The black belt: a belt we recognize as one of signifying an individual as being highly proficient in a particular martial art. What may not be known is that Kanō Jigorō, of Japan, was the first martial art creator to develop and popularize ranking skill level through belt color. The martial art he created? Judo.
Well over a hundred years later, with its inception as an Olympic sport, you can find Judo organizations at all the major universities across America along with local dojos to feed and support the sport at all levels.
The Judo club at Oakland University competes in Round Robin-style tournaments at other dojos and universities in the region, usually placing in each tournament they participate in.
The tournaments are scored by points, with participants competing in teams or individually. Whomever has the higher amount of points is deemed the winner. It is also these points that bring you up from lower levels of belts and up closer to the black belt status.
With the Judo Club placing in almost all of the tournaments they compete in year-round, Anthony Hewins, president of the Judo Club says “If we continue our year round training and continue competing, we will have over 15 black belts within the next 2 years or so.”
Don’t let all that experience deter you, the Judo Club is open to all experience types, Hewins himself started with zero experience in the sport and is now inching to that black belt title just two years into the sport. Skill development occurs through tournament play and training clinics held by the Judo Club.
Hewins goes on to explain four main takeaways from participating in Judo:
1.It’s great at making you not afraid.
Going up to actually fight opponents that were much larger and more skilled was extremely hard at first, but now it doesn’t phase me. I’m sure it’s made me grow psychologically/socially too in that respect, as well as everyone else that walked the same path that I did, to not be intimidated or afraid.”
2. It makes you pretty tough.
Getting choked, thrown, taken down, and receiving arm-bars 3 times a week just does that to you.”
3. It’s self-defense, which speaks for itself.
4. It puts you in great shape.
Your anaerobic abilities and cardio will be put to the ultimate test when you’re on the ground.
Those interested in joining or looking for more information should email Anthony Hewins at firstname.lastname@example.org