How long are your classes and what do they contain? Class duration ranges between 40 and 75 minutes depending on age level. Classes consist of warmup exercises, uchikomi (standing throwing drills), newaza uchikomi (ground fighting drills), timed newaza randori (ground fighting sparring with different partners), and timed tachiwaza randori (standing sparring with different partners.) Every class has supervision from 3x Olympian, Celita Schutz and/or Sensei Matsumura, Kokushikai Technical Advisor.
What can I expect from my first class? You will be introduced to basic break falls to protect yourself then depending on your experience, you will be paired up with an experienced member who will introduce you to the various components of the class and basic techniques. You will set your own pace of learning with thoughtful and safe guidance from the instructors to help you.
What are some general etiquette I should follow? Please remove all jewelry including rings, earrings, necklaces, or basically anything that is metal.
Please trim your fingernails and toenails.
Please keep your gi (judo uniform) clean.
Please bow when entering and exiting the mat area.
Please have only bare feet on the mat.
Do I need a uniform to start class? No, but it would be good to have one. Just indicate that you need a gi for your first class in your email along with your height and weight. A sample jacket and belt will be ready for you before class. Please wear comfortable pants of your own on bottom.
Where do I get the uniform? A basic white, single-weave uniform is sufficient for starting judo. You can purchase a beginner uniform from Kokushikai Judo Academy for $60. (Double weave uniforms are also available.) Otherwise you can find a white-only uniform without advertisements at any martial arts supply store.
Why do you bow in class? Bowing in judo is a gesture of respect, much like a handshake. It is not subservient and it has no religious significance.
Will I get to spar? If you are taking a trial class, you will be asked to observe the randori (sparring), otherwise you will spar in a safe and controlled way with our senior students, usually from the very first day.
Do I have to be a member Kokushikai Judo Academy to participate in Kokushikai Judo Camp? No. Regardless of your age, rank, primary club or even affiliation with USJF, USJA, USJI, you are welcome to sign up for Kokushikai Judo Camp which takes place in the Poconoes, PA every year in the month of August. Download a complete brochure on the Kokushikai Judo Camp page for more information on instructors, curriculum, location, transportation, application etc.