top of page



The Sobell Judo Club London runs comprehensive beginners induction sessions to ensure that each and every newcomer to judo gets off to the best possible start. The sessions run once a month at our London dojo, and take place over two consecutive Wednesdays in conjunction to the regular class. If you have never practiced judo then you are required to take part in an induction before you join the main class. To book a session please visit our induction course time table

PLEASE NOTE: All new students (those who have never done judo before) are required to complete their full induction (2x Sessions for Seniors, 3x Sessions for Juniors) in order to join the main class.

  • How do I join your club?
    If you are an existing judoka you can attend any session for your age group. If you are new to judo, you will be required to do a beginners induction which you can book here
  • Do I have to do a beginners induction?
    If you have never practiced judo before you will be required to do a beginners induction before joining the main class. The beginners induction ensures you learn every foundation skills required to get started in judo such as how to fall properly, the correct etiquette in the dojo as well as a basic throw and hold down. You can find our more about our beginners induction page (Menu > Training > Join us).
  • I have already done judo, do I still need an induction?"
    Maybe. This depends on whether you already practice judo or whether you have had a break from judo. If you already a regular practitioner then you will not need one and you can attend any training session. If you have had a break from judo then we may ask you to participate in an induction to refresh your memory. This will also depend on what grade you are (a black belt will recall techniques much quicker than a yellow belt would). Please contact us and let us know how long you have been away from judo and what grade you hold and we will be able to advise you further.
  • I do BJJ. Do I still need an induction?
    Yes. Although BJJ and Judo are extremely similar, our experience has shown us that not many BJJ schools teach proper breakfalls due to their focus on groundwork. Therefore you will still be required to do a beginners induction to ensure you can participate in judo in the safest possible way. If it become apparent that your breakfalls are correct, then you may be invited to join the main class after your first induction session. However, this will be decided by the instructor leading the induction.
  • I have done another martial art. Do I still need an induction?
    Yes. We still need to ensure you understand the basic principles of judo such as breaking the balance and how to fall properly.
  • Are there any age restrictions on joining?
    We take on new students from the age of 7 years old. For adults the age cap depends on the individual: If a person does not have any experience in combat martial arts, or has not trained in combat martial arts since their childhood then we advise that after the age of 55 judo at the Sobell is not for them. This is because of the extremely high impact nature of judo which is very hard on the body. We have found that untrained older students often have an extremely hard time keeping up with the training and often withdraw from the class after a short period due to the stress it causes on the body. This is heightened by the fact that we have a very young and competitive senior class. In these cases, we advise that martial arts such as Karate or BJJ might be better suited as they require less impact on the body, or finding a judo club with a higher age demographic where things can be taken more slowly. If an older student has previous experience in Judo, Wrestling, Sambo or something similar and has trained this martial art throughout their adult life then we are happy to bring them in to the class.
  • Do I have to pay membership fees?
    Not for the judo club. You will only be required to pay a mat fee each time you practice. However, a legal requirement for judo in the UK is membership to a federation/governing body who will insure you for judo training (think of it like car insurance) as well as certify your judo grades. After your beginners induction, you will be required to obtain insurance in order to continue practicing judo. We can proccess this insurance for you at the vlub via our governing body, JFAUK. The cost is £45 for initial registration and then £35 for renewals each year.
  • What federation are you part of?
    We are members of Judo for All UK, and the World Judo Federation. You find out more at
  • Where and when do you practice?
    We train Mondays and Wednesdays at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Finsbury Park. You can view our full training schedule here.
  • Myself / My child has a disability. Can I / they still do judo?
    We believe that everyody has the right to practice judo and threfore assess each disability on a case by case basis. We currently have a number of judoka practising at the Sobell Judo Club who have a disability, including one student who although has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, has gone on to achieve his black belt and win a European Championship. However, we understand that each disability is unique and therefore have to make our decision based on each indivdual. Please contact us describing the disability and we can advise you further. Please be aware that we reserve the right to refuse membership to the Sobell Judo Club if we feel that participation in Judo will be dangerous for yourself / your child / other students.
  • Do you do groundwork (ne-waza)?
    Yes! Lots of it! As a member of JFAUK and the WJF, our ruleset strongly emphasises ne-waza, so you will learn just as much groundowrk as you will learn stand up!
  • Can we do leg grabs?
    Yes! As a member of JFAUK and the WJF our rulset allows traditional techniques including leg grabs!
  • Why do I have to wear a white judogi?
    We only allow white judogi as we are member of JFAUK and the WJF. White judogi is the traditional judo uniform (blue judogi was invented for media audiences), a white judogi shows dirt more easily ensuring students are more strict with personal hygiene and by placing all students in the same coloured judogi we reinforce equality between all in the dojo.
  • Do you go to competitions?
    Yes! Our govenring body, JFAUK hosts many competitions throughout the year. Additionally we attend various open competitions organised by other governing bodies. Additionally, our affiliation with the WJF and our wider international network means we have a host of international competitive opportunities available to our students.
  • Does judo hurt?
    According to the American College of Spotrs Medicine, Judo is the safest contact sport for children under the age of 13. Each student who joins the Sobell Judo Club will have the safest possible induction into judo as they will be required to complete a beginners induction course which will show them how to fall properly, ensuring they do not get hurt whilst being thrown. However, as a high impact marial art, there will be times when judo will be strenuous on the body, and there will always be the risk of injury.
  • Does judo work for self defense?
    Yes! Judo is one of the best martial arts for self defense due to its emphasis on realistic sparring (known as randori). Judo will show you how to take down an attacker and give you a great understanding of how to subdue an attacker on the ground. However, as we do not run self defense classes at the Sobell Judo Club, your classes here should not be used as your sole self defense practice and should instead be used to compliment external self defense practice taken at structured self defense classes.
  • Does judo work in MMA?
    Yes! Extremely well. Judo is a superb way to develop takedowns and ground work. Although BJJ is seen as the grappling art of MMA, many people do not know that BJJ actually comes from judo, and all of the techniques Royce Gracie used to win the first ever UFC Championship were actually judo techniques! Additionally at the Sobell Judo Club, we practice leg grabs and a 50/50 split between standing and grounwork, meaning we are one of the only judo clubs in London which practice a style that is extremely beneficial to all aspiring MMA athletes. Some notable judoka who have copeted in MMA are: Fedor Emelianenko, Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey, Rick Hawn, Karo Parisyan, Hector Lombard, Kayla Harrison, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Satoshi Ishii and many more!
  • Due to my religious beliefs I cannot bow to other people. Can I still practice judo?
    Yes! We understand that many religious beliefs restrict bowing. Therefore, we offer a comprimise which is accepted by the many religous judoka in our club (and by judoka around the world) whereby rather than bowing, we simply ask that you to nod your head to show respect to your fellow judoka. We ask that this is still maintained as within the club. Within judo there are many traditions and formalities. The bow (or nod) is performed as a sign of respect to one another and is a long standing and integral part of the martial art. These traditions form a platform of equality and allow students from many different origins and background to all practice in a place of mutual respect and mutual benefit. In the same way people shake hands, judoka bow (or nod) to one another to show respect and show that they are equal. Refusing to respect one another rejects all principles of equality and rejects the judo moral code.

Get a head start and watch our head instructors videos which show how to break fall and how to break someones balance. These are the two key skills you will learn at the induction before you begin throwing!

induction timetable
No upcoming events at the moment

Please note: All inductions are non-refundable.

bottom of page