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

Innisfail RCMP respond to home invasion

Male victim sustained non-life threatening head injury

Mountie seriously injured in early morning collision near Devon

An erratic driver is said to have collided with an RCMP cruiser

Vehicle thefts in Red Deer on the rise

Over 1,000 vehicles stolen in the span of a few months

WATCH: Red Deer 9-1-1 dispatcher thanked for birth assistance

Stearns family appreciative to Holly Shrader for helping deliver baby

Superintendent Ken Foster sees progress in city policing

Red Deer RCMP Superintendent has been on the job for a year and has seen success

WATCH: Red Deerians come together to ‘light the night’

Traditional Red Deer Lights the Night sees thousands

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

Opioid prescriptions up across Canada: report

The report shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent, while daily doses on average dropped

Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci warns that Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Health warnings, plain covers for pot packs under proposed regulations

Washington governor tells BC don’t be ‘daunted’ by Trump

“I want to assure this assembly that no matter who is in the White House, it won’t affect Washington state’s relationship with Canada or British Columbia.”

Feds plan to spend billions on housing strategy

However much of the $15.9 billion will not be spent until after the next election in 2019

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Most Read