Beginners’ Judo

Cambridge Judo is open to complete beginners and to people who’ve done judo before and want to get back into it. Both Cambridge University students and non-students are welcome. Female beginners may like to have a look at our women’s page.

Sessions are led by qualified black belt instructors, and there’ll also be plenty of graded club members around to help out (and to brush up on the basics after a long summer!).

In Michaelmas term (October to December) we have dedicated beginners’ judo sessions on Thursday evenings, 7.30pm-9.30pm, at the University Sports Centre. We also run a demonstration session at the start of the Michaelmas term for any beginners to come along and find out what Judo is about.

Outside the Michaelmas term beginners are welcome to turn up to our Thursday or Saturday sessions. Just introduce yourself to the coaches before you step onto the mat. See training times for more information. The first two sessions are free to try. If you already have a judogi (judo suit), bring it along, but if not just wear tracksuit bottoms or shorts, and a rugby shirt or old t-shirt.

The Judo

In the beginners’ sessions we start at the basics with some simple gymnastic excercises such as forward rolls, followed by learning the all-important breakfalls. Each week we look at suitable standing throws and ground techniques, and there’s usually a chance to try these out at the end of the class with some gentle, friendly randori (sparring). These sessions lead towards the first grading to red belt, and give beginners the skills and confidence to continue judo throughout the year.


The membership page has information on club fees. Beginners starting from Michaelmas term pay a reduced fee, and may take advantage of the Student Voucher Scheme. Note that, this is only valid in Michaelmas term.

The Student Voucher Scheme is British Judo’s special offer to students to help raise participation in universities. For only £20.00 students new to the sport or returning to judo after a years’ absence receive a judo suit, membership of British Judo and their first grading.