by Amanda Hsiung
“We’ll sweep you off your feet and make you fall for us”. This is a common pun which judokas use to describe a technique used to throw their opponents. Judo is a martial art that teaches self-defense, discipline and determination and allows us to hones our wits by training us to strategize quickly during randori (sparring).
Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian, Pakistani. While the sport may have Japanese origins, Raffles Judo has members from a wide range of backgrounds. As judo is a relatively obscure sport in Singapore, Raffles Judo is more than a club. It is a family . From scouting to ballet, Red Cross to netball, Raffles Judo has seen students from a variety of activity profiles come to train together and get to love the sport.
Ever so often, the team takes part in games and friendly competitions to serve as an alternative form of conditioning, and also a refreshing new way to engage students. Every training session is a new challenge both physically and mentally, with the goal to improve both as a judoka and as a person. Students are taught different types of throws, holds, arm locks and chokes, and how we to apply all these moves when sparring.
Raffles Judo is one of the few CCAs that train together as a Raffles family, involving boys and girls. Trainings are conducted with the Year 1-4 team, as well as RGS. On Mondays, training sessions involve p to 80 students from RI (Year 1-6) and RGS combined. There is an annual Raffles Judo chalet, during which we invite ex-judokas who have graduated to spend the night hanging out, barbecuing, and cycling.
You’ll never experience a lack of opportunities to test your strength. Raffles Judo takes part in up to 4-5 national and international competitions every year, with the hihglight being the National Schools Annual Competition. Smaller competitions include the Kyu-Grade Judo Competition, in which players compete against players with a similar belt rank, and the International Cadet Judo Competition, in which the best individual players from each division represent Singapore Schools and compete against players from all over the world. Raffles Judo has also managed to nurture many national players, many of whom have represented Singapore in major competitions overseas, including in Korea, Japan and Thailand.
Raffles Judo has also always been a traditional powerhouse in the National Schools scene, along with archrivals Hwa Chong Institution. Just two years ago, we achieved the A-division double gold, defeating HCI in both the boy’s and girl’s finals by a wide margin. Although we only managed the 1st runner’s up position in 2012, we are confident that we will enter the 2013 season as the favourites to win the A-division title, and bring back the coveted championship trophy to Raffles Institution.