There are many fun sports at Kaiser to participate in, and one of the lesser-mentioned sports is judo. So, what exactly is judo? According to the Kaiser judo team manager, Victoria Brown, “Judo is a Japanese martial art. The objective is to get your opponent off balance so that they land on their back. You get points based on how you throw them and how they land on the mat.” Judo is considered an art form by many and is an important part of Japanese culture.

Judo, the only martial arts sport offered to Kaiser students, is very different from other sports available. Judo teaches you how to fall, by transferring the momentum of the fall by hitting the mat. It’s also a type of self-defense by using someone else’s inertia to throw them.

Judo is not like other sports in the fact that it is open to generally all age groups, all genders, and even most disabled individuals can participate in the sport. Judo is meant to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit. Judo also has challenges unique to the sport. “Some challenges unique to judo are that the refs have the final call so you have little to no choice over the point system as it depends on what the ref says,” also, “another challenge would be that as a physical contact sport, injuries and concussions are very common. Compared to other sports on campus, the judo team has much more injuries.” It is vital that each athlete keeps themselves safe.

Each athlete has their own personal reason for competing in judo and in Brown’s case, “My favorite part about judo would have to be the matches. It’s very stressful during the match as you could be thrown at any time. But after, it’s always a good experience regardless of the outcome.” Judo is an all-inclusive sport and is a great opportunity to learn new skills and strengthen your mental and physical health. 

Anyone can join judo as the weight classes range. You don’t need experience as you can learn from any age but as you learn, however, bruises are to be expected as you will need to be thrown to learn to fall. Important skills that come in handy are being flexible and coordination. Judo also focuses a lot on muscular strength and endurance so the conditioning can be pretty intense as well. As long as you’re prepared for the injuries and the exercise, everyone can do judo.

The Kaiser team practices every Monday from 4-7 PM and every Tuesday and Friday from 4-6:30 PM, in the wrestling room. The practices focus on building strength and developing proper techniques. Tournaments take place Saturday.