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Judo roughly translates as 'gentle way' in Japanese, and though it can appear to be anything but gentle, it's skill, technique and timing that will see you gaining different colour belts as you improve.

An Overview of Judo

Judo is one of two martial arts included in the Olympics, and it is easy to try it, with all clubs registered with the British Judo Association offering free starter sessions and 'judo gi' (uniforms) to borrow.

Judo is an unarmed Olympic combat sport that demands both physical prowess and great mental discipline. It was founded by Jigoro Kano in Japan in the 1880s and has grown in popularity to become one of the most popular individual sports across the globe. Judo translates into English as "the gentle way".

Judo is the only martial art currently a part of the Paralympics. Visually Impaired or 'VI' Judo is a specially adapted form of judo for individuals with visual and other impairments.

Two players (called judoka) compete against each other on an 8m x 8m matted area for up to 5 minutes with the player scoring the most points winning the contest. Scores of varying degrees are awarded for throws, holds and more, with the coveted "ippon" score ending the contest. If the scores are level at the end of the 5 minute period the contest goes to 'golden score' with the first person to score any point winning the contest.


Judo serves as a great cardiovascular workout, which improves stamina, general health and overall fitness. Physical strength is also improved as a direct result of trying to control and dictate the movement of the opponent and as well as enhanced power.


All you need to try judo is baggy/loose old clothing (something you don't mind stretching) or basic gym kit – a t-shirt and jogging bottoms. Most judo clubs have a judo jacket they can loan to you for your first session, after which you may choose to purchase a basic judo kit called a judge. As you progress you will be required to wear a 'Gi' which is the Japanese name for the traditional uniform used for Judo practice and competition.

Find Judo Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

Make your Move

Tue, 06 Nov 2018

The greatest benefits to our physical and mental health comes when we go from doing no physical activity at all to doing just a little bit!

GO GOLD Funding Programme

The aim of GO GOLD is to support talented young athletes, including those athletes who are being recognised by their National Governing Bodies as being our future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth

National Governing Bodies

British Judo Association

Contact Name
General Information
Contact Email
Contact Telephone
0121 728 6920

Market Harborough Judo Club

An all inclusive Judo Club based at Market Harborough Rugby Club. A member of the national governing body for Judo (British Judo Association). An Olympic sport great for ages 6 years plus.
Session times: 18:00 - 19:00 (juniors) and 19:00 - 20:00 (seniors

Loughborough University

Loughborough is extremely proud of its reputation for providing the best student experience. From its earliest days Loughborough University has produced research that matters, with strong links with industry, commerce and the professions.

Jubilee Sports

Welcome to Jubilee Sports; the largest Martial Arts and Fitness facility in Melton Mowbray

Available to hire and ideal if you're looking for a permanent location for your club

Currently hosting Jujitsu, Iaido (sword), Aikido, Judo and Karate as wel

Active Rutland Hub

The Active Rutland Hub is a community sports facility located within Oakham Enterprise Park.

CSS Judo Club

An inclusive Judo Club recognised by the National a Governing Body for Judo (BJA). Junior sessions Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Senior sessions Tuesday at 8pm.

Rawlins Academy

Rawlins is an 11-18 Academy in Quorn


    Blaby LSA
    Charnwood LSA
    Leicestershire County Council
  • Active Leicester
    Harborough LSA
    Sport England
    O&W LSA
    Active Partnerships
  • H&B LSA
    Equality Standard
    Active Rutland
    Melton LSA


  • Harborough LSA
  • Charnwood LSA
    Melton LSA
  • Active Partnerships
    Leicestershire County Council
  • Equality Standard
    O&W LSA
  • Active Leicester
    H&B LSA
    Blaby LSA
  • Active Rutland
    Sport England