Last night I made a trek to watch the judo class. The high school kid at the desk directed me to the gymnasium hidden in the bowls of the Y. This gym has two doors with squarish windows. Not wanting to walk in on a class unannounced, I watched the kid’s class for 5 minutes and then decided to make a quick tour of the YMCA. My plan was to come back in time to catch the adult class.
When we first moved here I briefly used the YMCA for its weight room. However, it was a craphole with some sketchy characters and I eventually found a better gym. FYI we live in what used to be a frontier town that is now a hub for oil, coal, and natural gas. Consequently there are a lot of rough characters around. Anyhow the Y is still very much a craphole and the weight room was full of sketchy characters.
So I meander back to catch the adult judo class and it had already started. Shit. Again, having had martial arts classes before, I did not want to walk into their training space during a class. So I observed for about 15 minutes.
Here’s what I saw:
- Their only brown belt looks like a 30-year-old Danny Trejo, hence the above photo
- 8 adults in the adult class and about 25 kids in the kids class
- Four high belts and four low belts
- I know that the lead instructor is a cop (says so on his FB page)
- At least 4 of the other students looked like cops or sheriff deputies
- 5 of the 8 had that short stocky wrestler build
I caught the end of their starting warm-up. What I saw was the end of front rolls and then some sort of crazy neck bridge exercise (back to that later point in a sec). Then the high belts worked on some sort of partner ground positioning exercise while the low belts practiced some sort of throw.
Conclusion? With free judo lessons as part of your Y membership the price is right but I’m not convinced.
- I have an old neck injury so I’m not sure how it will hold up to what they normally do
- I’m not sure how my 6′ 2″ lanky build will fare against these short build wrestler types
- We had a few rough characters in kung fu so the fact that half the class looks like actors from Prison Break is only an annoyance
- Cop grapple-fest?
Last night after getting home I sent the sensei of the aikido dojo a message on FB. Classes are Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. If I’m lucky I’ll observe his class on Sunday. That option would cost more, I’d have to quit my iron pit gym which I like, and I’d have to use the weight room at the college where I work. However, I have dabbled in aikido before so I know what to expect. My biggest concern there is burning my knees from seiza!
I’m trying to temper my hiatus-driven enthusiasm so I don’t get myself into a tight spot. As such finding a good fit may take longer than planned. Stay tuned!