Blog Archives

Another step closer to normal

Following the announcement tonight on further easing of restrictions, we can confirm that as of next week spectators are welcome to stay during sessions.

Please note we are only able to accommodate a limited number of spectators – no more than 3 per session – due to distancing requirements. Spectators and parents must remain a 2 metre distance from other households, and 3 metre from the mat edge. Spectators will be required to scan the club’s QR code for Track and Trace.

Our training offer is currently only open to under 18s – we hope to resume adult sessions from June.

As always, participants must have an in date licence and complete a Covid declaration – full details can be found here.

Posted in Announcements, News, Training

Looking forward to seeing you again tonight!

Looking forward to seeing you back on the mats tonight!

Before you attend don’t forget to complete your online Covid declaration at It’s quicker and easier than completing a paper copy at the club.

If you haven’t already, please familiarise yourself with the Covid safety protocols we have put in place.

See you tonight!

Posted in Training

Great to be back on the mat

It was great to be back on the mats last night and see players returning to Judo.

Covid measures were in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. Thank you for following the new rules and understanding why they are necessary.

Looking forward to seeing more of you next week. Don’t forget to make sure your licence is in date and you have completed your Covid declaration!

Posted in Announcements, Training

Back on the mat tonight!

Under eighteens can return to full contact training tonight, and we are looking forward to seeing you!

Don’t forget to check the steps that have been put in place to enable this to happen, and ensure you comply – if you haven’t already, don’t forget to complete your Covid declaration online.

Posted in Announcements, Training

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

Junior Judo restarts from 27th April

After a break of over a year, due to the Covid pandemic, we are delighted to announced that full contact judo will resume from Tuesday 27th April!

In the short term, classes are available for players aged under eighteen only. Hopefully adult classes can resume from June.

We will be running a reduced schedule initially, with two classes on Tuesday nights ONLY. We hope to return to two nights a week from beginning of June. Class times remain as previous, 6 and 7pm. Class duration will be slightly reduced to allow for mat cleaning between and after sessions. Look out for a future post where we will detail all the steps we are putting in place to make it a Safe Return to Judo, and the steps you and your children will need to follow to enable this to happen.

Posted in Announcements, News, Training
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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

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
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