy it that much anymore, as this club was very much concentrated on competition. So there we were, amongst all these seasoned Judoka, being taught everything they are being taught and expected to pick up everything at the same pace as well. I just felt like I was never going to get anything out of this, so I stopped going. I don't have anything against the club, but I don't think you should go there if you are a novice. My wife also stopped, as she couldn't really take the contact anymore. She know does Karate and she is very happy with it.
So that was it. My Judo career lasted only 3 weeks! However, as I was looking for something in my closet one day, I found my Judogi neatly packed away. This was in July 2012, 8 months after my first attempt at Judo. The seed was planted and I started looking for another club. I found a club, also close to where we live, and decided to give it another go. This time it was everything I expected the first time I tried my hand at Judo. I was only shown the basics and told to work on it. No Dan-level throws, no impatient sensei grumbling because you can't get it right in the same time as the Dan grades. It was a lot more relaxed and, after my first class, couldn't wait for the next one. And I still feel exactly the same!
Well, that is how I got into Judo. It is bit longer than I thought it would be!
I'll pop in from time to time to give an update on my progress.