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6 Things That Won't Happen in Judo Classes

6 Things That Won’t Happen in Judo Classes

Do you remember your very first Judo class?

I have a vague idea of what it was like. I was like 4 or 5, years old, my father took me to a local dojo where he actually was a kind of legend.

Yup, it is a judo family alright, and that can be really hard sometimes.

For example when you are a father of a judo kid, as my old man was at the time and you are a legend, and all eyes are pointed towards your child and the first moment your child puts its feet on tatami, he starts crying, and wont stop for half an hour…

That is right now that was the story i was told i have no memory of that but i guess the legend of me crying on the first day of my judoka training must go on.

For most people, recalling the first time they stepped into the dojo undoubtedly evokes mixed feelings: Curiosity, fascination, sometimes nostalgia. Sometimes remembering your first time on the tatami also reminds you of some things that never came to past.

I have not placed my foot on tatami for a couple of years now but last time i did, i remembered at least 6 things that won’t happen in judo classes, and the fact that nobody told me nothing about it.

I mean looking from beginners point of view all of it, the judogi, tatami, sensei, all the Japanese words and strange small rituals from the bowing to the dojo, your sensei and the opponent before the fight , entire culture encapsulated in this martial art. Also there is this completely different set of complex values promoted there. Much different, and soothing when compared to volatile and invasive values promoted and pushed worldwide today and 20 years ago.


So here are 6 Things That Won’t Happen in Judo Classes

There won’t be no mercy!


The first rule of fight club is…

I mean, it is not as tough as sharing your skin with Tyler Durden in that 1999 movie, but let me tell you if you haven’t been a chubby child judoka you do not know pain! In any way. Seven year old me, was a goofy and a bit spoiled child, oh did i mentioned that i was fat? Yup i looked like a Michelin logo. So, now you got a this spoiled Michelin logo lookalike winner boy who is stepping on tatami for the first time. And that boy was shocked.

No one told me that there is no mercy in a judo class.

Judo classes are hard, this is intensive workout routine and a fat spoiled child must run at worm-up, must do jumping jacks, and push-ups and pull-ups, and must learn this new set of rules. And guess what no one told me?

There is no mercy i judo class, no sanctuary, nowhere to hide!

You go hard or you go home.

And i going home was not an option.

Later as i developed as a judoka i met with this no mercy on tatami concept more and more. At the age of 16 i was already competing, and once you go into competitive judo this spartan-like no mercy mantra keeps on reoccurring. No mercy in judo class translates later in no mercy on tatami for your opponent and it toughens you up.

I mean competitive judokas choke each other, can break a opponents arm in ne-waza as a part of a match, use all sorts of little dirty tricks to dampen each-others spirit. So as one of 6 Things That Won’t Happen in Judo Classes Mercy towards any kind of weakens will not be tolerated!

No one will push you over your limitations!

Now if you are still reading this, I maybe have overstated the mercy thing a bit, judokas are actually most often really6 Things That Won't Happen in Judo Classes limitations great and rewarding community.

If you can’t do something than you just can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, there will be teasing, there will be and there always is some rivalry but all in good faith.

Sensei will coach you, other judokas will teach you will teach them and all of you together will teach sensei and grow and develop together.


Knowing your limits is a good thing but if 20 or so people tell you just to try it ffs, just do it, tray that new thing. And there is nothing awesome as, well the fact that you where wrong…

Not really but that fact that someone gave you a nudge in the right direction and you actually managed to do the “unthinkable”.

And this happens often in any judo class but no one newer pushes you to far.

No one will tell you that you will be confused, again and again and again…

6 Things That Won't Happen in Judo Classes confusionFor a child when starting judo classes confusion kicks in right away, the very moment he or she is to tie a belt. But a child is often confused, everything is new for kids in judo or otherwise, in life and stuff, the fact that kids are pretty much new to everything.

But an adult ooh don’t get me started. i mean i know a few people who started judo late, and even did competitive judo but boy was there some confusion.


Questions like:

Where do I put my feet now?

Why must I hold my hand there?

Wouldn’t it be better if i just…

What does this Japanese word mean?

Just tell me what to do.

Than tell me how to do it.

And if I’m ready for it, maybe even tell me why to do it.


I mean there is a lot of confusion with terminology and, adopting discipline “enforced” by rules of judo dojo.

And now i sound as a complete jackass. But really my dojo was a sort of temple for me and most of my peers. A place where you can grow and improve.

Where were I? Oh yes No one tells you at judo class that there will be confusion.


No one will tell you how hard it will actually get.

6 Things That Won't Happen in Judo Classes hard work

Sometimes going to judo classes is hard but rally hard and no one tells you about it. Never.

Judokas often just put on a brave face.

There is a lot of pretending:

6 Things That Won't Happen in Judo Classes injuries


I am totally OK… no i don’t need… to… take… air… in… mu… lungs…

Totally, totally not tired judoka.
It is OK. No really. My finger is OK. It is not a big deal.
Trust me just put it back in socket so i can continue the randori. No, I just need some more tape on it.

Judoka that absolutely did not break finger.

I’ve seen this happen, sensei pop his finger back in, and dude taped his index finger to his middle finger for support, and continued as nothing actually happened.


I mean the hardest part of being surrounded by people pretending to be that tough, is you need to do it too or be marked as wuss.

Yes the injuries are hard.Workout is hard. Being sour after competition is really hard, but all that i am totally OK.

Nothing is wrong, i can do it got me to dislocate my right shoulder multiple times and eventually dislocate it so hard that it took doctors at the ER almost an hour to set it back in, all while I was heavily sedated for pain yup, but no i am totally OK.

So as doctor is showing me the x-ray of my re-positioned shoulder. He is asking me about my education, and telling me that, in a nutshell, i wont be doing anymore of competitive judo anytime soon.

Well now I am no wuss with F-up shoulder.


This was 6 Things That Won’t Happen in Judo Classes, from perspective of things that will happen i judo classes.
I don’t know where a was going with this, but i had to share some of this stories.

I probably really miss those “old days”.
See you around.