Questions about judo and judo at Sakura Judo Club

Questions about judo

What is judo?

Judo is kind of like tumbling with a partner. 

Judo is kind of like very energetic yoga. 

Judo is kind of like waltzing with somebody who really, really wants to lead.

What does the word “judo” mean?

Ju” means “gentle”, “flexible”, or “giving way”. “Do” means “way”, as in “way of life”.  So judo is often translated as “The Gentle Way”. At Sakura Judo, we like to think of judo as “the flexible way of life.”


Why is judo called the “gentle way”? It doesn’t look gentle.

The word “ju” is hard to translate from Japanese.  One translation is “gentle”, but other suggestions are “flexible” and “non-resisting”.  The idea is that, instead of meeting an oncoming force head on, like two big horn sheep crashing into each other, you give way and use the other guy’s power, like Road Runner swerving at the last moment, and allowing Wile E. Coyote to run himself off a cliff.

Is judo violent or dangerous?

Not at Sakura Judo!  We do fun and safe judo!  Although any martial art can be misused — and judo is no exception — violence is not what judo is about. Using judo to hurt people would be a violation of the spirit of judo, the Gentle Way.

How much does it hurt when you fall?

It doesn’t hurt!  We practice slapping the mat just right so that the force is dissipated.  The slapping is loud, but painless.  We practice this a lot!

Is judo like karate?

Not really.  Judo and karate are both martial arts, but karate uses force to strike an enemy, and judo uses timing and balance to tip them over.  Also, judo is more playful.

In judo there is no kicking, punching, or striking, and no weapons of any kind, except in kata.  And there is no such thing as a “judo chop.”

Is judo like Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Yes, kind of.  There is a lot of overlap between the two.  Judo has more throwing than Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Brazilian jiu jitsu has more joint locks than judo.  Judo always uses a gi (uniform), but BJJ sometimes goes no-gi.

Is judo like cage fighting?


Will learning judo help me learn mixed martial arts?

Possibly, but not at Sakura Judo Club.

Mixed martial arts does use judo, but at Sakura, we don’t learn judo for fighting.  We approach judo as “the gentle way” here, and are really more about fun and fitness and philosophy and art.


Where can I get a uniform?

Judo uniforms are called judo-gi, or gi, for short..  When you sign up, we will give you a free one suitable for a beginner.  When you are ready for some serious judo, you will need a sturdier gi.

You can buy one online for around $50.  Here are some links:

We have a limited number of judo-gi to borrow.  

How do I get a colored belt?

You earn belts by gaining physical and mental skills.  The more you come to practice, the faster you progress.  Read more here

How long does it take to get a black belt?

It depends. Anne says it took her 38 years.  Other people do it in five or ten years. 

Will judo help develop my kid's focus, respect, and discipline?

Quite possibly.  But kids can learn those things from any activity that they love and put effort into, like piano lessons, gymnastics, or caring for a pet.  If your kids need to learn these virtues, probably the best thing to do is to help them find what they love doing, and then help them figure out how to make that happen. 

What Sakura Judo can offer is a unique opportunity to learn a fun, useful skill in a supportive, safe environment.   If thats’ what will light your kid’s fire, then judo will probably help their focus, respect, and discipline. 

Questions about Sakura Judo Club

How is Sakura Judo different from the other judo clubs in town?

We have air conditioning.

We have great mats.

We are more inclusive than competitive.

We approach judo as more than a sport.  Judo is a way of life.

We are especially open to people with autism and disabilities.

We have a class for people who want an ultra-uber gentle but fun workout.

Every instructor is different, and all the clubs offer different things.  Try a class with each and choose the one you like best.


What are your fees?

$100 per month

We have several payment plans:

Try it for a week for free.
Pay for three months and get one month free.
Pay for six months and get three months free.

Do you have any scholarships available?

Yes, we do.  Contact us if you are interested.

Can I try a class before I decide to commit?

Certainly!  You can try Sakura Judo free for a week.  We’ll lend you a judogi (uniform) to wear. Contact us.

My kid is four. Can I sign her/him up?

Sorry, kids really need to be six to start learning judo.

I want to do judo, but I don’t want to compete in tournaments. Is that okay?

That’s fine.  Tournaments (shiai) are not a big part of our program. They are a possibility for anybody who is interested, but most members of Sakura Judo don’t choose to compete.

Do I have to wear a judo uniform? Can't I just wear a karate or jiu-jitsu uniform?

You can at first.  After you decide that you want to stick with judo, you will want to buy a real judo gi, which will be more comfortable, more durable, and generally work better for you.

If we have one available, we can lend you a judo-gi until you decide if you want to buy one.

I have a green belt in Tae Kwan Do / Karate. Can I start judo with a green belt?

No.  Although other martial arts use belts to indicate achievement, the achievements are different, so the belts are different.  Only judo belts count in a judo class.

More questions?

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