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Finding a Judo Club or Dojo in Your Area: A Step-By-Step Guide

A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding a Judo Club or Dojo in Your Area

Interested in learning Judo, the Japanese martial art that combines, form, self-defence and physical fitness but you don’t know how to go about finding a Judo club (dojo) in your area? Clearly, this is the first step toward embarking on this exciting journey. In this article, we will guide you through the process of locating a nearby Judo club or dojo.

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Start with Online Research

Typing “Judo near me” in your search engine will usually bring up a number of local results. But there is more to choosing a Judo club than just finding the location.

First and foremost you will want to know if the club is registered with a credible organisation. Then you will want to know if the culture of the club aligns with yours. You will want to know if the club is as safe as a martial arts club can be; that is, does it conform to government and other current guidelines for practising martial arts. Also, you will want to know if it concentrates on sports only or self-defence or if it is a more traditional club practising Formwork. The qualifications of the instructor will be relevant and you will usually want to have a no-obligation visit. That is a lot. So let’s see if I can provide you with an easy way to find out all you need to know.

Judo Federation and Association Websites

Visit the official websites of Judo federations and associations in your state and country. These organizations often maintain directories of registered Judo clubs and dojos, which can help you identify nearby options. For example, Newport Judo is associated with Judo Victoria, part of the Judo Federation of Australia which is in turn part of the International Judo Federation.

Club Websites

Any dojo worth its salt will have its own website. Once you have established that a local club is legitimate through the Association website, you can use that site or the search engine information gained above to reference the club site. You are searching for information on the instructors and their qualifications. Also, you are looking for their policies. For example, at Newport Judo you can not only reference information about the instructor but also download the club handbook. That handbook covers all sorts of policies, from grading information to member behaviour. It includes things like fees and other practical information.

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Club Culture

This one is a little more difficult. If the club has a blog like this one, then reading that should give you a good idea. However, you can also ask for recommendations and check out the social media page.

  • Ask for Recommendations:
  • Reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances who may have experience with Judo or martial arts. They might be able to recommend a reputable club or dojo in your area.

  • Social Media and Online Forums:
  • Explore social media groups and online forums dedicated to martial arts and Judo. These platforms often provide a wealth of information about local clubs and dojos. and the business page should have reviews on it. 

  • Give Them A Call
  • A reputable Dojo will be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Injuries, Physical Abilities, Special Needs

    Having an injury or physical limitation does not need to stop you from doing Judo. When you call them, talk to the dojo about any special needs that you may have. Whilst not all can be accommodated there is a good chance that yours can. Make sure you ask. Also if you don’t know something about Judo you should feel free to ask.

    Instructors' Qualifications

    A reputable club will have certified instructors with a solid background in Judo and will be happy to answer any question you may have about the club and maybe even demonstrate for you.

    Class Schedule and Fees

    Inquire about the class schedule, fees and any additional costs like uniforms or equipment. Ensure that the schedule aligns with your availability and budget. At Newport Judo you can find these in the Handbook.

    Join a Trial Class and Assess the Facilities

    Many Judo clubs offer trial classes, which provide an excellent opportunity to experience Judo firsthand before committing to regular training. Newport Judo has the first lesson absolutely free.

    While you are there don’t be afraid to ask any other question you have about the club and the instructors' qualifications and experience.

    Many Judo clubs and dojos are affiliated with local sports, church halls or other community centres. During your visit, take note of the club's facilities. Ensure they are clean, well-maintained, and suitable for Judo training.

    Finding a Judo club or dojo in your area may require a bit of research and exploration, but the rewards of learning this martial art are well worth it. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to discovering a Judo club that suits your needs and preferences. Embrace the world of Judo and start your journey toward self-improvement, discipline, and physical fitness.

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