Starting Judo

The best way to learn judo is at a reputable club. If you have difficulty in finding a local club the British Judo Association will advise of your nearest one. It is also advisable to check with the BJA about your instructor. There are many charlatans professing to be judo experts who will tell you they are such and such a black belt.

Grades in judo are awarded for ability and progress through various coloured belts and then through Dan grades. They are:

6th Kyu

white

3rd Dan

black

5th Kyu

white

4th Dan

black

4th Kyu

white

5th Dan

black

3rd Kyu

white

6th Dan

red and white

2nd Kyu

white

7th Dan

red and white

1st Kyu

white

8th Dan

red and white

1st Dan

white

9th Dan

red

2nd Dan

white

10th Dan

red

Sixth Dans and above may wear black belts if they wish and generally do so except for formal demonstrations. The top international competition men are usually 4th Dan and they acquire higher grades as they grow older through knowledge and service to the sport. The club you join should have a proper judo mat and will provide a judo kit. If these are not available some surface soft enough to absorb a heavy throw is necessary with some loose strong clothing tough enough to take a lot of pulling. You will then be ready for your first lessons in Judo.

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