Your Judo questions, answered!

Have questions about the dojo or memberships? Stop by our front desk before or after class to chat with someone! 

What ages can take Judo at AJM?
AJM welcomes members of all ages, starting from as young as 5 years old to as wise as 80 years old. We believe judo is a lifelong journey that offers valuable skills and lessons for people of all ages. Our diverse age range creates a rich learning environment where everyone can benefit from each other’s experiences and perspectives.

What should I wear for my first class if I don’t have a gi?
If you don’t have a gi yet, you should wear comfortable, athletic clothes that allow for a full range of movement. Think about something like a t-shirt and sweatpants or yoga pants. Avoid clothes with zippers or buttons, as they can be uncomfortable and potentially hazardous during practice.

Can I use a BJJ Gi?
Yes, you can start with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) gi if you already have one. However, as you progress, you will likely want to invest in a judo gi to ensure you're on a fair playing field with other players. Judo gis are generally more durable and designed to withstand the specific grips and throws used in judo.

What should I do before my first class?
Before your first class, make sure to cut your fingernails short to avoid scratching yourself or your training partners. It's also a good idea to bring flip flops or sandals to easily step on and off the mat, keeping the training area clean and your feet protected.

Do I need previous martial arts or athletic experience?
No prior martial arts or athletic experience is necessary to start judo at AJM. We welcome individuals of all skill levels and backgrounds. Our instructors are experienced in teaching and coaching beginners, and they will guide you through the basics while helping you build confidence and skill.

Do I need to be in shape to start?
You don’t have to be in excellent shape to start judo. Our classes are designed to accommodate all fitness levels, and as you train, you will naturally build strength, flexibility, and endurance. We do recommend supplementing your training with weight and flexibility exercises to enhance your judo practice.

Should I bleach my white gi?
When caring for your white gi, always use a color-safe, peroxide-based non-chlorinated bleach such as Clorox 2. Chlorinated bleach can weaken the fabric and shorten the lifespan of your gi, whereas non-chlorinated bleach will help keep it clean without damaging it.

I used to play judo. Should I start back out at white belt?
No, you won’t lose your rank if you return to judo after a break. At AJM, we recognize your previous experience and rank. Our instructors will help you refresh your skills and get back into the flow of training, ensuring you feel comfortable and confident on the mat again.

Does AJM participate in tournaments?
Yes, AJM actively participates in tournaments at various levels. Our members, including Juniors, Seniors, and Veterans, compete in local, regional, national, and international events. We encourage our students to test their skills in competitions, as it provides valuable experience and opportunities for growth.

How often are classes held at AJM?
Classes at AJM are held multiple times a week, with sessions available in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings to accommodate different schedules. We also offer weekend classes and special workshops periodically. Please check our current class schedule on our website or at the dojo for the most up-to-date information.

What safety measures are in place during training?
Safety is a top priority at AJM. Our instructors are trained to ensure all practices are conducted in a safe and controlled manner. We emphasize proper technique, warm-ups, and respect for training partners to minimize the risk of injury. We also have first aid supplies on hand and protocols for dealing with injuries should they occur.

Can children and adults train together?
While we have separate classes tailored specifically for children and adults to address their unique needs, there are occasions where combined classes or family training sessions are held. These sessions foster a sense of community and allow families to train together, learning and growing in their judo practice.

What are the benefits of training in judo?
Training in judo offers numerous benefits, including improved physical fitness, increased strength and flexibility, enhanced coordination and balance, and better mental focus. Judo also teaches discipline, respect, and perseverance, which can positively impact various aspects of your life.

How long does it take to earn a black belt in judo?
The time it takes to earn a black belt in judo varies depending on several factors, including how often you train, your dedication, and your progression through the ranks. On average, it can take anywhere from 6 to 10 years of consistent training and practice to achieve a black belt.

Are there opportunities for private lessons at AJM?
Yes, AJM offers private lessons for individuals or small groups who want more personalized instruction. Private lessons can be an excellent way to focus on specific techniques, improve skills more rapidly, or prepare for competitions. Please contact our instructors to arrange private sessions.

What equipment do I need to start judo?
To start judo, you will need a judo gi, which consists of a jacket, pants, and a belt. Initially, you can wear comfortable athletic clothes if you don’t have a gi. As you progress, investing in a judo gi will be necessary. Additionally, you should have flip flops or sandals to wear off the mat and a water bottle to stay hydrated.

Can I watch a class before joining?
Yes, potential new members are welcome to watch a class before deciding to join. Observing a class can give you a better sense of what to expect, the teaching style of our instructors, and the overall atmosphere of the dojo. Please contact us to schedule a time to visit.

Is there a grading system in judo?
Yes, judo uses a belt ranking system to signify a practitioner’s level of skill and experience. Beginners start with a white belt and progress through various colored belts before reaching black belt and higher dan ranks. Promotions are based on factors such as skill proficiency, time spent training, and participation in events.

What should I do if I have an injury or medical condition?
If you have an injury or medical condition, it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting judo. Inform your instructors about any health issues so they can modify exercises as needed and ensure your safety. Training can often be adapted to accommodate physical limitations, allowing you to still benefit from the practice.
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