YOUNG JUDO CLUB
Incorporating Kokusai Karate Club, Warriors Grappling Academy
I have tried something really old fashioned, I have produced a newsletter on paper and of course I have published it on Facebook and my Blog. So why have I done this? Simple, the fact is that not everyone uses social media and often those who do, do not view everything.
The Young Judo Club was formed in 1957 by John(Nobby)Clarke 6th Dan 1927-1990 and Margret Clarke 4th Dan 1926-2004. The full story can be seen here:
I, Martin Clarke 8th Dan, took over the reigns of the club in 1971 and am still President, but my son John is now the Senior Coach at the club. Over the years we have had several Dojos, 3 in Milton Regis, 9 in Sittingbourne and now our second permanent Dojo here at Swale Martial Arts Club. Our first was at Benchley House for well over 10 years. In 1978 Margret Clarke purchased the Methodist Church, which was to become our home. In 2007 we celebrated our 50th Birthday, again details can be found at: http://www.sittingbourne.org/young_judo_club_50_year_journey.htm
At our peak the Young Judo Club had satellite clubs in Bexley, Faversham, Ashford, Sheerness, Edenbridge, Tonbridge, Herne Bay, Tenterden, Selling, Teynham, Bredgar and Rodmersham and between us we had thousands of members, yes thousands. Those halcyon days have passed and we now have the YJC Sittingbourne and YJC Bexley in 2017. Judo in the 1970’s was very popular but with more and more Martial Arts appearing, those who wanted a Martial Art had a much more varied choice. The YJC has been a very successful club, training thousands over the years, many of those becoming black belts, Area, National and International Champions. I was a reserve for the 1980 Olympics, BJA British Trials winner, BJA All England Champion and World Masters Judo Champion. None of this would have happened to me if it were not for the Young Judo Club and the support it gave myself and many others.
Over the years YJC Sittingbourne has had many Coaches all products of the club. Now we have John Clarke 6th Dan Senior Coach, Keith Costa 4th Dan who has been with us for 25 years, Drew Cullen 2nd Dan who was a very successful junior player. His return as a master has been exceptional. Also we are continuing with the process of training coaches in house with Hayley White (nee Costa) Keith’s daughter, and Lewis and Connie Clarke 4th generation Clarkes. The club is always looking for more judoka who want to coach.
The YJC is becoming extremely cosmopolitan, as over the last few years the influx of Eastern Europeans who wish to settle in the UK, have been joining their children and on occasions have joined themselves. These people have been welcomed in the YJC and have increased our membership.
2017 is our 60th year so we would like to celebrate this by winning lots of medals. John will be organising several competitions at the club and there will be a trip to a tournament in Belgium during May. I hope you will continue to support one of the oldest judo clubs in the UK.
One point to all parents, we do realise that you are enthusiastic about your offspring’s advancement BUT shouting from the side-line whether it is for encouragement or advice is a hindrance, distraction and at worst a health and safety issue. The children need to concentrate on the coaches’ instruction not just for tuition but also to keep them safe from injury. When they enter a competition by all means shout encouragement BUT NOT when they are training.
Kokusai Karate Club:
The Cinderella of the Swale Martial Arts Club is the Karate. Kokusai was started in 1962, in those days it was known as Sittingbourne Karate. For those who understand Karate they will know there is many styles. Our first style was Shotokia followed by All Style and finalising with Shotokan. Resident Karate Instructor Paul Sargent has been coaching the club for over 25 years. He has also studied Judo and Jiu Jitsu and graded in both. He runs a small class on a Saturday morning and still has the enthusiasm of his youth, a valuable asset to SMAC
Warriors Grappling Academy
In the 1970’s I tried other grappling sports like Sambo and Free Style Wrestling. This led to several of our Judoka having a go at this different discipline. We then formed a Club called the Warriors Grappling Academy. Since then our Academy has tried and been successful in many Grappling Sports, such as Sambo, Kurash, MMA, CombatSombo Wrestling, Free Style Wrestling, Combat Sambo, Pankration, Belt Wrestling, Lucha Canaria. Our main style has been Sport Sambo where we are the most successful Club in the country. WGA Sambo players have won World, European and National medals since 1975, and its present coach is John Clarke Master of Sambo.
The club is in the process of revamping our web sites but you can go to: