High Wycombe Dan Grading 29 October


On the 29th of October two of UBJC’s black belt hopefuls and their captain set off at the crack of dawn to head to a competitive grading in High Wycombe. With me at the helm of my trusty fiesta, Hari and Ollie settled down for the journey, praying that I didn’t kill them on the M4.

was up first in the Dan Grade category to hunt for more points towards my 2nd Dan. A poor showing meant I was only going to have 3 fights, one of which against a 2nd Dan. Losing my first against the mighty 2nd Dan after picking up a shoulder injury and getting strangled, I was determined to get something from the trip. In the second fight I faced a very energetic and dynamic heavy weight. Not being flustered and coming close to being arm locked at times, I pulled out a huge throw (I say throw as video replay is inconclusive as to what technique I actually did, answers on a postcard please) to launch my opponent into the air and land a big Ippon winning the fight. 10 points secured it was on to the last fight. Again a heavy weight in the way. I quickly established the guy in front of me only had one strong throw. Waiting for my chance to counter i scored a wazari and went for the pin to secure the fight, but the guy was too big and escaped quickly. Back up again, waiting for the opportunity to finish the fight, I set up an O soto Gake to secure the second 10 points.

There was then a little break before Hari and Ollie started. A good turn out meant there were reasonable matchups for both.

Ollie was up and faced strong opponents with lots of experience. He was unfortunate in the first to get caught with a well timed uchi mata which saw him land on his back for ippon. His second fight was a very close one. He looked certain that he was going to get the win, tactically perfect surprising his opponent with a drop seoi from the restarts and narrowly missed scoring. He was eventually caught with a counter which saw an end to his line up campaign. All was not lost as he now found himself in the lines for other players and set about crushing some dreams. Sadly it wasn’t to be Ollie’s day but he left with invaluable experience and training points to work on for future events. He has shown vast improvements since his last outing and it won’t be long until he is smashing his way through the line ups.

Hari was up next, and fighting against a tough opponent he held his ground. Down a wazari, he held on and started to make a come back until he was caught with a clean drop seoinage for ippon. His next fight was a different story, and spurred on by his previous fight Hari dominated and scored two very clean wazari’s to win the fight, booking himself a repechage fight to qualify him for a line up. The third fight came very close to disaster as his opponent dropped underneath him, but Hari had the reactions of a cat, and to this day know one quite knows how he managed to spin out of the throw and not concede points. This woke him up, and set him up for a counter which he executed beautifully to book his place in the line ups. Hari stood a real chance of completing his line up, his opponents looked promising and providing he finished the fights quickly it should have been plain sailing. The others weren’t sticking to the script. They didn’t make it easy for Hari, taking him all the way to the last minutes of his first two fights. He prevailed in both and was set to face the last fight. He never let it show but he later stated he was feeling the pain by the last fight- unfortunately, the fresh fighter was too much and managed to beat Hari, leaving him just short of the completed line up.

I left with 30 points in total for my second Dan and Hari only needing the cursed 40 points for his first Dan.

All in all it was a fantastic trip, with all showing some great judo and vast improvement all round. All left wanting more and spurred on to compete again.


Meet the UBJC Committee 2017-18


Hi! I’m Ollie, and I’m the captain of UBJC this year. This will be my third year in the club and I have been practicing judo for the last 5 years. I am currently a 1st Kyu (Brown belt). UBJC is a brilliant and friendly club with top class tuition and a great social life. Since joining I’ve had the opportunity to compete in competitions I never thought I would, have improved my Judo, made amazing friends and had loads of amazing nights out. I strongly encourage you to come to the club, whether you want to start a new sport, are already involved in the sport or just want to make some new friends and improve your fitness at the same time and I hope to see you all on the mat!


I’m Hari, one of the Vice Captains this year! I started judo at around 10 years old, and competed until the age of 16, having represented Wales once. I took it up again when I came to university, looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, and very much enjoyed UBJC’s close family and social atmosphere, as well as the nights out, which is the main reason I decided to become the club’s social secretary. This year I’ll be hoping to make sure all members feel welcome and enjoy the benefits of being in the club off the mat as well as in training as much as I did last year. Most of all I’m looking to make sure more people become aware of and participate in judo as I so passionately enjoy it myself.

Aiden Judo

Hello, everyone! I’m Aidan. I’m a final year History student with far too much time on my hands, and I’ll be a Vice Captain for UBJC for this academic year. I’ll be organising competition fixtures for UBJC with Hari Jones, VC.

Judo has been a big chunk of my life for the last 13 years. I was fairly set on being a ninja when I was eight. Sadly, I was told that this would be difficult to arrange, so I settled for an hour a week of judo at the local sports centre, instead.

After a decade of Thursday nights and fairly slow progress, UBJC has encouraged me to take judo more seriously. The coaching is fantastic, and it’s there three nights a week if you want it! On top of that, this such a sociable club, and people of all abilities are friendly on and off the matt – except in randori…

Like everyone else, I want this club to offer everyone the chance to be the best judoka they can be. Here’s to a great year x


Hi! I’m Mairead and I’m the treasurer for UBJC this year. I’m a second year psychology student and I picked up Judo last year as I was looking for a fun new way to keep fit and meet people. I couldn’t imagine not being a part of the club now! Everyone is always so welcoming and friendly which makes for a great atmosphere at training, competitions and our awesome socials – the year would not be complete without some nail-biting fights and wild nights out (and USIST has it all!). I can’t believe how much I’ve improved, and can’t wait to see what the next year brings!


Having not done a whole lot in 1st year I was eager to find a sport to do in my spare time. I did Judo during primary school, but, couldn’t really remember why I stopped. So, at the beginning of second year thought I’d give it another go and haven’t looked back since! This will be the third year at the club, in that time I started as a beginner and am now on my 4th belt. This year in my role as development office I hope to continue the work that was done by our now Captain- Ollie. So, hopefully in the next few years there will be a competition in Bristol, as well, the club are applying for ‘Performance Sport’ status to try help those people that want to compete at a higher level get the coaching, support and advice that they need. This year I hope to introduce a ‘Buddy’ system, so everyone will have someone a grade or two higher than themselves looking out to see how you are doing. Hopefully this will allow newbies to get better quicker, people that have been doing Judo for a while can have more focused discussion so they can improve and the highest grades can develop some coaching skills. For myself, Judo is a great sport, with a friendly club and open to all levels and abilities so give it a go!!


Hi, I’m Harry, Publicity Office for UBJC! I am a 3rd year English student and when I’m doing practicing judo put on plays and play rugby. I started Judo when and was 10, but like a lot of people that join UBJC I’d stopped pretty soon after. I could not have wished for a better way back into the sport than at Bristol and I am not a proud Green Belt, with a bronze BUCS medal and many a social under his belt. My only regret is waiting for my 2nd year to join.

I’m Ellie and I am study performing arts and theatre studies in my second. I am also the new Social Sec for this year, meaning we are all going to have THE best nights out!! I do judo because it keeps me fit and active. Judo makes me feel better as I know how to protect myself off the mat if I did ever get into trouble. And it is does wonders to release all the stress of a long hard week.


Hello! My name is Esther. I’m in second year and am UBJC’s Social Secretary together with Ellie this year. I’ve been doing Judo for almost half my life. I will probably continue to participate all my life as it has proven to me to be a very enriching and wholesome sport. Practising Judo, I have gained fitness and confidence with self defence, and learnt discipline. Practising Judo in UBJC, I have found a family I can share this gentle sport’s love with, in and out of the mats (the socials are amazing guys, you get to travel as well). I suggest you don’t waste time and come check us out, keep an open mind!




Black Belt Success for Ex-Captain Marcus Jones!


img_1347On September 10th 2016, a captain and a former captain ventured down to
High Wycombe in the hunt for points towards their black belt, I  towards for points towards my second Dan, and Marcus looking for 40 points to get the illustrious first Dan. I was up first with an early morning start. I arrived along with 6 others to slog it out. It was a tough 4 fights, and having lost my first 3 I was determined not to come away empty handed and secured a ne waza win to get my first 10 points towards my second Dan. However, enough about me- the real star of the show was last year’s captain, one Marcus Jones. Since he only needed 40 points, the black belt was very much on the cards today. He arrived looking fresh and followed by an entourage of family and friends ready to cheer him on. His summer training had obviously worked wonders, as weigh in posted Marcus in well where he needed to be. With his warm-up complete, and bestowed with some last minute tactics and encouragement from myself and the team, he set about his first fight.

Marcus dominated from the start, his enormous height and reach proving too much as he quickly dispatched his opponent with two very good throws, each scoring a waza-ari (along with an attempted limb removal with what looked like a very painful but unfortunate ineffective arm bar). Fight two was more of the same, tactical perfection turning his defense into an attack to counter his opponent for a rib-crushing ippon.

The line up was next. After a brief pause to catch his breath, refuel and have a quick discussion, he was off again. Marcus paced himself beautifully and dominated all the way. His ne-waza power and dominance was too much for all that came in his path, evading legs and pinning for the score. He managed to secure the black belt on the 2nd fight of the 3, but his victory didn’t stop him there. The dream of getting a completed line up was still in sight and was obviously on his mind as he fired himself up for one last time. Playing to his strengths he took his opponent to the ground and pinned for the full 20 seconds. An amazing display of judo. 5 fights. 5 wins. 5 ippons. 1 new black belt for UBJC.

Emotion ran high as Marcus came off the mat, and understandably so- there aren’t many who don’t blubber like a baby in a moment like that. Then came congratulations, a take away, and many many beers in order to celebrate.

All in all, this was a fantastic day for the club. I’d like to congratulate Marcus again on a very well deserved black belt. He has shown true grit, determination and remarkable resilience over the past year, overcoming some nasty injuries (some my fault) and working incredibly hard both on and off the mat to get where he is today. It has been an honour to share this experience with you, Marcus- no one deserves it more and I’m over the moon to welcome you to the Dan grade club. But now the real work starts; as Sensei Chris says, “You’ve got your black belt, now you can really start to learn judo!” I look forward to seeing you on the mat for those second Dan points, brother.


Check out our photos from our biggest competition of the year – USIST!

Thank you to smifsports for taking all these brilliant action shots!

Our weekend saw Bristol face some tough competition, and for some it was their first competition experience! These photos are just a snapshot of the high quality judo that was displayed during the competition, showing all the hard work paying off from our sessions at UBJC. As well as this, UBJC had to keep up tradition regarding its commitment to socials, shown here through our fantastic ‘under the sea’ costumes!

On a sadder note, Bristol’s 7 year annual USIST Boat Race run was broken. After our first lady for the team was taken ill, we tried to put on a brave face and carry on with the competition, determined not to let this affect us as social sec Amy ‘crazy’ Cotter, stood up to the challenge. After a victorious first round, tensions were high, but unfortunately we were beaten by the Scotts in the final round…

Needless to say, we will return next year to reclaim our title!


Club President Tony Sweeney 9th Dan, leads UBJC masterclass

On Wednesday 27th January, UBJC were lucky enough to be treated with a session from Tony Sweeney, 9th dan, and former student of Bristol University. It was such a great opportunity to learn and develop our techniques, and we are so honoured to have experienced such a wonderful masterclass, from such an internationally respected judoka.

We started the session off which some light uchikomi, to get us warmed up and ready for some serious judo practice! We then tried our hand at a move which was new to most of us; how to deflect an attack with a flick of your opponent’s elbow and spinning them round to distract them, giving you a chance to prepare your next move while they recover from their disorientation. At first this seemed rather complicated, but we gave it a go and found it to be extremely effective – and certainly disorientating! I certainly found this to be effective, but I felt that it might need a bit more practice to perfect, before using it in a serious competition environment!

The next move he taught us involved gripping your opponent and sinking down into a lower stance, sweeping your leg round and turning to throw your opponent. Again, this was slightly novel to us, similar to Tai Otoshi, but again, with a twist. Although this seemed initially rather complex, Tony Sweeney ran through it with us so that we understood how the technique might be used in combination with other throws, which helped us to understand how this might be used in a competition situation. This move was slightly easier to follow because of the similarities to other techniques we have been learning, but as before, I felt it might require a little more practice before using it in any serious environment – but it was so effective, I know I will certainly keep practicing until it works for me!

A big thank you to everyone who made the session such a success, it was great to see so many of our club members so keen to learn more and develop the skills we have been working on this year.

Again, a massive thank you to Tony Sweeney for coming all the way down to Bristol – it was an truly invaluable experience, and we will continue to develop what we learnt on the mat!



Warwick Competition – Sam Underwood reports his experience as a fresh UBJC competitor…

Friday evening saw the Warwick Invitational team, UBJC’s finest (minus captain, minus vice-captain), pile a minibus perilously high with bags and supplies and power on up to Warwick for the second open competition of the year, and my first in eight years! Following brief stops for pizza and refreshments en route, we reached the Excel Leisure Centre, our home for the next two days, and claimed a room for ourselves in typically flamboyant Bristol style with a high-octane sleeping-bag race through the adjacent corridors, prompting not a few bemused looks- although myself and Amy made a valiant attempt at gold, Leroy and Greg proved superior at shrimping across the floor tangled in their bags…

What little sleep was available that night proved valuable when, at 7:30 the next morning, we had to decamp unceremoniously for the main event arena. Working around issues with our team composition (Group B lacked a competitor for the over-90s category, while some others in our team were forced to fight into the weight category above them), we passed weigh-in, and set about making Bristol’s presence known on the mat.

In the individual categories, Leo and Suban performed with great valour, Leo coming up against tough (and heavyweight) competition in the O90 category but walking away with his reputation as an immovable object unscathed while Suban faced some strong opposition (and some very stiff arms) in the U66 category. This round finishing with, unfortunately, no luck for either of them despite their solid performances, we moved on to the Men’s Teams category, and closer to my fight. Group B saw some incredibly tough opposition in their pool, with a number of spectacular seoi nagis and some unbreakable hold-downs eventually proving too much. Despite some brilliant performances, Group B was eliminated, and it was our turn to step up.

Our pool saw us against stiff competition from three other teams, with the O90s in particular proving very tough opponents. While Leroy performed as spectacularly as ever, winning two of his three fights with a flawless ouchi and a stylish kosoto-gake, his first bout sadly saw Greg take a serious knock to the head followed by a strangle, and despite his brave attempt to fight in the second round, the third round proved too much and his injury kept him off the mat. We were nevertheless able to hold our own against much of the excellent judo which was being thrown at us, and twice it fell to me to bring us a win: despite my best efforts, I failed both times, although not without a fight. My first round saw me against a competitor whose height and weight advantage meant that my attempted tai-otoshi was turned into a kesa-gatami which proved unbreakable, and he took the point. My second fight was far more even, with an early harai-goshi bringing me a wazari, but my opponent evened us with a wazari of his own, and eventually took the fight with a strangle out of my failed osoto-gari. My last fight saw me against the O90 competitor who would eventually take gold, and although I took a wazari up against him with a fast ko-ouchi, his blindingly quick armbar out of the throw led to me tapping for ippon. Group A, too, were finally eliminated, but it was not without effort- of all the judo which I saw, none of it was below the standard which I would expect, and Bristol truly held their own despite injuries, weight disadvantages and a very high standard from our opponents.

The day was rounded off with a truly magnificent feast of Dominoes in a bar in Coventry, with what remained of the team (two of the girls having headed home) devouring their body weight in the pizza which Warwick kindly laid on for us. Mirth later ensued in the inter-club boat race as it was revealed that Jess was drinking water for our team, leading to a two-second penalty being imposed on us, but the pressure was all practice for my hopeful debut at USIST… Clubbing followed afterwards, with what was left of the exhausted teams descending on Kasbah for a night of locally-flavoured house music and revelry, and despite my exhaustion I feel I still managed still to fly UBJC colours by having the club name face-painted onto my forehead. The night was rounded off in true fashion by the revelation, when we arrived back at the Excel Leisure Centre, that the gates were locked and the guards had failed to provide the number for us to be let in, leading to our sending of Josh on a scouting mission over the gate which, thankfully, proved successful, and finally we were able to crash out.

Although the competition was fierce and our defeat in our pool was disappointing, the Warwick Invitational nevertheless proved priceless in how far it has improved my understanding of competition Judo. I feel now that I can enter future tournaments with the hope of greater success, and progress my ability in Judo to a true competition standard. While this re-entry into competition was something of a baptism of fire, my experience of the competition of a whole- the completion, the social, meeting new clubs and experiencing so many different approaches to the sport- has rekindled my love of Judo, and inspired me to further Bristol’s deserved reputation as a force to be reckoned with even further.

Sam Underwood

Victory at Cardiff Grading – Reece Hustwitt achieves black belt!

This weekend, Katie, Robin, Marcus and Reece went to Cardiff in further pursuit of their black belts…

A MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to Reece Hustwitt – successful in beating everyone in his line up, and getting his black belt! Another name to be added to our hall of fame – WELL DONE REECE!

Unfortunately, Marcus was rushed to hospital after an injury to the shoulder in his first fight, and was unable to carry on. Katie was also unlucky, with no one to fight – it seems her reputation had preceded her and they’d all been scared away..!

To end on a high – Robin managed to win a fantastic 30 points – a victory indeed!

Well done everyone!