Red Deer Judo Club going strong

The sport of judo has been around for more than a century since its birth in Japan.

In Red Deer, the history isn’t so deep with a judo club around the region for more than 40 years.

“The original sensei I think was a fellow from Britain by the name of John Cousins,” explained Al Schaefer, the current president of the Red Deer Judo Club.

The club numbers about 65 judokas (members) ranging in age from five years old up to 60 and they train out of the former River Glen School.

“The junior class is probably the biggest (5- to 15-year-olds), there’s probably 40 members in that,” he said.

Schaefer says judo is a good sport for kids because it’s dynamic and it’s structured around coordination, movement, a bit of socialization and some fun games.

The word judo translates into ‘gentle way’ but Schaefer says while the sport can be less intimidating for younger kids, some mixed martial artists will add some aspects of judo to their arsenal to use in the octagon where things are a little less gentle.

“We’ve always had a few athletes who have come in to practice judo, specifically because they’re competing in MMA and they learn the grappling techniques,” he said.

“It’s synergistic with a lot of martial arts.”

Judo has been an Olympic sport for more than five decades and will be a part of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

“It’s a sport that is taught to the military and the RCMP as a method of self defense so its popularity is substantial.”

As far as judo within the Central Alberta region Schaefer says the numbers have been steady especially with the younger classes.

“Even if they are in other sports the dynamic fitness model in judo is transferable regardless of the sport they’re doing.”

Just Posted

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

Red Deerians can recognize Remembrance Day with two public services

The Red Deer Legion and Korean War Veterans’ Association will hold the services

WATCH: The Great Indoors Market at Bower Place officially launches

Red Deerians took in the sights and sounds of many vendors and activities Nov. 10th

Igntion Theatre is gearing up to present It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Drama

The show is set to run Dec. 6th-8th and the 11th-15th in the Nickle Studio

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Most Read