Samurai Judo Club have at last moved to their purpose-built new premises in Zortech Avenue. The building and facilities are still being worked on but when fully completed will include a main Olympic size mat area on a new sprung floor, a side mat area with greater spring for intense throwing and kata practice, a video analysis room, kitchen and cafeteria, balcony viewing area and changing rooms with showers. The building has so far cost around £270,000 and the final value is likely to be in the order of a third of a million pounds.
Samurai Judo Club recently celebrated its 34th birthday and is growing stronger all the time. We are a non-profit making club with around 140 members, male and female, ages of active players ranging from 6 to 66. We cater for all levels and interests. Over the years we have had two World Veterans champions, eight British champions and many players who have represented Britain in international events. One of our players has genuine chances of going to the 2012 London Olympics, as does an associate member who trained with us for many years. Amongst our less or non-competitive players, we have many who have achieved high qualifications in refereeing, kata, coaching and technical judo: in particular, we have the strongest and largest group of referees, both junior and adult, and competition organisers of any judo club in Great Britain . Many of our members start as young children and are still with us as they become veterans, often with their own children following in their footsteps. We also have many cases of families doing judo, both parents and children. There is a great camaraderie at the club which has created many strong friendships.
The club's coaching staff is extremely experienced and has expertise in all fields of judo. Chief coach Andrew Haffner holds an honours teaching degree and has been a professional school teacher for over 20 years. He is a 5th dan, senior coach award holder, competition controller award holder, national table officials examiner, senior examiner, technical dan grade examiner, kata examiner, National B referee, former British Kata Champion in three different katas and British Veterans medalist, and is the Worcestershire County Coach. Other coaches include:
Ian Mills, 5th dan, former World Masters medallist;
Alison Lane , 2nd dan, British National medallist;
Stuart Lane , 2nd dan, British Kata Champion;
Ben Newbury, 4th dan, British Kata Champion;
Club Chair Sarah Newbury, a local headmistress, leads an experienced team of administrators. Club President Malcolm Limrick, 2nd dan, is a former member of the BJA Board Of Directors and former vice-chair of the Midland Area committee.
Our membership costs are low, £14.00 per month for juniors under 18 years and £18.00 per month for adult members (weekly alternatives available), with no other club costs involved; the first week is free. The club is entirely non-profit making and all income goes towards covering costs. If you would like to start judo, you need just a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, we will lend you a jacket and belt. Beginners are always coached separately and carefully looked after by other club members. Alternatively, if you have done judo before, we will give you a gentle restart at your own pace. Visitors from other judo clubs are welcome, but we ask that you clear the visit with your own coach.
If you would like to find out more, come to the club whenever it is open (spectators welcome) or telephone Andrew on 01886 821087 or 0776 1122977.