Congratulations Rod Lane competitors!

UBJC returns victorious yet again! After a tough set of fights, and many fighting in higher weight categories than their own, UBJC returned with an incredible 11 medals!

Another great competition from UBJC, particularly given that for many, this was their first ever competition. Not only the new members impressed, but all brown belts also came away with more points towards their black belts!

All in all an impressive turnout for the team, a sign of good things to come for our next competition – well done everyone!




Well done to High Wycombe competitors!

Well done to our club members Marcus, Reece and Allyx on their recent victories at the High Wycombe Kyu Grade Competition! Despite their tough groups, all three returned with points to put towards their black belts. Not only this, they even brought back medals for the UBJC team – Allyx winning bronze, and Reece bringing back a silver.

A fantastic start to the year – well done everyone!

Meet the UBJC Committee

Marcus Jones – Captain
Marcus JonesHi there – my name is Marcus Jones, I am a 1st Kyu (brown belt) in judo, and this year I am delighted to be the Captain of UBJC. Judo is a beautiful and challenging martial art that encourages you to push yourself beyond what you previously thought was possible. UBJC is one of the best environments in which to study judo because you will be surrounded by fellow uni students who all want to help you succeed. I have also found judo to be an amazing cure for stress – during exam season there is no better revision break than putting on your gi, leaving your problems at the door and doing some training with your friends. Training sessions have become the highlight of my week, as I hope they will for everyone this year! Without any doubt, joining the UBJC family two years ago was the best decision I made in my university career. I have made some incredible friends and had some of the best nights out of my life, in addition to getting to play one of the best sports in the world. I am extremely excited to be leading this club into what will hopefully be another stellar year. See you on the mat!

Josh Zwetsloot – Vice Captain

Join Judo. I’ve been doing Judo two years now, but I wish that was three. In my first year I was too busy freshing
about and missed a great opportunity. The coaching is top class, in only two years
I’ve managed to get up to Green Belt (3 off Black). The people are awesome, most Wednesdays we go out and have a top night which really brings about a sense of comradery. The competitions are great fun, they really get your competitive side out, and USIST (you’ll hear a lot about this one) will be a weekend you will never forget.

Reece – Vice Captain

Hi I’m Reece, one of the Vicreecee Captain’s this year for the Judo club. Our main role is to organise the competitions aspect of the club, be it BUCS to inter-club events along with supporting the Captain and other committee members. It is my third year at the club and my second year on the committee. I have been practicing Judo since I was 7 and am now a 1st Kyu (Brown Belt) and hunting for my Black Belt.

Judo is a fantastic sport, great for fitness and making new friends. With UBJC I have made friends for life, vastly improved my Judo, competed at national competitions and trained with world class players and coaches. All the time managing to have a few drinks, going on some awesome nights out thanks to the social Secs and balancing a hectic academic calendar.

So I’d strongly recommend that you come and visit if you are already familiar with the sport, and definitely if its your first time. Hope to see you all in September!

Amy Cotter – Social Secamy prof

I only started Judo last year- worried it would be like stepping into a bear pit, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s such a challenging and rewarding sport, and it’s amazing what it can do for you whether it’s a new competitive quest or you just want a little self-defence under your belt. My favourite thing about UBJC is our hardcore ‘train hard play hard’ ethos and it’s so encouraging how hard everyone works and how supportive everyone is, on and off the mat. As one half of this year’s social team, I can’t wait to meet some new Judokas and get some awesome sessions and socials up and running!

Greg Cawthorne – Social Sec

Oh hey there! Greg’s the name and quality banter is my game. I’m here to welcome you into our awesome club and be one of many friendly faces you’ll see around! We’ll be having many a hearty get together over the year from pub sessions, house partys and nights out and I’ll do my best to keep you hydrated and laughing (on and off the mat). I’m an easy going guy who loves long walks on the beach and anyone who is passionate about judo (I also love to boogie). After an awesome year of Judo trainig, comeptitions and comradery I jumped at the chance to be the social secratary to continue the UBJC fun loving legcay that is known across the country. PapaG out!

Henry Stanford – Treasurer

I’m Henry, your treasurer! I’m responsible for the club’s money management from paying our instructor and collecting mat fees to financing competitions. I started judo two years ago after Marcus – now the captain – encouraged me to come along to the first session, and have since progressed to 3rd Kyu (green belt). I love UBJC for its great tuition, commitment and social life – I cannot encourage you enough to get into this great sport and to join the group whether you want to get fit, improve your throwing and grappling, or to learn some self-defence. See you on the mat!

Gillian Armitstead- Publicity Officer

gill prof judoWelcome to Judo! I joined the club as a nervous fresher two years ago never having set foot on a judo mat, but I quickly realised how great Judo really was and soon felt part of the club. Our regular sessions and mean you can progress very quickly, and our socials are a great way to relax and enjoy the company of the club outside the mat. Our regular competitions also mean you get to put into practice what you learn in the sessions, and they are also great fun. Judo is also a perfect way to work out stress – what better way than to fight off those exam blues!

USIST 2015

Coming to Judo a complete beginner this last September, the University of Bristol Judo Club has proven a fun and sociable, casual or competitive way of keeping fit. As well as the weekly socials, I have had access to high-level instruction in a welcoming and unintimidating environment and I would urge anyone to have a go; my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!

Since joining, I have been constantly regaled with the legacy that is “USIST”: a weekend competition in which universities from around the UK, and several from abroad, come together to fight it out both on the mats and in the pub in the legendary annual Boat Race. Running since 1998, this famed weekend has seemingly an anecdote for every possible occasion; and so an overview of this year from a USIST first-timer and member of the Judo “fresh” seems somewhat fitting.

So, packed and ready, and not entirely sure what I was getting myself into, I joined the team outside the Richmond Building at 5.30 on Friday afternoon; soon to realise that in terms of boot-space in the hire cars, many a gallon of rather ominous-looking Frosty Jacks would be taking precedence over any actual changes of clothing for the weekend!

Four hours and a box of Krispy Kreme donuts later, we arrived in Sheffield; quickly staking our claim over the crash mats in the sports hall in which we would all be sleeping. The fact that the Edinburgh team had also bothered to drive down the night before seemed to cause some confusion for certain (London-based) team mates; I was shocked to have to explain that, despite being in such wild and perilous northern territory, Sheffield was still quite a distance from the Scottish border.

Finally, after an unhealthy amount of fish and chips, some impromptu pyjama-clad Judo practice and a nightcap or two of very modestly-priced beer, we settled down; waking early on Saturday after a solid night’s sleep (or not) ready to face our adversaries!

Rising bright and early at 8 a.m. after a night’s slumber on crash mats (for the lucky ones), we arose, and having enjoyed a rushed breakfast of plastic cheese and ham toasties, we proceeded to don our judogis and warm up. Given that USIST is a student-run team judo event, the atmosphere and the level of team support is substantial, and it was not in the least bit difficult to get ourselves fired up and ready to put our training to the test. Tiredness, nerves, illnesses and injuries rapidly gave way to pure excitement and adrenaline as our older and more seasoned club members motivated us and provided coaching before, during and after fights, while all the while the rest of the club screamed themselves hoarse.

The actual judo performances on the mat were as exciting and dynamic as they were stressful to watch – there was no shortage of massive room-shaking throws and nail-bitingly intense battles on the ground, with close calls and narrow misses also featuring heavily. On this occasion, UBJC were unlucky enough not to make it through the first round of heats – despite every single player on the team going out and giving it their all and making themselves and their coaches proud, the extremely high standard of competition meant that unfortunately we were denied the opportunity to demonstrate our skills further.

Despite only actually getting to do about an hour of judo in total, everyone on the team successfully maintained the trademark UBJC unwavering positive attitude – our last fight was barely over before yet another beer run was made, and UBJC settled down on our makeshift campsite in the corner of the gym, cracked open some cans, and proceeded to enjoy watching the sport which so successfully brought all of us together.

All physical exertion now behind us, it was time to head to the pub for the much-anticipated main event: the annual USIST Boat Race, in which, as I was assured would be the case, Bristol truly excelled. In spite of the try-outs and ‘training’ at almost every social this year, I still underestimated quite how seriously this aspect of the competition is taken, however the rigorous selection process evidently paid off as our triumphant team drank us to victory and what is now an undefeated seven-year supremacy in this noble combat.

Saturday’s activities were eventually concluded in the glorious Sheffield Students’ Union and equally amazing “Pop Tarts”. More detail would be provided, however thus far no-one has managed to supply anything more descriptive than: “a great night”. The car journey back to Bristol on Sunday was consequently rather subdued.

Without a doubt one of the most memorable weekends of my time at Bristol (“memorable” used here with certain poetic licence), I would again reiterate the fun and relaxed nature of the Judo club. Equally, to any fellow girls out there looking for a way to keep fit and avoid that dreaded Freshman 15, why not also learn a little self-defence and grapple some good-looking guys while doing so?

Alex van Doorn and Marcus Jones