Blog Archives

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

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

1 year, 1 day… Is the end in sight?

Yesterday, 12 March, marked the anniversary of our last sessions on the tatami. When we closed down the club in light of the just declared Covid pandemic, we thought we would be back in a few weeks…

However, thanks to the successful vaccination programme being rolled out across the country, it looks as if a return to training is on the cards soon. Whilst we await details from British Judo, who are in consultation with Department of Culture Media and Sport, the potential return dates remain as in our earlier post. Please note, these are all earliest dates, they could be put back if cases or hospital admissions rise again – as sadly we are seeing in Italy and Germany. Full details of the Government roadmap can be found on Gov.UK

29 March – possible resumption of outdoor training. We are talking to the school to see if we can use the school grounds for this – it offers more parking, more privacy and may enable us to access equipment we have stored at the club. If this is possible, it will not be until after Easter.

12 April – gyms can reopen. This may enable children’s indoor sessions to recommence, or this may be delayed to 17 May, when gym classes can recommence. Presumably at this point indoor non-contact training for all can recommence. Contact only allowed between members of same household.

21 June – social distancing requirements removed. Although what this means for contact sports is still unclear, it seems reasonable to assume that kata and uchikomi at least will be allowed between members of different households.

We can’t wait to get back into training, and back on the mat. In advance of this happening, please make sure your licence is in date!

Keep watching and we will update you as and when we get news.

Posted in Blog, Training

Celebrating the women and girls of Court Lane Judo Club

This International Women’s Day, we like to take a moment to reflect on how many great women and girls have graced the mats of Court Lane Judo Club.

We were lucky that from the very beginning we had a female coach, Jill Brown, who has recently returned to the club after taking a break.

Jill was vital in many of the club’s early successes, and was shortlisted for The News Sportscoach of the Year.

Many of our female players have achieved great things too – here are just a few names from our ladies’ rollcall of honour:

  • Kate Borland
  • Sophie Read
  • Tiffany Caswell
  • Louise Growse
  • Sophie Dolman
  • Sarah Carr
  • Maddi Cox
  • Jess Oakden
  • Isla Savellis-Fry
  • Chloe Lymer

We have also been lucky enough to attract some of the country’s top female players, all Olympions, to the club to run sessions for us:

  • Kate Howey MBE
  • Sophie Cox
  • Nekoda Davis

Prior to closing our doors due to the Covid pandemic, we had one of the highest ratio of female to male players in the BJA.

Girls, we salute you and hope to see you all back on the mat soon.

Posted in Blog

Sport & brain injury

Human Brain

We welcome the news today of the Parliamentary inquiry into causal links between sport and brain injury.

Triggered in part by the high coincidence of dementia in members of England’s 1966 football World Cup team, this is an important opportunity to make recommendations to keep sport safe healthy for all.

Concerns have long been raised about the effects of repeated blows to the head in professional boxing – these would also relate to the “ground and pound” of professional MMA, heading the ball repeatedly in football, concussion in rugby.

Judo is not immune to the effects of head injury, although they appear to be rare. Nekoda Davis recently announced her withdrawal from Tokyo selection to concentrate on her recovery from a concussion in 2019.

Our own experience of concussion and head injury is limited. We had an incident many years ago when we were based in Cosham Community Centre, of a player passing out on our mat after banging heads with another player the night before at a different club. More recently we had another player who had to take a period of mat rest after knocking themselves out at home when they banged their head. This was on medical advice and was managed in line with BJA protocols.

Posted in Articles, Blog

Which sports bra is best?

Compression tops and leggings have become very popular to wear for all sorts of sports, and are often to be seen on the judo mat during practice sessions.

The question remains though, what sports bra is best for women? Natural inclination perhaps is to go for the compression option – this appears to the most widely available option.

This clip from a BBC programme offers some useful advice.

Posted in Articles, Blog

A way forward…

Yesterday’s announcement from the Government gave us cause for hope.

11 months after we closed the dojo, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In a speech that emphasised data over dates, there were still several key dates. Below is our take on what these might mean for us.

8 March – schools return, outdoor after school sports and activities can resumePossibility of resuming outdoor training sessions?
29 March – Organised outdoor grassroots sports can resumeOutdoor training sessions can resume
12 April – gyms can reopenChildren can return to mat based training – no contact – although this may not be until 17 May
17 May – Indoor group exercise classes can resumeAdults can return to mat based training
21 June – most social distancing requirements removedReturn to some form of recognisable judo – uchikomi and kata, possible randori and shiai?

This is just our take – we are awaiting guidance from British Judo, who will be in consultation with Department of Culture Media and Sport. We are also obviously dependent on the school agreeing our return to the premises.

Much is dependent on the infection rate and hospitalisations remaining their downward trend, and the rollout of vaccines. Please remember to keep following the mantra of Hands – Face – Space to keep yourself and others safe – Portsmouth’s judo and martial arts community has suffered at least one loss due to Covid this year, we know of other people who have also died following infections.

Whilst we wait to return, don’t forget to make sure your licence remains in date so you can continue to participate in online training sessions organised by British Judo, and take advantage of other benefits. Your licence must be in date to return to the mat.

Posted in Announcements, Blog, News
Tags: ,

10 months and counting…

When we closed the club in March 2020, a week before the first national lockdown, none of us really envisaged that 10 months later our mats would still be empty.

We were lucky enough to be able to run some sessions outdoors over the summer, but our return to indoor training has been knocked back – first from November 2020 to January 2021, and now indefinitely in the third national lockdown. We remain committed to opening when it is safe to do so.

Like everyone else, we await the lifting of Covid restrictions. Infection rates are falling, but are still high; and hospital admissions and deaths show no signs of abating. Sadly, Covid related deaths have even affected Portsmouth’s judo community.

International judo has been affected, as has been the Olympics. It is probably 50-50 at best if the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Games will take place this year. GB’s Alice Schlesinger has announced her retirement, missing her last Games, and Nekoda Smythe-Davis has announced her withdrawal from the selection race for Tokyo as she recovers from a serious concussion.

We hope you are taking advantage of the online sessions organised by British Judo. These are FREE to licensed members – another reason to keep your British Judo membership in date. You can book on to these sessions here.

Thank you for your continued support of the Club via Portsmouth Lottery and Easyfundraising. With online shopping our new normal, this is a great way to generate donations to the Club, at no cost to yourself. Funds raised will help us to weather the current pandemic and return stronger when we can get back on the mats, with whatever restrictions may still be in place. Judo, martial arts and other indoor contact sports will be the last to return to normal.

Please remember it is OK not to feel OK! The last year has been extremely testing for everyone. British Judo has published a list of organisations who can offer support if you or members of your family are struggling. Alternatively, you may find suggestions in Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s book ‘Feel Better in 5’ helpful. The Morning and Evening Flows are great stretching and relaxation processes, whilst guidance on daily gratitude list, affirmations and breathing practices may also be of benefit.

Finally, stay safe, look after each other and we look forward to seeing you all back on the mat when it is safe to do so.

Posted in Blog, Training
Tags: , , , , ,

Supporting mental health

The past few months have been hard on everyone, and parents will have noticed the impact this has had on their children as well. For many, half term has come as a welcome break.

With the return to schools and colleges approaching, and cases of Covid-19 rising, it is understandable that some children might be feeling worried or anxious.

There are lots of things parents and carers can do to support their kids at this time. Find what’s right for your children – whether it’s listening to them talk about the challenges they’re facing, or helping them develop skills to cope with their emotions.

The BJA has published a list of useful resources to help support mental wellbeing.

The NHS offers some simple steps you can take to look after your children’s mental wellbeing.

Remember, it is OK to not be OK.

Posted in Blog

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