I want to join. What do I need to do?

New enrollments will now be accepted on the first Tuesday and Friday quarterly only.

Tuesday: Orientation will cover all paperwork, fitting of uniform, and help answer any questions.

Friday: First practice on the mat. Please arrive before 7pm.

All new students must wait to start with the new class and then join the rest of the group when the instructor feels it is appropriate. Each student will be required to learn and pass all instructions for beginners. (ie. tying your belt, manners, judo terms, dojo rules, exercises, ukemi (falling) and basic throwing forms). Each beginning class will last approximately 3-4 weeks depending on instructor.

Next Enrollment: ;  March 31, June 30, October 6.

What are attendance guidelines?

All classes begin promptly at 7pm. It is the students’ responsibility to check-in with the “Attendance Officer” prior to the start of class. Also, student must be on the mat participating to be counted. A parent or responsible person should remain at the club (Dojo) during class for students who are minors.

What is expected of me as a parent?

Parents play a vital role in the improvement and performance of your kids. Parents should promote physical conditioning at home and limit “dead time” such as television, videos games, etc. Parents should maintain a healthy nutritional environment for their kids. Please watch your kids’ diet as they will have a harder time in judo should they be out-of-shape. Parents are also required to participate in all fundraisers for Norwalk Judo Dojo (ie. Summer Obon Carnival, Pancake Breakfast (fall), mochi-tsuki, etc.).
Keep in mind that ALL INSTRUCTORS are here on a voluntary basis teaching your kids and thus is not a babysitting service. This is really a team effort and would require everyone’s participation.

How are promotions to higher ranks determined?

All novice students will start as a white belt. Upon successful completion of the requirements, attitude, attendance, and tournament record, promotions will be awarded by the head instructor (Fukuma-sensei). Future promotions are based on time-in-grade and technical knowledge. Time-in-grade between promotions can be reduced based on competition points earned. Technical proficiency is based on the student demonstrating his or her ability to perform techniques. All promotions are subject to the sensei’s judgment as to the judoka’s ability to enter a higher rank.

Judo ranking go as follows:

Yonen (12 and under): white, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple.
When you turn 13 (shonen), you will go down 2 colored belts.

Shonen (13-17): white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and possibly black.

Seinen (17 and up): white, green, brown, and black. Of course, skipping belt ranks do happen and is up to the head instructor.

Brown & Black belts: There are 3 ranks within brown belts. From lowest to highest, 3rd tier (san-kyu), 2nd tier (ni-kyu), and 1st tier (ik-kyu). You must earn 12 tournament points at each level to get promoted to the next rank.

Once you earn black belt status, the ranks go as follows. 1st degree (sho-dan), 2nd degree (ni-dan, 3rd degree (san-dan), 4th degree (yon-dan), 5th degree (go-dan), and so on.

How do you determine technical knowledge?

Periodically (as needed) students will be tested and must demonstrate the techniques required for the next belt ranking. There will be training for students preparing for the test. However, it is the responsibility of the student to learn the techniques as instructed by the instructors.

What should I expect at a tournament (shiai)?

Generally, tournament registration forms can be found on the Nanka website or our website. Pre-registering will usually save you some money. Tournament fees can vary but generally are between $20 to $50 per tournament. If you are interested in competing, please talk to any instructor about details. All tournaments are on our website.

Tournaments vary in style but generally are arranged by age and weight class. Novice tournaments are strongly encouraged for all beginners. Tournaments (shiai) are a great way to test your skill with other students from other clubs (dojo). Your uniform (judo-gi) must be at proper length and must not have any holes. Instructors will coach the students at the tournaments. Once at a high level, students are encouraged to compete in “state”, “national” and even “international” level tournaments.

How are competition points earned?

Points are earned for entering outside tournaments (shiai). A good record will result in quicker promotions. Once a brown belt, it is the responsibility of the student to keep their own win/loss records for promotions. For every 12 points, you will be promoted to the next rank. Please talk to any instructor (sensei) for further details.


  1. We encourage diets strong in “protein” for recovery and “carbohydrates” for energy throughout the year. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of nutrients.
  2. Bananas are great to prevent cramping in the muscles.
  3. The week of a tournament is the time to load up on carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, etc.

Physical Fitness:

  1. Every student should maintain a healthy weight throughout the year. If you are overweight, get on a weight loss program and reduce your weight to a healthy recommended weight.
  2. Yonen (12 and under): 25+ push-ups a day; 25+ sit-ups a day; run and play outside at least an hour a day; stretching exercises everyday
  3. Shonen (13-16): 50+ push-ups a day; 50+ sit-ups a day; Cardio exercises; stretching exercises everyday
  4. Seinen (17 and over): 50+ push-ups a day; 50+ sit-ups a day; Cardio exercises; stretching exercises everyday
  5. Limit tv/computer time; try to walk/run everyday. Consistency is important.
  6. We encourage a strong balance in life. Balancing your time is life’s greatest challenge and learning to use your time effectively will become a great asset.

Recommendations before, during and after judo practice.


  1. Do not eat after 6PM. Give enough time to digest your food.
  2. Make sure students go to the restroom before (not during) practice.
  3. Fingernails and toenails should be neatly trimmed. Long nails may chip or break during practice.
  4. Be on the mat before 7pm. Being late only inhibits proper warm-ups and exercises to prevent injury.
  5. Uniforms (judo-gi) should be clean and fit properly. If your judo-gi is torn or have holes, it must be repaired prior to practice.
  6. All students (seito) must wear slippers or shoes to practice. Absolutely, no bare feet off the mats.
  7. Girls/women must wear a t-shirt under the gi. Boys/men are not allowed to wear t-shirts unless given permission by an instructor (sensei).
  8. No jewelry or metal of any kind should be worn during practice. (ie. ear rings, necklaces, rings, etc)
  9. Wearing pads or braces (ie. knee pads, knee braces) are permitted to wear but no metal shall be exposed from the braces.
  10. In consideration of the other members, please stay home and rest if the student is ill. If your child has any infectious disease (ie. chicken pox, ringworm, flu, etc), your child must be cured before coming back to practice.
  11. If your child is injured, we strongly recommend rest until he/she feels ready to practice again.
  12. Please be sure your kids are hydrated coming to practice, but not overly hydrated.


  1. No horseplay on the mat during practice time. “Fooling around” is the biggest reason why kids get hurt.
  2. Any discipline can and will be enforced by any instructor (sensei).
  3. The kids may bring water to practice as they WILL get thirsty. Water breaks are given during practice.
  4. Parents are always encouraged to watch their children during practice, but not intervene.
  5. The Japanese cultural aspect is heavily emphasized in our club (dojo). Any disrespect to any other student or instructor (sensei) will result in discipline by ANY INSTRUCTOR.
  6. If bleeding occurs during practice, the student needs to be removed from practice until bleeding stops.
  7. Injuries CAN occur in judo. It is up to the student to continue practicing after any injury. Any instructor (sensei) reserves the right to pull a student out of practice if they think the injury is serious.


  1. Please wash your uniform (judo-gi) AFTER EVERY PRACTICE. DO NOT put “judo-gi” in the dryer; always “air” dry your judo-gi to prevent shrinkage. Please abide by sanitary practices for the sake of others.
  2. Parents are encouraged to stay and talk to the instructors about any concerns of their children.
  3. We strongly encourage all students to run, stretch and exercise EVERYDAY to maintain optimum conditioning.
  4. All parents are required to participate in refreshments. Please talk to Jim Glick about further details.
  5. Parents should be aware of future tournaments and encourage their children to compete in tournaments.
  6. All students should be taught by parents to bow to the instructors as a sign of respect.

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