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Club Rules

  • White judogi only. We do not allow any other colour of judogi at the club.

  • No barefoot off the tatami. When walking from the changing rooms to the dojo, you must wear shoes or flip flops. Equally, shoes/flip flops must be worn from the waiting area to the tatami. If you are found to be walking around barefoot off the tatami you will be asked to sanitise your feet. This is to ensure the tatami remains clean and infections such as staph are prevented.

  • All students must book in with an instructor before stepping on the tatami.

  • Any students who are late must wait at the side of the tatami and wait for an instructor to let them on.​

  • Instructors maintain the right to withdraw any student from the class/club at any given time if the student is found to be disruptive, dangerous, unsportsmanlike or any other reason that may be unconstructive to themselves/the wider class.​ The reasoning for withdrawal is up to the instructor's discretion.

  • No photographs or videos are to be taken in the dojo by anyone else but instructors or those who have been asked to do by the club instructors. This is to ensure that students who do not wish to be included in photographs can maintain their privacy.

  • By participating in the class/club events students agree that they are happy to be included in any photographs/videos for social media/promotional purposes. If any student does not want to be included in any photographs or videos, they must make this clear to instructors in the session / ensure they do their best to stay out of frame. Students who do not wish to be included in videos/photographs must also formally tell the club via email.

  • Judoka who are legally male must not wear a rashguard or t-shirt underneath their judogi. The only exception is if the judoka has a medical reason requiring a rashguard/t-shirt. If so, the judoka must make the instructors aware of this. 

  • Judoka who are legally female must wear a white rashguard or t-shirt underneath their judogi. 

  • Non-binary judoka or judoka in-transition must wear a white rashguard or t-shirt underneath their judogi. (We have consulted with members of the LGBTQIA+ community in order to establish these rules. However, we are always open to learning more about how these rules could be improved. If you have suggestions, please contact us)

  • The above rashguard rules are based on the traditional judo standard established by the Kodokan in 1882. This is also the competition standard for all major judo competitions such as the World Championships and Olympic games. Therefore, they must be maintained. ​

  • All students are required to bow when entering the dojo and before stepping on/off the tatami. This is a long-standing tradition in judo which we keep alive at our club.

  • Students must also bow to one another before and after engaging in the practice.

  • If your religious beliefs do not allow you to bow to other people, we offer a compromise which is accepted by the many religious judoka in our club (and by judoka around the world) whereby rather than bowing, we simply ask that you nod your head to show respect to your fellow judoka. We require this to be maintained 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 our martial art. These traditions form a platform of equality and allow students from many different origins and backgrounds to all practice in a place of mutual respect and mutual benefit. In the same way that people shake hands when meeting one another, 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. If a student refuses to accept this compromise they may be withdrawn from practice.

  • If your religion prohibits you from engaging in physical contact with members of the opposite sex, you must let our instructors know so that we can be aware of your situation in order to prevent accidentally pairing you up with a member of the opposite sex. 

  • If you are unwell for any reason such as a cough, cold or anything that might be considered to be transmissible, you must stay home until you recover. Training with illness is not 'tough'. It is selfish as you will pass your illness onto others and prevent them from training.


  • Before each session every student/parent/carer/spectator is required to complete a COVID19 test at home, even if they feel completely fine. This must be done on the day of the session. If the result is positive, they must stay home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. In addition to protecting others, this is to ensure that the Sobell remains open to our students. If just 1x person tests positive, the entire club will have to close for isolation.

  • Upon entry to the Sobell Dojo, you must show a photograph or screenshot of your test result. We will be checking the date your test was taken to ensure it was taken the day of your session.

  • If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you must not return to judo until your whole household is testing negative and the infected person has tested negative for 3 consecutive days.

  • If you come into contact with someone outside of your household who is positive (such as at work, school, university etc) then you must stay away from judo until you consecutively test negative for 7 days. Even if you are not positive, we require 7 consecutive days testing negative just in case you are incubating the virus.

  • Only 1x parent/carer/spectator is allowed per judoka practicing on the tatami. If family members (such as siblings) are participating in the judo session, only 1x parent/carer is allowed in the viewing area per family group.  

  • Spectators must sit 1m apart from one another when in the viewing area.

  • Spectators must wear a face covering when in the viewing area. If they are exempt from wearing one, they will be asked to wait outside the Dojo in the main Sobell Leisure Centre seating area where there is more ventilation. 

  • Where possible, parents/carers/spectators should avoid entering the dojo and should instead wait in the main Sobell Leisure Centre seating area.

  • We are aware that some of these rules are more strict that the government guidelines, however, the government guidelines cater for everyday scenarios such as going to the shops, or going to school. Judo is not an everyday scenario due to its extremely close contact nature. Therefore, we employ our own policies to ensure everyone at the Sobell is as safe as possible.