Judo Team Provides Unique Experience for Students

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by Lauren Killgrove – Photo Editor

Judo is an often underappreciated and looked over sport. When students think of spring sports, judo is not often first to come to mind, but that does not dismiss the fact that our judo team is hardworking and is prepared for success.
Coach Jeff Tibeau and assistant coach Douglas Graham lead the team to a hopefully successful season. “Things are looking good. We have a few returners and our first-year students are well ahead what they traditionally have been.” Sensei Graham said. The progress that has been accomplished has been more than satisfactory as the members have improved more than what has been expected in previous seasons.
Practice is where the coaches teach the students the judo aspects and techniques. “The spirit that’s going during practice, there’s no individual part of it that’s best. The students are very positive about their practice. They’re learning, they’re enjoying themselves, and they’re progressing.” Sensei Graham said. For their routine, the students divide into groups of two and practice the techniques they are shown. To display their teachings to the group, Tibeau and Graham gather all the teammates and show them what to do. Afterwards, when the teams are in pairs, flailing bodies hit the floor after their partner succeeds in learning newly taught routines.
To many people’s misconception, judo is not a martial art, but instead an Olympic sport. Judo originates from Japan and many commands are in the Japanese language, just as many English words are used in commands in foreign countries when playing an English or American sport.
The reason that judo is used, however, is so a person can know how to defend themselves. The intention in judo is not to harm someone, but to stop someone from doing any harm to you. During matches, judo members do this by either throwing their opponent down to the ground, force your opponent onto the mat for a matter of 20 seconds, or to choke your opponent into the crook of your arm as a ‘request’ for your opponent’s submission.
For many, judo has benefitted their lives. Judo is a sport that offers self-defense techniques, social skills, as well as a new way to adapt your body to certain situation, as new member Fedi Tadele explained by saying, “it made me hurt in places I didn’t know I could hurt.” Judo is an impressive and intriguing sport, and our judo team is looking forward to using their techniques to succeed this season.

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