BMAI is home to Eugene’s largest Judo club. BMAI Judo is a traditional Judo program that teaches the original style of Judo called Kodokan Judo. It has been part of the Eugene / Springfield martial arts community since 1998 and is a member of the United States Judo Association, the United Stated Judo Federation, and the Northwest Yudanshakai.
What is Judo?
Judo translates as “the gentle way,” a concept that reflects both the use of minimal force to defend oneself and the gentle nature attained by a person who masters the art. Don’t be fooled by the name, though. Judo is a rough and tumble activity with very rigorous workouts!
The art was officially formed in Japan in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano and has been evolving ever since. At the end of the Samurai era, techniques of the ancient Japanese art of Jiu Jitsu were modified by Dr. Kano to create a safe form of self-defense that could also serve as a form of physical education. Dr. Kano insisted that perfect judo meant doing a technique with “maximum efficiency” and that there must be “mutual benefit and welfare” to everyone involved. Rules for the combat sport of Judo were also developed to provide a safe means of challenging each other’s skills through competition. Students train to defeat an opponent using the skilled application of throws, chokes, pins, and armlocks.
A Way Of Life
Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength. By training you in attacks and defenses it refines your body and your soul and helps you make the spiritual essence of judo a part of your very being. In this way you are able to perfect yourself and contribute something of value to the world. This is the final goal of judo discipline.
– Dr. Jigoro Kano
A Modern Sport with a Long History
Judo is practiced worldwide and has been an Olympic Sport since 1964. As one might expect, it is a popular sport in Japan. Most Americans are surprised to learn that judo is hugely popular throughout Europe and many other parts of the world. In fact, more countries have National teams for Judo than any other sport, except soccer. Judo in America has seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years, but it has a very long tradition here. Judo was the first Asian martial art to become a part of American culture. Believe it, or not, President Theodore Roosevelt practiced judo at the White House over 100 years ago and tournaments were being held in Oregon as early as the 1920s! The instructors at BMAI carry on the traditions of this art passed to them by their teachers, while constantly evolving and innovating to improve judo and keep it thriving for many generations to come.
Who Can Practice?
Judo is practiced by men and women of all ages. BMAI has a Judo for Kids Program for boys and girls (ages 6-12) and a program for men and women (ages 13 and older). Students of varying sizes and skill levels practice and learn together at BMAI. Absolute beginners should not be intimidated by being in a class surrounded by black belts. Students learn much faster, and more safely, when practicing with highly skilled partners.
What to Expect
As a beginning student you will be led step-by-step through simple falling exercises called ukemi. Learning the techniques of ukemi will allow you to fall safely when thrown by your training partner. You will be introduced to basic off-balancing concepts and carefully learn some basic throws. You will also be introduced to the basic pinning and escaping techniques used in ground fighting. You will quickly find that it’s a great workout and you’ll be getting in great shape! The knowledgeable black belt instructors at BMAI will be training right along with you as they encourage you in your pursuit of Judo.
Randori – The Game of Judo
The skills all come together in an exercise called “Randori,” which is judo’s version of sparring. Players start by facing each other in a standing position. They grab hold of each other’s uniforms and try to trip or throw each other to the ground. If a person gets thrown in a tournament they instantly lose the match. In randori, they just keep going! When the players end up on the ground they begin a ground-fighting game which consists of moves similar to wrestling and Jiu Jitsu. They try to apply pins, chokes, or armlocks on each other. Any of these techniques can be used to win a match, but no one keeps score in randori. They just keep going!
Randori is a great way to improve skills, and an incredibly fun and exhausting workout. Students on a “Randori Night” at BMAI will often go 30 – 45 minutes without taking a break. The feeling of total exhaustion is exhilarating. Join us for a free week of classes if randori sounds fun to you!
Experience Judo at BMAI
The teachers at BMAI have created a very safe, friendly, and positive atmosphere to learn judo as a martial art, martial sport, and a way of life. All classes are carefully supervised by black belt instructors certified through the United States Judo Association (USJA). Anyone interested in judo is welcome to observe training at the school. We even offer a Free Week of lessons to give you a chance to get on the mats and get a feel for it before signing up. Call us at 541-345-0684, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule your first free class!
Benefits of Judo
- Learn effective self-defense skills
- Learn skills to protect yourself with minimal effort
- Learn to land safely to protect yourself from falls
- Improve your balance, flexibility, strength, and body awareness
- Gain self-confidence
- Reduce stress
- Get in shape
- Maintain an active lifestyle
- Belong to a community of supportive, respectful people
- New students are welcome at any class
- Open to men and women, and boys and girls from absolute beginners to black belts
- A uniform (gi) is required upon joining (available at BMAI)
- Loaner uniforms are available for trial students to borrow
- Membership is on a month-to-month basis
- No initiation fees
- See our FAQ page for membership fees and more information about the school.
Judo For Kids (Ages 6 – 12)
Monday & Wednesday 3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday 5:15 – 6:00 p.m.
(Click here for more information about BMAI’s Children’s Programs)
Judo (Ages 13 – Adult)
Tuesday & Thursday 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Judo Resources Online
The best resource online for information about this fascinating art is judoinfo.com. Whether you’re considering starting judo, or you’re an advanced student of the art, it is an excellent resource for judo history, philosophy, traditions, techniques, terminology, competition rules, and much more.