Judo Club Enters OU Curriculum

Looking for a new workout? Maybe meet some people and make new friends? How about being part of a club sport too? You can do all these things in Oakland’s Judo Club.

The Judo Club was created ten years ago and has been growing ever since. Five new members joined this fall semester and the growth is even making its way into Oakland’s curriculum. Yep, you read that right. OU will have a two credit judo course titled “Judo for Health Enhancement” starting in May.

At first glance, you may think the class consists of judo throws, holds, attacks, and techniques. You’re right – it does involve that. You will ultimately learn the sport of judo. It also involves a scientific aspect that will teach you which muscles are being used for certain throws and holds. Biomechanics and kinesiology of the sport will be taught as well.

Club President and conductor of the new course, Steve DeRaedt, is optimistic about the promotion of judo.

“It’s a great sport for your health and it’s a great sport socially. I’m hoping that when I teach this course that I’ll have students that go to class and say, ‘I’d like to continue in judo,’” DeRaedt said.

“It’s going to be taught as a science in addition to a competitive sport. We’re going to show them what’s necessary to practice judo. It’s taught with a scientific element and not just to practice and have fun.”

If you’re interested in the course, keep your eyes open for it when you register for classes in May. The class can be taken as an elective, and should be labeled as EXS 106 when you register.

Photo taken from Judo Club Facebook page
Photo taken from Judo Club Facebook page

Aside from the excitement of a new class being taught, the Judo Club is also gearing up for competitions this winter. The club’s latest competition was in October, where one member took first place in individuals overall, and third place as a team.

Their next competition is January 26th at MSU. It will be followed up by two more competitions at MSU on February 23rd and March 16th, as well as one more in Grand Rapids in June.

It’s been a big semester for the club – they even had Olympic bronze medalist Marti Malloy visit the club as a guest instructor. Who better to seek advice from and ask questions than an Olympic medalist?

“It was nice for the women in the club to see her and see how successful you can be. They got a chance to see what she does as a person, so that was good for all of them to have kind of a Q and A,” DeRaedt said.

The club practices three days a week, and you must attend one of them a week to be eligible for competitions. On Saturdays, the club meets in the Activity Center at the Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays they meet off campus at the Oakland Training Center just a minute drive from campus.

Members are required to pay a fee of $15 per month, as well as own a gi and belt. Anyone and everyone are welcome to join.

“Beginners, novices – we don’t care. We have enough instructors that we can teach everybody,” DeRaedt said.

“You can’t learn it by video. You need to get hands-on instruction. Don’t not join something because it’s something you feel uncomfortable doing. We’ll make you feel comfortable.”

For more information on the club contact Steve DeRaedt (stevendmich@aol.com) or checkout their Facebook page here.


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