About Medway Park Judo Club...
Medway Park Judo Club was originally called Rainham Judo Club and was founded in the 1960s. After training there for several years, the club's current Chairman and Head Coach, Terry Malkinson, took over running of the club in the 1970s.
The club was originally located at St Margaret's School on Orchard Street in Rainham. After a difficult and lengthy search, the club relocated in the early 1980s to facilities that the club members themselves renovated near the Farthing Corner motorway services (now Medway Services) on the M2.
The club had to move premises three more times - once at the very end of the 1980s and then twice again in the 1990s. When Farthing Corner was redeveloped, the club moved to a dojo within Crest Packaging (on the site now occupied by the Tesco Gillingham Superstore) next to the factory's boiler house. The club then had to move again to temporary space within a dance studio in Rainham Girls School, before moving one more time, in 1997, to a wooden hut on the Darland Avenue playing fields in Gillingham.
After many years of moving, and a lot of fund raising, the club moved one last time to its current home, a purpose-built, two-mat dojo in the renovated Medway Park (formerly the Black Lion Leisure Centre). The move took place in February 2010 and was supported by a grant from the National Lottery. The dojo was the first new facility completed within the new Regional Centre of Sporting Excellence. The move was an historic one for the club and coincided with its renaming as Medway Park Judo Club and the award of the highest level Gold Clubmark.
In November 2017, Medway Park Judo Club became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (registered charity number 1175822).
Throughout its long history, the club has developed players who have consistently achieved at national and international level. The club has produced many British Squad members and national champions, as well as a double Youth Olympic champion. Success has come in all age groups (pre-cadet, cadet, junior, senior and masters), and many of the club's players have represented the country in international competition.
If you are new to judo and interested in joining our club or just giving the sport a try, then take a look at our Beginner FAQs by CLICKING HERE
Judo is an Olympic sport and martial art that was developed from ju-jutsu in the 1880s by Prof Jigoro Kano. The word “Judo” is often translated as “gentle way”, but the emphasis is on efficiency and overcoming the force of an opponent with technical skill and minimal effort. The objective of Judo is to throw your opponent onto their back, to immobilise them in a hold on the floor, or (for senior and more experienced junior players) to gain a submission from an arm-lock or strangle. Judo is an excellent all-round sport, helping to develop strength, power, fitness and stamina, as well as promoting respect, self-confidence and discipline. Judo can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or physical ability. Beginners and experienced players can easily train together for their mutual benefit.
About the dojo...
The dojo is the Japanese term for the Judo practice hall. Many early Japanese dojo were within or attached to temples and consequently Judo practice halls should be treated with respect. Anyone entering or leaving the dojo should face the front wall and bow (rei). The front wall of the dojo, opposite the entrance, is known as shomen or kamiza (“top seat”), which is the place of honour within the dojo. The front wall has a picture of Jigoro Kano (the founder of Judo), with the two founding principles of Judo – jita kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit) and seiryoku zenyo (maximum efficient use of energy) – to the left and right, respectively. Shoes should be removed before stepping on to the carpeted area and should never, under any circumstances, be worn on the mat. Shoes should be put back on if you need to leave the carpeted area and must be worn at all other times in the seating area, corridor, changing rooms or toilets. This is to prevent any dirt from outside of the carpeted area being transferred onto the mat.
In the event that you have to leave the dojo in an emergency (fire alarm, etc.), you should leave via the main entrance, walk past the changing rooms and turn left to descend the stairs, which will lead you to an exit to the car park. If the dojo main entrance is not accessible, an emergency exit is located at the opposite corner of the dojo. Please familiarise yourselves with these exit routes.
Good etiquette and respect for yourself, others and the dojo are important parts of Judo. Please make sure that you arrive for Judo sessions on time, that your judogi (Judo suit) is clean, that your finger and toe nails are clean and cut short, and that any long hair is tied back (using a soft, non-metallic hair band). Inform your coach if you have any existing injury. You should cover any cuts or abrasions with plasters and support minor injuries with tape, which should be applied before the start of the session, if needed. Socks should generally not be worn on the mat, but may be worn to cover verrucas or if you have athlete’s foot. Please remove any hard objects (e.g. coins, mobile phones in pockets), watches, jewellery and/or glasses. Beginners should initially wear soft track suit bottoms that cover the knees and are free of any zips or metal fasteners. Female players should wear a plain, ideally white, t-shirt that is long enough to be tucked into the trousers under their jacket.
In addition to bowing when entering and exiting the dojo, you should also bow (rei) whenever you step onto or off of the mat. You must rei to your partner before and after every practice. In addition a formal rei, both to kamiza and to the instructors, will take place at the start and end of every session. The rei is an essential aspect of respect in Judo.