Beginners/Juniors (5-10 years old)
Tuesday/Thursday 6:00pm – 7:15pm
Saturday 10:00am – 11:15am
Intermediate (11-16 years old) and Seniors (17+ years old and adults)
Tuesday/Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Saturday 10:30am – 12:30am
Private Lessons (any age)
By Appointment with Sensei
Beginners & Juniors
SWJA’s beginners’ program is designed for juniors, ages 5 to 12. Our primary focus in teaching at that this level is fun with the safety and well-being of the student. We teach fundamental judo principles through a variety of movements and games, simple physical exercise and building of stamina. We teach judo etiquette including the proper way to wear your uniform and tie your belt, bowing, walking, sitting and introduction to basic Japanese words used in judo. We spend a considerable amount of time teaching how to fall properly to help prevent injuries to themselves and other students. Once they students have learned how to fall, we then introduce them to three throws: hip throw, shoulder throw and a leg sweep, along with several mat techniques for pinning.
Once students gain a competency in the etiquette, techniques and words, and display the discipline and maturity to participate in class, they may be promoted to the intermediate or senior classes.
Intermediate & Seniors
Part of our success in developing our younger judo students is we encourage them to participate in the intermediate and senior classes with both students around their own age and size and our senior students. One of the judo principles by Jigoro Kano Sensei, founder of judo, was “mutual welfare and benefit”. In this case, all students learn by working together in developing the basic techniques and skill along with custom application of those techniques.
In these classes students are involved in warm-up and strength building, practice of formal standing, throwing and grappling techniques, and application of execution in randori (simulated tournament practice). Students are encouraged to compete in tournaments, but it is not mandatory for their progress nor promotion.
Competitors & Elite
We are fortunate to have a number of junior and senior national champions who train at our dojo. At that level of competition, it is necessary to have customized or 1:1 training for our elite competitors. These are conducted as part of class or outside of regular class times. Depending on training required, some competitors elect to take private lessons to perfect a specific technique or strategy. The experience and caliber of our black belt Sensei’s allows us to customize this kind of training uniquely for each of our elite competitors.
Kata (Forms) Classes
Kano Sensei felt there were two ways to practice and perfect your judo: kata (forms) that provided the fundamental techniques, especially the three elements of a throw – kuzuski (off-balance), tsukuri (entry into throw) and kake (execution of throw), and shiai (tournament) or randori (free practice that simulates a tournament) to demonstrate the successful execution of those techniques
The Kodokan recognizes nine katas: Nage-No-Kata (Forms of Throwing), Katame-No-Kata (Forms of Grappling), Kime-No-Kata (Forms of Decision), Ju-No-Kata (Forms of Gentleness), Kodokan Goshin-Jutsu (Forms of Self-Defense), Joshi Judo Goshinho (Women’s Self Defense), Itsutsu-No-Kata (Forms of “Five”), Koshiki-No-Kata (Antique Forms), Seiryoku-Zenyo-Kokumin-Taiiku (Maximum Efficiency National Physical Education)
At SWJA, we focus on both the fighting and the formal aspects of judo, so kata is also a critical element of our training to learn proper techniques. We expect our black belts and senior-ranks to know two basic katas: Nage-No-Kata (Forms of Throwing) and Katame-No-Kata (Forms of Grappling).
To help you in mastering these two katas, SWJA will periodically offer training classes. Please plan on attending as Nage No Kata is a requirement starting with brown belt promotions. Schedules will be posted on this website.
Southwest Judo Academy has hosted state-wide USA Judo Coaching Certification Clinic, lead by our own Dave Faulkner, Rokudan and AZ State Coach Clinician. During these clinics Sensei’s, coaches and any judoka can learn about setting up and teaching classes, development and training skills and drills, conditioning, nutrition, preparing for tournaments, and first aid. The purpose of the clinics is to prepare all Sensei’s and coaches so they can deliver their style of judo and help students to become better judoka. Upon completion of this Coaching Clinic, participants will be eligible to register for a USA Judo State, Regional, or National Coaching Certification.
Learn the latest IJF and USA Judo Referee rules and regulations updates. While not a clinic nor class leading to State, Regional, National or International Referee certification, it does provide you a basic understanding of the rules under which you may be competing, and for our senior ranked judoka, a chance to refresh your referee knowledge.
These classes are conducted by Referee Clinicians for certification and within our dojo for updates, so our black belts and senior ranked judoka can practice their refereeing skills during the SWJA inter-dojo scrimmages.