Frequently Asked Questions


(Read more about Judo for Beginners.)

I’ve never done judo before. Can I come to a session?

  • Yes! Please simply come to the next Thursday session at 8-10pm in the University Sports Centre. The Thursday sessions are suitable for beginners, and run throughout the year. At the start of the session, please introduce yourself to one of the coaches or committee members, so that they know you are a beginner.

Can I come to the Tuesday or Saturday sessions?

  • The Tuesday and Saturday sessions are not immediately suitable for beginners, but you will be able to attend once you have been training with us for some time. In particular, the Tuesday session is intended for more advanced players, and we can’t accommodate beginners at this session. Please ask the coaches for more information.

I’m not a student at Cambridge University. Can I train with your club?

  • Yes! We are a university and city club, meaning that we have also members who are not students at Cambridge University.

How do I sign up to the mailing list?

I don’t have a judogi (ie. the proper judo jacket, trousers, and belt). What should I wear or bring for my first session(s)?

  • Please just wear comfortable tracksuit bottoms or shorts (without zips or fasteners, if possible), and an old t-shirt or rugby shirt. Please also bring footwear (eg. flip-flops) to wear before stepping onto the mat, and a water bottle. There is a water fountain just outside the studio where we train.

Where should I arrive for a session?

  • We usually meet at the entrance to the University Sports Centre in the 10-15 min before the start of the session. The sessions themselves take place in Studio 2, which is to the right of the main entrance, and up the stairs. Changing rooms are to the left of the entrance, on the ground floor. Please don’t hesitate to ask anyone on reception for directions, if you are lost.
  • Please note that some sessions in May and June may be at other venues, as the Sports Centre is sometimes used for university exams. Please sign up to our mailing list to receive updates on alternate venues.

I couldn’t make it to the beginner’s course in Michaelmas. Can I come to other sessions?

  • Yes! The sessions on Thursdays at 8-10pm are intended for everyone, including beginners, and run throughout the year (except around Christmas and New Year’s Day). You will be able to catch up very quickly, even if you missed the beginners’ course.

I used to do judo a long time ago, but would like to come back to it. Should I wear a white belt or the grade I had before?

  • Time may have elapsed since you did Judo but you still earned your belt. Please wear it and just explain to your training partners that you haven’t been practising for a while. Everybody will understand, as we have all found ourselves in this position after the COVID lockdown!

Where should I buy a judogi (ie. the official judo jacket, trousers, and belt)?

  • These are stocked at some online retailers, including the British Judo Association (BJA) itself. If you are a student and are joining the BJA for the first time, you can use the Student Voucher Scheme to get a free judogi as part of your first membership.

What is the Student Voucher Scheme?

  • Our governing body, the British Judo Association (BJA), offer a scheme that allows current students to become BJA members for a highly discounted rate. This also includes a free judogi (judo suit)!

Do I need to join the British Judo Association (BJA) before my first session?

  • No – you are welcome to try the sport for a few sessions before joining. The BJA offers discount memberships for beginners and students.

Do you run sessions for under-16s?

  • No – the minimum age to train with our club is 16. A parent’s or guardian’s permission is also required for 16- and 17-year-olds. Other clubs in the area may offer classes for children – please check the BJA Club Finder.

Costs and training times

(Read more about our Memberships and Training.)

I’m a beginner. How much does training cost?

  • We offer a discounted rate for all of the Thursday sessions during Michaelmas term (the beginners’ course in Oct-Dec). Please see our Membership page for current fees.

I’m a regular member. How much does training cost?

  • You can pay per term (3-month blocks), or by monthly standing order. Terms are counted as 3-month periods as follows: Oct-Dec, Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep. Please see our Membership page for current fees.

I’m an occasional visitor. How much does training cost?

  • You can pay individually per session – ask one of the coaches or members of the committee present. Please see our Membership page for current fees.

How much does British Judo Association membership cost?

How much does it cost to grade (ie. take the exam to get the next grade)?

  • As of October 2021, it costs £15 per grade. You only have to pay this fee once you actually pass the exam, not for each attempt.

Does the club train outside of term times?

  • Yes! We continue to train throughout the year. However, some sessions may be cancelled around Christmas and New Year. Please sign up to our mailing list to receive updates.

Other questions

Can I park my bike at the University Sports Centre?

  • Yes! There are multiple cycle racks just outside the front entrance.

Can I park my car at the University Sports Centre?

  • Limited parking space may be available. A permit from the University Sports Centre may be required. Please contact the committee to let us know if you need to travel by car.

Is the club affected by COVID restrictions?

  • Restrictions on indoor, full contact judo training were lifted in July 2021. We currently ask all attendees at our sessions to complete an Athlete Indemnity Form on the day of the session – this is used for Track and Trace, in case anyone attending later tests positive for COVID-19. 
  • We also ask attendees to take regular lateral flow tests (available free from pharmacies, and online, in some cases), and to not attend if they test positive or if they have symptoms of COVID.

How do I unsubscribe from your mailing list?

Got another question?

  • Get in touch with the committee: soc-judo-committee@lists.cam.ac.uk