Training in a Pandemic

October 4, 2020

It’s time to dip our toes into the world of judo training in the middle of a pandemic.

To explain how this will work, we are having a ‘welcome to Judo’ online meeting over Microsoft Teams on Monday, 5th of October at 15:00. This meeting is open to all University of Southampton students, and you are free to ask whatever questions you have about the sport and our return to training. We’re open to all who are interested, regardless of your experience level.

We will post an update here and on Facebook after the meeting so that people who missed it, as well us our many friends from outside of the university can get the details on our club’s return to activity.

The link for the meeting is :

We hope to see many of you (digitally) on Monday!

Another year is on us!

September 14, 2019

All of a sudden, the new year is on us and we are busy making final preparations for the new term and the bunfight. We’re looking forward to encouraging lots of fresh new faces to come along and check out judo.

Why not take a look around our website at or say hello on our Facebook page at “Southampton University Judo Club”

We hope to see you at the bunfight or a training session

Welcome to the start of the year

September 28, 2017

Its the start of another academic year and we are looking forward to meeting lots of new club members.

If you want to find out more about judo, come along to our taster session on Sunday October 1st and see what we get up to, You can even get on the mat and have a go.

If you are not able to make the taster session, just come on down to one of our sessions in the first week of term. Our Tuesday sessoin at 8pm is for people with prior experience while the Thursday session at 6pm is a beginners session with no prior experience required.

All of our sessions take place in the Martial Arts room on level 1 of the Students Union

See you there!

BUCS Judo Championships 2017

February 25, 2017

One week on from the trip to Warwick, it was time for the rather more serious proposition of the BUCS Judo championships. This is the biggest judo event for UK universities and colleges, and attracts a wide range of abilities from those starting out in judo, through national squad players, up to the highest level with Emmanuel Nartey who competed at the London Olympics for Ghana and is currently studying at the University of East London taking part as the defending champion at U73kg.

The event is split into two tiers – a championship for Kyu grades (coloured belts) and the marquee Dan grade event for brown and black belt players. We had just one player in the Dan grade category with Edgar Polovinkins at U81Kg and 3 players entered in the Kyu grade event – Sarah Wilmore at U52kg, Daulet Illyasso at U81kg and Callum Rollo at U90kg.

The event is held at part of the larger BUCS Championship weekend in Sheffield so on Friday afternoon we headed out into the weekend traffic to wind our way up to the weigh in. After a rather tedious time in M1 traffic we made the weigh in in good time, licenses had been renewed along the way (!), and all players made their weight with no need for any last minute drastic efforts to save a few grams.

All that was left was to find our way to our slightly eery motel style accommodation, fill up on pasta and get an early-ish night.

Individual Championship

Day 1 of the event is the individual championship and with 2 parallel competitions across all weights, the timetable was packed and we had players scheduled to compete from the beginning of the day through to the very end.

Judo events typically run in the same way as the football world championships – a group/pool stage where all concerned compete with the other pool members to earn entry into the knockout stage. Contests are schedule for 4 to 5 minutes depending on level but an outright win (ippon) can come at any time from a clean throw, a 20 second hold down, or a submission.


Edgar throws for ippon with harai goshi

First out to get things started was Edgar who was in a pool of 3 players, and he immediately showed his class with his first contest over in 7 seconds with a very nice harai goshi in the middle of the mat. His second contest was over even faster as he threw his opponent for ippon with seoi nage in just 5 seconds. That put him nicely through to the knockout stage in the afternoon.

Next out was Daulet who had a pool of 4 players. Like Edgar he was clearly in no mood to spend too much time fighting and his first contest was over and done with in 8 seconds with a powerful tai otoshi throw. His second contest took a little longer but was still a convincing win scoring first with tai otoshi again, before then scoring ippon with his favourite ura nage pickup. His final contest returned to efficiency, throwing again with tai otoshi for a waza-ari score and finishing off with an armlock to gain a submission, finishing the contest in 17 seconds. That put Daulet into the knockout stage as well having won his pool convincingly.


Daulet throws for waza-ari with tai otoshi before finishing the contest with an armlock


Things got more hectic as we moved into the afternoon. First we had Callum in the U90kg pool stage. With a pool of 3 players to compete with and he was able to win both his contests convincingly, first with a hold and then with a nicely executed sumi gaeshi sacrifice throw.


Callum, holding for ippon

Next we had Edgar returning for the knockout stage in the U81kg category. Having made the pool look easy, we knew the knockout would be a different proposition with the middle weights always being packed with good quality players. A relatively comfortable win against a “home” Sheffield player in the first round set him up with a quarter final against Gytis Jucikas from Nottingham University. This turned into a battle of wills with each player scoring multiple times with the lowest yuko score and conceding penalties for technical infringements of the contest rules. After 5 minutes of tense competition the contest went to Gytis with 4 yukos to Edgar’s 3. Unfortunately, perhaps partly due to fatigue from the quarter final, Gytis was thrown for ippon in the semi final which meant Edgar was not given the chance to compete for bronze via the repechage.

The last player to get started for the day was Sarah. With a smaller entry for the lighter women’s weight groups Sarah was competing in a combined U48kg/U52kg category as in the previous week’s competition at Warwick. Some strong players were present in the U52kg sub section and unfortunately Sarah wasn’t able to follow up the Warwick gold with a BUCS medal.

Next to return for the knockout was Daulet. With a bye in the first round, he entered the competition in the round of 16 and this time won with a choke on his opponent from Oxford. That set up a quarter final with a russian player, Dmitry Nikonov, from Loughborough; this turned out to be the toughest contest of the day and Dmitry showed that he was very keen not to be caught by Daulet’s big throws with some very strong defense. Eventually he wore Daulet down and was able to pin him in a hold down to move onto the semi final. Fortunately a rapid win in the semi final for Dmity meant that Daulet would return in the repechage to compete for a bronze medal.

In the repechage things returned to fast and efficient work and in the first round Daulet produced another armlock in under 20 seconds to setup a bronze medal fight against Edmund Richens from Anglia Ruskin. Once again the tai otoshi throw was brought out and the bronze medal secured in just 15 seconds.


Winning the bronze medal in style

Final contests for the day for our team was Callum in the U90kg knockout. His first contest in the quarter final stage was another quick encounter with his opponent thrown in 9 seconds with o uchi gari. The semi final was a more cagey affair against a lively player from the strong looking Durham team. Playing things carefully, Callum was able to throw twice for waza-ari and moved into the final.

His opponent in the final, Cian Grace from Leeds, had looked good in earlier contests with some very clean throws so we knew this was going to be a difficult proposition. That proved to be the case and a nicely timed throw caught Callum out, but left him a very worthy winner of the silver medal.


Bronze for Daulet (right)


Silver for Callum (left)

After collecting our rewards for the day is was back to the hotel for some recovery before returning on Sunday for the team competition.

Team Competition

The Sunday at BUCS is a team judo competition. Players are organised by weight and institution teams compete for the highly regarded trophies, in particular the Yukio Tani vase awarded to the winning men’s team.

While we have had some success in the competition in the past, this time we knew we were going to need an awful lot of luck to make it very far – a team of only 3 men where up to 5 are allowed meant that we could not lose any contests! Unfortunately the draw was not kind to us with Bath, Nottingham and Wolverhampton in our pool. Seeing Bath in the pool is always challenging but the seeded team was Nottingham who were medallists from the previous year. As it turned out, Wolverhampton were also a force to be reckoned with.

It was an uphill battle. After a losing convincingly to Wolverhampton, Edgar and Callum ensured we did not go home without victories in our matches with Nottingham and Bath, but ultimately the pool was won by Wolverhampton with Nottingham second, and they went on to take gold and bronze medals respectively in the knockout. Wolverhampton completed a successful day by also winning the women’s team competition.

After 2 hard days of judo, it was a slightly smoother drive back south, some people happy to have come home with medals and others with a clearer idea of the level of competition to prepare for in coming years.

Well done to all who took part, and big thanks to Sarah who took on the bulk of the organisational duties.

Warwick University Competition 2017

February 12, 2017

This weekend we took a trip to the midlands to take part in Warwick University Judo Club’s annual competition. It’s a small and friendly event with a good split of categories to provide anyone with a great opportunity to compete, and this year we had a mix of players getting their first competitive experience, some stepping up to a bigger competition, and others looking for a nice warmup ahead of the university championships next weekend.

First onto the mat once things got started were Sarah, Anastasija and Jade. Fighting in a pool of 4 in the o70kg category, Jade put on a very impressive performance for her first competition with a confident and attacking approach that took her to 3 wins and a conclusive gold medal.

img_7246Sarah was competing in a combined u48/u52kg group that meant a pool of 5 players. Despite losing her first contest, she was able to turn up the pressure in subsequent fights to score ippon wins on the ground and with powerful counter techniques. As an added bonus, a 3 way tie at the end of the group contests meant she had an extra 2 fights to decide the final ranking. After 6 fights with 4 wins she was 2nd overall and first of the u52kg players.

Anastasija was fighting in the u57kg category and again there was a single pool with 5 competitors. Despite being the lowest graded player in the group with just a few months of experience she fought very hard and took a very well earned win with 2 waza-ari throws to finish 4th in the group to take the second bronze medal.

As the girls were finishing their competition our entries to the male individual competition were taking to the mat. We had 2 players in this category for orange belt and below, Joe stepping up from his previous experience of local team competitions and Marc taking part in his first competition after a few months of experience.

img_7267Joe put on a very strong performance in the u81kg category in a pool of 5 with some confident wins but unfortunately he had drawn a very strong pool which was won by the players that would ultimately take the gold and silver medals so he was not able to proceed into the knockout stage.

Fighting at u90kg, and despite a niggling neck injury from a training session in the week, Marc won 2 out of 3 contests in his pool of 4 with very nice ashi-waza and kaeshi-waza techniques to proceed into the quarter final of the knockout. Despite a confident start in the contest his very tall opponent presented a difficult challenge and eventually caught Marc with a well timed foot sweep to put Marc out of the competition with a final 5th place position.

Once the individual contests were complete, the mens team competitions took to the mat, where we fielded an intermediate grade team with Joe, Callum and Daulet joined by Nathan Coles guesting with us at the u73kg slot. With the 6 teams (we were joined by 2 Warwick teams, and teams from Sheffield University, Bangor University and Samurai JC) set to compete in a single pool the scene was set for a busy afternoon.

Our first match was against Warwick 2 and with confident fighting from all players we took the win and progressed on to our second match with Bangor. They turned out to be the strongest team of the day and despite some spirited fighting we were unable to come out in front in this match. Bangor would go on to win all their matches to take a well earned gold medal position.
img_7286We won both of our next matches against Warwick 1 and Sheffield setting up a contest with Samurai that would decide the silver and bronze medal positions for the day. Again everyone fought with impressive energy after a long afternoon, in particular Joe put on a strong performance to try and even up the scores as 4th man but Samurai were able to edge us out and the final result was gold for Bangor, silver to Samurai and bronze for us.


Throughout the competition all our players fought very positively and everyone had some good results to feel good about and things that they can take away to work on. Aside from medal results, kudos goes to Joe who over the course of individual and team competitions had 9 hard contests and Daulet who won all his fights in the team competition with strong ippon victories.

Next stop is BUCS in Sheffield next weekend with the signs looking positive for some more success.

A few more photos on Flickr here –

London Universities Open – 2016

November 14, 2016

It was time to get some competitive judo underway for the new academic year today, with a small but strong team off to the London Universities Open at the University of East London SportsDock. Having been running for a few years now, this competition has gone from strength to strength to become a highlight of university judo.

First on the mat today was first year student Edgar Polovinkins making his first appearance as a Southampton University player but with a solid track record as a junior player. Fighting in the junior U81 category there was a fairly straightforward first round contest and then things steadily got more serious with a number of international players present in the group. A gripping oriented semi final against a Luxembourg player led to a final against a strong player from Strathclyde. Unfortunately a strong reverse seoi nage technique provide tricky to avoid and Edgar had to settle for silver.

Edgar throwing for Ippon in the semi final

Next in action was Alexandry Augustin, making his first competitive outing for some years. A strong run of contests with some determined defense saw Alex make his way to the semi final in the Kyu grade U81 category before dropping to the bronze medal final. Unfortunately fatigue started to become a factor and Alex was caught out with a strong foot sweep from his fast starting opponent to finish the day in 5th position.

Alex in action

Having done a fine job of organizing our attendance at the event, Callum was next up, having the experience of fighting up in the U90 weight group and against higher graded opposition. Losing his first contest to a strong player from Oxford University, Callum fought back in the repechage to make his way to the bronze medal contest. Unfortunately he again found himself facing his first round opposition from Oxford and was not able to turn the previous result around so also ended the day in 5th place.

Final group of the day for us was the senior U81 category with Marc Morris and a second appearance from Edgar. Unfortunately Marc injured his shoulder when thrown in his first round contest and had to withdraw but once again Edgar pushed strongly through the knockout to the final. Once again he faced the Strathclyde player and could not change the earlier result and came out with his second silver medal of the day.

Edgar collecting his first silver medal

A great day of judo with strong performances for everyone. Great to come away with some good results but just as importantly everyone knows what they need to work on in the next few months before the University championships in February.

Today's medal haul

Getting started with Judo

September 30, 2016

It was great to meet so many new students at the Bunfight on Wednesday. This post is just to give you some basic info on how the club works and how you can get involved.

General Info

You can find out all about the club on our website: and you can keep in touch by joining our Facebook group:

Your first few sessions with the club are totally free, but if you decide you like judo, you’ll need to become a member. Standard membership is just £30 per year. You will also need a judo suit and insurance once you decide to stick around; students who are beginners to judo can get a promotional package with membership of British Judo, a judo suit, and a free grading for just £20. Since we train in a Sports and Wellbeing facility, you will also need to have Sports and Wellbeing membership. We’ll explain all of this in more detail at the taster session.

Taster Session

We’re running a taster session this Sunday (the 2nd October) at 4pm. It will be taking place in the Martial Arts Room, which is on the bottom floor of the students union. Just show up in loose fitting sports clothes, and don’t worry about what kind of footwear to bring, because we train barefoot. We assume absolutely no knowledge, so absolutely everyone is welcome.

The session will probably last about an hour, it will start with a demo by some of our current members. Then, you’ll get a chance to give it a go yourselves.

Beginner’s Course

Our beginner’s course starts next Thursday (the 6th October) from 6-8pm (in the Martial Arts Room). Again, loose fitting sports clothes will do the job – we have a stock of clean jackets to loan out. Don’t worry if you missed the taster session, we’ll be teaching from scratch. We’ll start by teaching you to fall over safely, without hurting yourself (a skill every fresher should have), and then we’ll start working towards the criteria for your first belt. If you come to most of the Thursday sessions this term, we are confident you’ll be taking your first grading in December and tying on a shiny red belt by the end of term.

Folks with previous Judo experience

Our first training session of the year will be Tuesday from 8-9:30pm (Martial Arts Room). If you’ve got your judogi with you, you’re welcome to swing by and get a training session in. Our third weekly session is on Sunday from 5-7pm (again, in the Martial Arts Room).

Oh, and here’s a cool Judo video to keep you going until Sunday

Any questions, you can reach us on our Facebook page.

Hope to see you all on the mat soon.

Judo Treasurer

Another new year!

September 30, 2016

The summer seems to have gone by in a flash and its time to welcome old friends and new faces back to judo!

If you are returning for another year, our times remain the same as last year. See the details on the club website –

The first session for this academic year will be on Tuesday October 4 at 8pm. But we are running are usual taster session for new members on Sunday October 2 at 4pm so if you can join us in showing people what we get up to that will be much appreciated.

If you are new to Southampton and interested in Judo then we would be delighted to see you at one of our sessions whether you have some previous experience or are a complete beginner. We had a lot of interest at the bunfight on Wednesday so are hoping for a great year. On Sunday October 2nd at 4pm we will run a taster session to give you a flavour of Judo and we would love to see you there. If you are unable to make that session for any reason, don’t worry just come along to a session and join in – we let everyone take a couple of sessions for free to see if you enjoy Judo.

All sessions are in the Martial Arts Suite on level 1 of the Students Union building – follow the signs along the corridor. Beginners should come along to the Thursday session at 6pm, anyone with some previous experience should aim for Tuesdays at 8pm and Sunday at 5pm.

Looking forward to meeting some new faces!

Hampshire Team League – Round 2

February 7, 2016

After a break over Christmas it was time for round 2 of the 2015/2016 Hampshire Team League. Having had a team of relatively experienced players for the first round, this time we were all about gaining experience for some of our newest club members. With 4 players along, we teamed up with Fleming Park’s sole representative to create a full 5 person team. This time there were 5 teams in total – Southampton Solent, Priory, Matstumachi and a mixed team in addition to us.

Our first match was yet another local university derby with the Southampton Solent team, which went to a 2-2 draw with a bye in our favour in the last contest giving us the overall win. The second match against Matsumachi followed a similar pattern to give us 2 wins.

Following matches against Priory and the mixed team were tougher propositions that prevented us taking further wins but winning 2 matches out of 4 left us in 3rd place overall. The best part of the afternoon as a spectator was seeing great effort put in by everyone; in particular Jayko and Joe in their first ever competition showed progression in their approach throughout the afternoon and attracted complimentary words from much more experience players.

We’ll be back for more at the next round on March 6




Hampshire Team League – Round 1

December 6, 2015

After a bit of a rest, the Hampshire Team Series returned today with round 1 held in a new location at Fleming Park instead of the usual spot in St Marys.

It looks like some gentle pushing of the event on Facebook had helped with a good turn out for the “regular” teams (Southampton University, Southampton City, Fleming Park, Priory and Summit) and first appearances from Winchester University and Matsumachi. With Priory fielding 2 teams I think this was the first time we had to split the entry into pools. We were drawn in a pool with Matsumachi, Southampton City, and Summit with the other pool made up of the 2 Priory teams, Winchester University and Fleming Park.


We kicked off with a 3 – 1 victory over Southampton City, with some nicely performed techniques from all concerned. We followed up with a 4-1 victory over Matsumachi and 3-1 win against Summit to finish up the winner of our pool with Southampton City in 2nd place. In the other pool the 2 Priory teams came out on top.


Having got fully into their stride, the team took a convincing victory against Priory 2 in the semi final including a nice ippon hold for James who was mixing it with the heavyweights while still recovering from a nasty cold.

IMG_6767Priory 1 took the other semi final ahead of Southampton City, setting up a Southampton University vs Priory 1 final. As both the teams have previously won the series, it was always going to be a close match.

Matthias and his opposite number kicked things off and immediately showed how the match was going to go, as both players put yuko and waza-ari scores on the board. Eventually however Priory were the first to convert the scores to ippon and took a 1-0 lead. Not happy with that, Ignas went out and very purposefully equaled things up scoring ippon in a few seconds with a nice clean sumi-gaeshi.

With the score even at 1-1, Andre was up and shrugging off an ankle injury from the semi final he found himself in another close match but persevered to take an early waza-ari lead. The contest continued in a very close manner with both players trying everything but struggling to score. Unfortunately a committed uchi mata attempt from Andre was judged to have been a dangerous head dive and he was disqualified leaving Priory leading 2-1.

That left James in the position he had feared as he faced his strongest opposition of the day. He got stuck in however and we were shouting huge encouragement as he countered a weak attack with a hold. Unfortunately the Priory player proved too strong, escaping and setting up a strong ippon throw to give Priory the victory for the first round of the series.

Final results :

  1. Priory 1
  2. Southampton University
  3. Southampton City/Priory 2

Well done to Matthias, Ignas, Andre and James for a great display of judo, and big thanks to the support of the other teams and officials for making it a good afternoon’s entertainment for everyone.

We will be losing some players before the next round in February so if you fancy a fun introduction to judo competition, watch this space!