Judo camp proves to be a great sport!

Knockout-The ‘Knockout’ game of the day provided many laughs for all involved and spectators alike!

Knockout-The ‘Knockout’ game of the day provided many laughs for all involved and spectators alike!

As well as having a passion for bagpipes and The Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums I have also been practicing Judo for nearly 30 years. I am a senior instructor at Bushi (pron. bush-eye) Judo Club. We practice on a Monday and Friday evenings from 6.30pm to 8pm at Kingsbury Leisure Centre in Erdington and welcome all, whether beginners or experienced.

Starting from 5years of age upwards the club boasts a great membership numbers and all the sessions are fun and hard work. Judo is a martial art that involves Throws, Hold Downs, Armlocks and Strangles and is a great way of learning discipline and getting fit. To practice Judo you must always be holding an opponent, unlike other martial arts where you generally kick and punch in to space to practice…

Our club has just enjoyed an annual camping trip to Bewdley and with over 50 of us camping, as usual it was great fun!

Friday night is a general set up and chat evening with all cooking their own meals and relaxing. Needless to say with tree swings, footballs and rugby balls in huge supply the younger members (and not so young) kept themselves active!

Saturday was the fun day where we have a string of games to play. The first game was touch rugby with 2 teams lining up with players from 2 foot 6 inches lining up against players 6 foot 2 inches! Everyone got stuck in and it was a competitive start to the day. Next up was Volleyball. 4 teams of 9 and the tournament lasted a good hour and half before the winning team was decided. There were some great shows of athleticism and technique and also some not so great shows (I would be included in that section!).

Rounders was next and the teams merged to make 2 teams as lined up to battle this one out. Remembering that a great many of the players are Judoka (Judo Players) there were a few things going on at some of the rounders posts that would not be counted as sportsmanlike. When two of the fielding team found themselves on the floor at post 3 and the running batter standing there, looking all innocent, the umpire looked a little puzzled!

After that it was time for a rest and some lunch before we all took part in ‘It’s a knockout.’ Two teams, lots of obstacles, water slides, buckets, sponges, space hoppers and a hosepipe were involved in this! Needless to say everybody got absolutely soaked, luckily it was a gloriously sunny day and after the first shock of being hit by very cold water you were off trying to be the best you could for your team. It was a hilarious event for participants and the audience alike!

The last two sporting activities that followed were football and Tug Of War. The match, which was meant to consume 20 minutes of the busy schedule, turned in to a 45 minute game with lots of tenuous moments and the was finalised by the ‘next goal’s the winner’ attitude!

However, the Tug of War was the most competitive game of the day -Four teams with one long thick rope and a mark to pull to. The shouting and encouragement was so loud that many others in the campsite came across to see what it was all about! A huge amount of effort was put in by all and at the end of many tugs, people were left lying on the floor gasping for breath in exasperation at losing or trying to stumble to their feet to high five their triumphant team mates.

And that was it… Shower time and the BBQ. We all gathered together to enjoy a meal and talk the night away.

The following morning, with many precious memories and smiles, we dismantled our tents and made our way home, looking forward to next year’s meet!

The club would like to pass its thanks to Hopleys Family Camping in Bewdley and a huge thanks to Carl Williams who is the Head Club Coach at Bushi for all his work and preparation that made the weekend such an amazing time for everyone. Roll on next year!

If you would like to know more about the club please email me at billgrigg@hotmail.com or call Bill on 07970 924073.