Kenji (Youth 6-13)

Kenji – Ages 6-12

Kenji can be translated as “Stalwart Youth”.  This is our main youth program which begins moving kids toward more specific martial skills while incorporating a stronger component of leadership and life skills. Older students and those displaying the maturity and readiness required may also be invited to join the Juudai (teen) or adult classes.Beginners Learning O Soto Gari

The Kenji class begins by teaching Kodokan, Olympic sport judo.  This is made up of primarily throwing and grappling techniques. As students progress and demonstrate more discipline and self control, the class involves a stronger jujutsu component including: blocking, striking, and aiki-based throwing techniques.

Kenji may also choose to be involved in judo competition or tournaments.  This is a great option for those kids also involved in wrestling who are looking for a similar off-season sport.  Many universities and colleges have judo teams and scholarships available as well.

These classes like the Takenoko classes run in 10 week sessions with short breaks in between.  During the longer summer and winter holiday beaks, there are usually short term camps and seminars to allow the Kenji to focus on those specific skills in which they have the most interested.Erin and Matthew learning Ogoshi

Testing, demonstrations, and promotions are held at the end of sessions and occasionally mid session if students are progressing quickly.  There are no testing fees, though parents may have to buy occasional colored belts.

Life skills and Leadership training are built into the Kenji Matthew - Kesa Gatameprogram in the form of projects and mat chats. We strive to help our students become the best people they can be and succeed in all of their endeavors, especially school.  We firmly believe judo and martial arts in general are for the improvement of mind, body, and spirit – not just for competition, sport, or physical self-protection.  We want our students to take these life lessons out of the dojo and into the world.  For more information on this program check out Leadership.

These are some of our beginners demonstrating for parents and visitors.

(Most pictures by Erin Hamerdinger, December 2011.)

Kenji Students


Competition – Kodokan/Olympic Judo

Kenji who reach orange belt, along with adult and teens students with rank can join the competition class.  This class spends only half of their time learning new skills (throws and pins) and the other half training for competition – either shiai or kata.  No self-defense here. this group is focused competitors.

Students choosing to be active in competition will also need to register with one of the national judo (USJF) or sports (AAU) organizations in order to be able to compete at tournaments.

Sorry – Beginners can’t join, you need some basic skills first, but once you have them, you can train in competition, Self-defense/jujutsu, or both.

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