Club History

 

Hello, my name is Michael Pring, for 20 years whilst living in South-West London, I trained at the “London Judokan”. My judo coaching is influenced by my friends at that club, but mostly by my teacher, Mr Sekine.


In September 2000, on moving with my family to the South coast, I started teaching judo to children in Schools.


In September 2002, I started teaching judo at St John’s Primary School, Rowlands Castle, a School with a community ethos and great people. I had found a home for a community judo club, in May 2003 I opened up what had previously been a School club, to children in the wider community and named the club, the “Southern Judokan”, having asked Mr Sekine, if I might use the name.


David Cayford joined with me from an early stage, his teaching input much appreciated by adults and children alike.


In 2004, Mr Cayford and I took children from the club to meet my teacher in London, the following article appeared on the British Judo Association’s web site:





One of Britain’s Most Senior Judoka Inspires South Coast Youngsters


Saturday 23rd October 2004, Club Coach Michael Pring took a group of 14 young judo players from the South Coast to visit Percy Sekine at the The London Judokan. Here he tells the British Judo website about his visit...


“Mr Percy Sekine, who holds a 7th dan Kodokan, 9th dan B.J.A., has been teaching Judo at his club for fifty years.


Prior to opening, “The London Judokan”, he had already been a British international judo player, British team coach, Budokwai instructor and during World War Two had even taught judo whilst a Prisoner of War!


Mr Sekine alongside his wife Hana, opened their club in 1954. It has been a judo and social hub ever since. The dojo’s are two inter-connected squash courts, each with a stretched canvass mat, the showers are the best in London! Changing rooms for both sexes, a bar area and even a garden grace this non- smoking club.


The visiting group of boys represented both the school’s judo and the club judo environments. The purpose of our visit was manifold: to meet Mr Sekine and visit a famous London judo club; recreational judo: to have fun and to come together as a group; to participate in club judo (the school-club bridge being a current b.j.a. priority); also by way of a sort of generational bridge to link the teachings of the past with the judoka of the future. We went to the Science Museum too.


The boys received instruction from Mr Sekine. It was hands on - from the very first moment, uchikomi, newaza, uchikomi on the move, ashiwaza training (footsweeps being a Judokan speciality) and randori - it’s a competitive sport - sweat and smiles - children enjoy learning Judo! There was some tachiwaza technique to digest, and some self defence for fun!


Having just done judo with a 7th dan Kodokan, 9 th dan BJA, post practice, drinks and biscuits were kindly handed out by Hana Sekine, Percy’s wife and daughter of the late Mr Koizumi! (the father of British judo and the Budokwai.)


Our sport is one of participation whether recreational or competitive. Whilst Judo can be watched with some interest, to be an armchair Judoka is to miss the point. It’s about doing judo with others – Judo is all about people, learning and life.


As professor Kano, the founder of Judo said: “It’s not that you are better than someone else that’s important but that you are better than you were yesterday.”


As bodies were refuelled, there was slurping, munching and cheerful chatter. Quite right that any lofty ideals are tempered by honest fun, as a thank you card from one of the boys puts it:”...I enjoyed it as much as I could have”.


Thank you Mr and Mrs Sekine.




As a post script, I can report that sadly, “The London Judokan” has now closed.


The boys are continuing their judo, in a fledgling club, the: “Southern Judokan” just opened on the South Coast by one of Mr Sekine’s many grateful pupils”





Mr Percy Sekine died on 15 October 2010, aged 90. About 18 months before he died, the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo promoted Percy Sekine to 8dan.