CCA Previews ’21: Judo

By Raffles Judo EXCO’21

Attention please, this is your captain speaking.

Ever wanted to learn how to fly? Welcome aboard RAJU (Raffles Judo) airlines, the only certified flight school in the world that not only teaches you how to fly, but also to make others fly. We are a warm and friendly community, and you will definitely feel at home in our airspace. 

As the name suggests, judo, 柔道, is the art of the Gentle Way. It’s the safest martial art and was formulated by 1.57m tall Jigoro Kano in a bid to subdue physically domineering opponents while using minimum effort. The objective? Take down or throw your opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or choke. That’s it. 

This might seem like a rather daunting task, but we are here to tell you that there is no harm in reaching for the moon. Because even if you crash, you will land amongst the stars (i.e the mats). Jokes aside, all our pilots go through intensive training on how to protect themselves as well as to protect our passengers. Proper breakfalls and throwing techniques are taught, making the entire experience a safe one, even for beginners! It might seem strange to think the loud sounds you hear in judo videos when one gets thrown is actually them breaking their fall. Don’t worry as every pilot is trained to be a great thrower and a great partner. This actually makes judo one of the safest sports you could possibly do, believe it or not!

Ippon Seoi Nage: One Arm Shoulder Throw

Juji Gatame: The Arm Bar

An example of a choke being applied.

Training sessions will usually consist of a combination of the following – uchikomi, which is the repetitive practice of a throwing motion, and randori, which consists of free sparring as well as other drills to learn technique, combination and speed. You can also look forward to regular physical training sessions in order to build your physique, and prepare you for take off (One needs to be able to handle the G forces while flying).

The Uchimata:  the inner thigh reaping throw

Here at RAJU airlines, we not only aim to build physically strong pilots, but also mentally strong ones. Getting thrown is the norm in judo and it is only by falling that one gets up stronger than before. Indeed, the judo mentality of “fall seven times, stand up eight” is the essence of the sport’s spirit.

One of the major events you can look forward to is the National School Games Judo Championship which is held in April every year. This is where the best schools in Singapore send their finest pilots to compete for the top prize in various weight categories, ranging from -48kg up to +100kg. After a hard year of training, this also serves as a platform to show off how much you have learnt and improved, making competitions some of the most memorable experiences for many of our pilots. Unlike most other sports, the judo season lasts for just 2 exhilarating, fast-paced and surreal days. 

RAJU airlines, our elite fleet. (photo taken pre-COVID)

In order to prepare for the National School Games (NSG), RAJU airlines also organises a 3-day March Training Camp that gives everyone an opportunity to fine-tune their skills before competition season begins. This is also a fantastic bonding experience as we get to experience the hardships of training together as a team.

You, young pilot, should you choose to accept our challenge, will be entering no ordinary airfleet but rather the esteemed RAJU airlines, which is one of the most skilled fleets in Singapore. Our rivalry with High Chasing Invincible (HCI) airlines is unmatched and often leads to a brilliant spectacle during competitions. 

But judo goes beyond competition and sparring. A judoka is taught to strive for constant improvement and never stop learning. As you become more experienced in the art of flying, you will slowly ascend the ranks of the Judo kyū-dan grading system, with each rank representing a judoka’s knowledge and experience in the art of judo. Every judoka’s position in the grading system is indicated by a different coloured belt, starting from white and ending with black. 

Still unconvinced? Well, if you fear the sun and heat, fret not for our pilots train indoors, in the unparalleled luxury of air conditioning. Enough said. 

If the thought of effortlessly taking someone to the ground excites you, you enjoy taking on challenges and you wish to go beyond your limits, come and join us.

Thank you for flying with RAJU Airlines and we look forward to seeing you again! 

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