Judo in Cooma

Local residents now have even more options when it comes to choosing a sport, with Judo lessons now being offered in Cooma.

Judo classes for children and adults have been up and running at the Cooma Squash Centre for three weeks and are already gaining popularity.

The classes are led by instructor Gary Cornish and are affiliated with the ACT Judo Club.

Coordinator John Kleven said it had been many years since Judo classes were offered in Cooma, and thought it would be a good idea to get them up and running again.

He said Judo was unlike karate and focused more on wrestling.

"It's a grappling, wrestling type sport," he said.

"The major principle is trying to throw someone on the mat using the momentum of the other person.

"There are 67 throw techniques to learn and belt grades go from yellow to black."

Judo originated in Japan as a derivative of the various martial arts developed and used by the samurai and feudal warrior class over hundreds of years. Although many of the techniques of judo originated from arts that were designed to hurt opponents in actual field battle, the techniques of judo were modified so that students could practice and apply these techniques safely and without hurting opponents.

There is no kicking, punching, or striking techniques, it does not involve the application of pressure against the joints to throw an opponent and there is no equipment or weapons of any sort.

"When they [kids] first start out, they learn how to fall," Mr Kleven said.

"They do cartwheels like gymnastics and learn about the coordination of the body. Then they learn throws then they get into fight.

"Once they receive their yellow belt then they can go into competitions."

Mr Kleven said there were about 15 children between six and 12-years-old in the class, and about a dozen adults learning, both female and men.

"If we get more interest we can run separate sessions," he said.

"We are also looking to draw more teenagers to the sport."

For more information call the Cooma Squash Centre on 6452 1213 turn up on Monday night and have a look at what it's all about.

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