By Raffles Judo
Judo is probably the closest thing you can get to this, except not as violent and with different rules applied. However, you still get the same adrenaline rush of flying through the air or flipping your opponent (most of the time, your friend) and hearing that loud satisfying “PIAK” on the mats.
However violent flipping someone may seem, judo practice is actually quite the contrary—judo is all about gentleness and using others’ brute force to your advantage. Though trainings are tough and strenuous, a big perk is that they are conducted with air-conditioning. We train with RI from 3.45pm to 6.15pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 8am to 11am on Saturdays!
Raffles Judo, or RAJU for short, accepts anyone of various sizes: be it short, tall, big, small, strong, or weak, or whether you have experience or not. The competition has many weight categories, ranging from under 48kg to even above 100kg, so everyone fights against their own size!
Most of the Batch ‘20 judokas are at least a brown belt in a martial art (low-key flex. #sopro), but most of us are only white belts in judo at the moment. So if we can do it, you can do it too! Experienced judokas are most welcomed to help teach and guide the beginners, and to bring glory to our school. However, as we put aside our different belt colours, we still care for and support one another. There aren’t many of us, so we are a closely-knitted family.
Judo is filled with a diverse variety of people, ranging from different skill sets to different physical abilities. It is precisely because we are a mix of individuals with different and unique personalities that we are so bonded (or it may also be our 3 days per week training schedule *cough cough*). But we all also have one thing in common—we like to fall.
Judo may seem intimidating as you have heard from others, or when you step foot into the Gymnasium and hear ‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHH’. This may deter you from joining Judo as you may think that there are many injuries involved and pain inflicted. But fret not! At the very start of every Judoka’s adventure, ‘ukemi’ aka breakfalls are taught and with the guidance of our highly experienced coaches, Sensei Low Chee Kiang (SEA games silver medalist) and Sensei Tan Yi (SEA games bronze medalist), as well as our captains Kom Hwee Ru and Goh Jun Wei (Future SEA games medalists), you’ll soon be flipping people as easily as you flip your pancakes at home! For example,
On a serious note, the most important thing in training is to keep a proper posture and presence of mind, and to use the body in a natural and reasonable manner when carrying out movements and actions. Opponents can be defeated more easily when the balance of the body is lost. When these two principles are put into practice in the judo contest—such as how to deal with the opponent’s power when applied upon us—flipping our opponent for the ippon is a piece of cake.
Another largely important aspect of judo is courtesy. Courtesy is the formal manifestation of the spirit of respect, where we recognise the dignity of another’s personality. In other words, it is the spirit of living in harmony with one another. In a judo contest the contestants should face each other in the proper posture, looking properly at each other and using moderation in their actions. They are thus are in a state of harmony in which they never set each other at defiance. Therefore, it is taught that exercises in judo should begin with courtesy and end with courtesy, such as bowing before stepping onto the mats and to your training partners before randori (sparring) and shiai (competition).
All in all, Judo is a family. More well known as the RAJU family, we have each other’s backs, be it in training or in school. We always support each other no matter what, for we are a band of brothers and sisters, brought together by flipping each other 3 times a week.
Bonus flex from our coloured belts!"CCA Previews ’20: Judo",