What does judo mean?

Judo, meaning “gentle way”, is a modern Japanese martial art and Olympic sport, that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century.

Do females do judo?

They most certainly do!

All Northern Ireland Judo Federation Clubs cater for females and males of all ages.

Does judo get you fit?

Judo is an ideal sport for general fitness.

Beginners concentrate on getting techniques right, and this process inevitably improves general fitness.

The bonus is stamina improvement, which equips one better for the rigors of day-to-day life.

Do people with disabilities do judo?

The British Judo Association/Northern Ireland Judo Federation have adopted the motto of “Judo for All” and they work tirelessly to ensure that the sport is open and accessible to players with a wide range of disabilities.

Because of the close contact involved in judo it is the ideal sport for blind or visually impaired players.

Our coaches will welcome any player.

How old do you have to be to do judo?

Judo training can start at any age although children must have reached 5 years old to start.

The British Judo Association Dan Grade Register has on record a man who started judo aged 54 and in 8 years achieved his 1st Dan black belt.

Juniors are not allowed to take part in competitions until they reach 8 years of age on the advice of the BJA medical commission.

Will I get quality coaching?

All NI Judo Federation member Clubs are required to have at least one qualified UKCC Level 2 Judo Coach.

Coaches must hold valid First Aid and Safeguarding and Protecting Children certificates.

Coaches are required to comply with the Northern Ireland Judo Federation Child Protection Policy.

All qualified BJA/NIJF Coaches are required to complete a personal disclosure form.

Getting Started

If you’ve read about Judo, seen it done and want to have a go yourself you’ve come to the right place.

What do I need to start?

  • Initially tracksuit trousers and a t-shirt with long sleeves will do.
  • After you have been at your chosen club for 4 weeks you must purchase Northern Ireland Judo Federation Membership. This will cover you for Public Liability Insurance. It also allows you to take part in Gradings and Competitions (Full Membership only).
    Please see New Members section on the Homepage for further details.
  • If you decide you like judo a Judo suit (judogi) can be purchased from a sports shop or from the club coach.

Why do Judo?

  • Judo is great fun.
  • Its a great way to exercise in a fun way and keep fit.
  • Meet lots of new people.
  • Compete local, nationally and maybe even one day for your country.
  • Unlike many martial arts it is an Olympic sport.

Who can do Judo?

  • Anyone over the age of 5 years old.
  • Male and female competitors train together but compete separately.
  • People with disabilities

Where do I obtain a Judo suit etc?

A judo suit (judogi) may be purchased from a sports store/online shop (be sure to buy a judo suit)

Some Judo Coaches and many of our Member Clubs supply judogi.

Second-hand kit is often available from clubs.

The judogi is reinforced in all the right places and consists of a jacket, trousers and belt.

The only other personal equipment required would be a pair of zori, which are Japenese style slippers and are needed for walking to and from the training or contest mat (a lot of people use flip-flops for this purpose).

What are Mon, Kyu and Dan grades?

For players aged from 5 to 15 years, there are 18 grades known as Mon (junior) grades, denoted by coloured and banded belts.

From 16 years, Kyu (senior) skill grades apply and are again denoted by belts of different colours.

Players work through this grading system to reach the coveted black belt, 1st Dan.

There are higher Dan grade levels for the very dedicated.