Blog Archives

Relevant to judo or not, this is where Court Lane Judo will broadcast their ponderings.

New Year, full mats!

Three sessions in to the New Year, and we are delighted to to see everyone back on the mat!

The tatami is as busy as it was at the end of last year – indeed even busier, with new faces joining in on every session! In fact we are so busy that we are seriously considering purchasing more mats to expand our mat area.

We are also looking at expanding our payment options, using a card reader to enable card payment rather than cash, and re-establishing a dedicated adult session. This would enable us to better separate adults and younger players, and let us move some junior members up to the next session.

More news on these developments will follow.

We are blown away by your support and enthusiasm, and look forward to 2022 being a great year!

Posted in Blog, Training

Thank you for a great 2021

As we near the end of a year, we’d like to say Thank You to everyone who has supported the Club this year.

When we reopened following the lifting of restriction on indoor contact sports, we really had no idea who would re-appear. So to see the Club growing this year, with a well attended first time summer season and adults joining us from the September onwards, has been amazing.

The increase in numbers, as well as fantastic support from Window Workshop and grant support from British Judo, has put the Club in the strongest position it has been in for years. Certainly not what we were expecting as we re-opened under the spectre of Covid.

It was great to have Maddi rejoin us on the front desk. Even better to get her back on the mat just before Christmas.

Thank you too to those who have signed up to support us via our two fundraising streams, Easyfundraising and the Portsmouth Lottery – details can be found here.

Whilst like everyone else we are keeping an anxious eye on announcements from Government due to the rise of the Omicron variant, we look forward to seeing everyone back on the tatami in 2022. We will advise if there are any changes to the planned dates.

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas!

Posted in Blog

Stay safe on the mats

It is fantastic to see so many returning and new faces on the mat – last night was our biggest session for some time. We are very happy to welcome you to the Club.

It is easy to forget as life returns to normal that the coronavirus is still in circulation – 45,066 cases were logged on Thursday, over 7,000 people are in hospital with Covid and sadly the death toll is running at between 800 – 1,000 per week. Obviously the vaccine has significantly reduced the risk of infection and hospitalisation, but it is not 100% effective.

The virus is largely airborne, as we enter the autumn/winter season it will become more transmissible and with us all spending more time indoors, the risk of infection will rise.

We will endeavour to keep doors / windows open for as long as practical in the hall to ensure a steady supply of fresh air.

Please continue to follow best practice on hand hygiene – hand sanitiser is available in the hall.

Whilst Government requirements and restrictions have been lifted, and parents are welcome to stay and watch, mask wearing and distancing is still recommended.

The club has a Test and Trace QR code – this is displayed on the board when you enter the hall, you can check in using the Covid-19 app.

If you should return a positive test result or are showing symptoms associated with Covid, please do not attend training sessions. This advice applies to all illnesses – it is general good practice, both for yourself and to protect other people in such a close contact sport as judo.

Latest guidance on coronavirus can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Posted in Blog

Catching up…

Although the last 12 – 15 months have been hard, it has been great to keep in touch with so many of you – either via social media or bumping into you in the street etc.

We thought it would be nice to briefly update on what some of the club’s former faces are now up to…

John Luijken has relocated with his family to Holland, and is still continuing his judo studies there.

Azhar Baree is studying economics at Southampton Uni – where he bumped into former Court Lane alumni Lewis Dolman on the mat. Lewis has now moved to Birmingham…

Jonty Bassil is joining the Navy, with an aspiration to become a PTI. Best of luck Jonty!

Isla Savellis-Fry has competed her studies at South Downs College, and is offering sports massage at Bodyworx 360 in Leigh Park as well as a mobile service. You can contact her via her her Facebook page – Isla’s Massage Therapy – or her mobile 07389 821386

Posted in Blog
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Return to adult judo likely to be delayed

John Buchanan Choke

Messages from Government today indicate that it is likely that lifting of final restrictions covering gatherings, sports participation etc. are likely to be delayed following a rise in positive tests, largely linked to the new Delta variant. Reassuringly hospital cases, whilst growing, are not increasing at the same rate, indicating that the vaccine programme is effective (with caveats about number of received doses).

You can read a more detailed analysis here.

It looks as if adult judo judo will be delayed until mid July – and as we are likely to be shut over the school holidays, that effectively means September for us.

We will confirm more detail as soon as we can.

In the meantime, the mantra (vaccinated or not) remains Hands – Face – Space – Fresh Air.

Posted in Blog, Training

Will adults be able to return to training in June?

Under the Government’s plan to exit coronavirus restrictions, it was envisaged that all restrictions in England would be lifted on 21st June, meaning that adults could return to full contact training from that date. (Currently adults could train indoors, with no contact other than people from their family group. At the moment, we have chosen to work just with under 18s who are allowed full contact).

Each stage of the lifting of restrictions is dependent on:

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • UK Government assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

You will be aware of course that a new variant has emerged, which appears to be even more transmissible than the variant that drove huge hospital admissions over the winter months. The latest evidence is that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations continue to offer good protection against the latest variant, but that there is a rise in infection showing amongst the younger age groups who may not have received the vaccination as yet. This will be driven in part by the relaxing of restrictions, as well as the new variant.

So, will adults be able to return to training towards the end of June?

For a definitive answer, we will need to wait for an announcement, probably in week commencing 14th June; but we are cautiously optimistic.

We envisage however that registering attendance via the Club’s QR code and submitting a Covid declaration will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future. It is possible that regional restrictions or increased testing may be applied to manage local outbreaks – we understand extra testing capacity has been created in north Hampshire recently, linked to the latest variant. (Portsmouth City Council yesterday sounded the alarm about an increase in local cases, although it is still a long way short of the figures seen earlier in the year).

In the meantime, please continue to practise Hands – Face – Space

Posted in Blog
Tags: ,

Guilty Pleasures #1

A particular joy over the last couple of years has been rediscovering sumo. First broadcast to British audiences by Channel 4 in the 1980s, with commentary by Syd Hoare (a Judo 6th dan) major tournaments are now broadcast by NHK World, or can be viewed on YouTube.

Major tournaments are held in odd months (January, March, May…)

It is perhaps an acquired taste – but once you get across the initial shock you get to realise that sumo has much in common with judo – action, reaction, breaking of balance, momentum – and shares many of the same techniques – seoinage, leg and foot sweeps… Although player health and safety at tournaments does need to be looked. The lack of a safety area outside the raised contest area is a concern that should be addressed.

Current idols of the sport include the Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho (who is likely to play some part in the Olympic opening ceremony) and up and coming stars such such as Enho, Wakatakakage, and Tobizaru.

One of the greatest stars of the sport was the late yokozuna Chiyonofuji, thankfully no one now approaches the size of the giant Hawaiian, Konishiki!

Posted in Blog
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The excitement is building!

Hopefully you have all seen the news about classes restarting next week!

We can’t wait!

Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the steps we all need to follow to keep ourselves safe and compliant with the plan agreed between British Judo and the Government to enable Judo to restart.

You all need to check to make sure your licence is in date to return to Judo – have you seen the new offers from British Judo to help us all return to the mat?

Like us, you are probably checking to make sure your judogi still fits… Don’t worry if it doesn’t! As always, we will jackets available to borrow – we do ask please, that you take them home to wash afterwards and return the next session, rather than just returning to the box. Alternatively we are happy for sweatshirts, school PE kit to be worn as we return to the mat. We will build up an order for new kits over the next few weeks.

Can’t wait to see you all on Tuesday!

Posted in Announcements, Blog, Training

Taking steps to keep us all safe as we return to Judo

Covid has been a fact of life now for over a year, and even as we look forward to a return to Judo, the harsh fact is it hasn’t gone away.

We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe. By following a few simple steps, we can reduce the risk of infection and having to close down.

These steps are based on the Return to Judo plan submitted by the BJA to Department of Culture Media and Sport, and take into account the regulations in Contact Combat Sport Section Phase 1 for Adults and Phase 2 for Under 18’s (

Club and Coaches

  • As a club, we will notify the BJA of our intention to reopen, ensuring our insurance cover is reactivated.
  • All coaches have been busy making sure qualifications and DBS are up to date.


  • Please make sure your licence is up to date! No licence = no judo. In the current circumstances, we are sure you can understand why. Various extensions were granted by the BJA last year during the first lockdown period, you can check your current status via the Dojo online system.

At the Club

  • All players and coaches need to complete a Covid declaration before each session – these can either be on paper and submitted on the night, or can be completed online.
  • A one way system will be in operation – please enter from the playground and exit the hall to the car park.
  • All players aged 16+, coaches and parents who are staying at the Club (see below) are required to scan Club’s QR code with NHS Covid app.
  • A list of attendees will be supplied to the school.
  • Whilst usually parents are welcome and encouraged to stay, in line with current Government guidance for both indoor and outdoor sports, spectators are only allowed if actively supervising their child – so only the very young, new beginners or those who may have support needs on the night please. Spectators need to remain a 2m distance from other spectators, and 3m from the edge of the mat.
  • Face coverings should be worn off the mat, in line with current Government guidance.
  • Sanitiser will be available
  • Staff toilets only will be accessible.
  • Players should be prepared to administer their own basic first aid – plasters, strapping etc. to minimise contact with coaches. First Aid supplies will be available, but players may wish to bring their own.
  • A waste bin will be available, but ideally rubbish should be taken home with you.
  • In order to facilitate antiviral cleaning of mats between sessions, reduced session times will be in place.

Please remember that the Club is currently only open for players aged under 18. We hope to restart adult sessions from June in line with the BJA roadmap.

Posted in Announcements, Blog, Training

Return to the mat! (Hopefully).

As you will be aware, easing of Government covid restrictions means that we can start to consider (again!) a return to training.

Outdoor training is permissible from 29 March, with gyms allowed to reopen from 12 April.

We have decided NOT to take up the option of starting outdoor sessions from Monday. Instead, we are targeting the reopening of gyms as a possible date to return our junior (under 18) players to the mat. As the draft guidance (still awaiting sign off from Department of Culture Media and Sport) issued by the BJA on Friday indicated that outdoor training with full contact was possible, for players aged under 18, we are hoping that by time we return to the mat, this will also be possible indoors.

We have been in contact with the school and the Headteacher is happy for us to return from Tuesday 20 April. Hopefully this will be indoors, mat based training for our junior players – decision needs to be ratified by school Trustees, based on the risk assessment we submit. Adults will need to wait a little longer to get back on the mat. If we are not able to return to the mat, we will commence outdoor training from Tuesday 20 April, using the school site.

The graphics below indicate the BJA’s understanding of the current situation:

It is still an evolving situation, all dates remain provisional and are dependent on the Government being satisfied that :

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

We will keep you informed as we approach the target date.

Please make sure your licence is in date for when you return to training!

Posted in Announcements, Blog, News, Training

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