The junior members of Sonkei Judo club in Ballycastle finished off the year with a bang, by taking part in a grading to start their progression up the belt ranking system of Judo.
All nine members who took part in the grading passed with flying colours and are now officially graded Judo players on their way to the coveted black belt.
A grading tests theoretical knowledge and over the last week, the whole class have been learning throws, hold-downs and Japanese terminology to prepare them to grade.
Mark Donald, club coach said: “I’m proud of all the junior members, their knowledge of Judo is great and each week I can see an improvement.
“It was excellent to get the grading done now and with such great results as it means we can focus on our first competition in February.”
The club which was formed in October by Mark now boasts an active junior section with 16 members on the mats of McAlister Hall.
Sessions are based around learning the theory and techniques of Judo, getting involved in Judo based games and more importantly the disciplines and respect elements of martial arts.
In fact the name of the club Sonkei is actually Japanese for respect.
In the New Year, the club will be actively recruiting senior members into the sport.
For adults, Judo is the perfect workout combining strength building with elements of cardio and also self-defence and competitive techniques.
This however no pressure to compete and you can just enjoy the class and training.
The club is coached by Mark Donald who is a former commonwealth medallist and a first Dan black belt.
Because Mark is also a UKCC level 2 coach and the club is NIJF accredited it means that grading for belts can take place in the club at both senior and junior level.
If you’d like to give Judo a try in the New Year, give Mark a call on 07789 224078 to find out more and start 2014 with some new skills whilst working off the Christmas excesses!
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