Judo Club

Meets Thursday After School

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Judo, the Olympic Sport originating in Japan in 1882 is offered as an after school club activity at St. Mary's Institute. The founder, a school principal, created a safe sport that is part of the physical education syllabus of all elementary and middle schools in Japan and France.  Judo involves learning the fundamentals of throwing and pinning or grappling techniques. It does not involve striking or weapons. The mission statement of Judo is “Mutual Welfare and Benefit” a philosophy consistent with St. Mary’s Institute. Children learn how to play a game, which will give them skills they can use for a lifetime.

We have four Black Belt Judo Instructors, all certified by the United States Judo Association and recipients of the Diocese of Albany background clearance.  The Senior Instructors are the grandparents of two St. Mary's students and each have 25 years of experience teaching Judo to children. Another instructor is a parent of two students at St. Mary's as well as two time United States National Women's Champion. The fourth instructor is an alumnus of St. Mary's. 

Each year a child will learn 4-6 Judo throwing techniques, and counter throws, 3-4 Judo holding techniques, including escapes, falling techniques, competition strategy, Judo customs and Japanese vocabulary. Normal progression for the first 3 junior ranks is one promotion per year, with longer intervals for the final 3 junior ranks. A summer Judo camp is offered each year. Every child has an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to measure their progress in each area and as a source of feedback for student and parents. This is not a self-defense class. It is a self confidence class.

Children get hurt by not falling properly, not throwing properly or failing to follow directions given by instructional staff. Injuries occur approximately 1-2% of the time and are generally limited to bruises. A first aid kit is mat side and ice packs are in the freezer next to the gymnasium. Your child can also get hurt if they practice Judo at home or at a friend’s house. Judo is only practiced in Judo class.


  • Parents may quietly observe all classes.  
  • This is a year long program that involves belt rank testing. There are only two tests each year.
  • Parents are asked to commit their child to all classes as space is limited.
  • Enrollment is for St. Mary's Institute students in Grades 1-8.
  • Class is on Thursday afternoons, after school for about 90 minutes. 


Fee & Uniforms

  • There is no fee for instruction. 
  • Students can purchase a Judo uniform for about $45-$50. They last about 2 years.
  • Children should be dressed in Judo uniform and at mat side five minutes before class begins.



Email smijudo@gmail.com