Building our Dojo

In the heart of our family-focused judo community, a remarkable journey has unfolded – the creation of our very own dojo. Guided by the skilled hands and vision of our dedicated club coaches, Paraic and Dan, our dream of a space for growth, discipline, and camaraderie is taking shape. In addition to our fantastic coaches, we were supported by countless club members and players new and old – we cannot thank you enough.

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seating area - building the dojo

Taking out the gym

The venue itself before was a gym, making it perfect for a dojo as it was already a place tailored for hard work and passion. The gym itself left us with quite a lot of work to do, firstly get rid of the weight rubber flooring and after that the surround mirrors. Additionally, there was metal sheet coverage under each of the mirror which also needed hammering away. Once the hall was cleared we were able to start our next step.

Out with the old in with the new: the sprung mat

After we cleared the hall, we could then begin to use our imagination and creativity to fill it up again. This time as a tailor-made dojo for technical and competitive judo combined – getting it ready to support our 200 members and hundreds of parents too. To create the sprung floor we first glued huge foam blocks onto flexible wood. We then layered this wood with another and this would give us the spring-like floor which is beautiful to land on. We consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have this installed as not all clubs have this advantage and it can be great for people new to the sport maybe not ready to jump into the deep end.

The club secretary needs a reception

Once the mat space was ready we could then think about creating a bespoke reception to support our additional club staff. At United Judo we are all about recycling and reusing what we can, so we got our in-house carpenter experts to restyle a set of kitchen cupboards into a professional ready-to-work reception area and desk. What a good job they did!

The reception - building the dojo

The seating area for the rest of our family

The family doesn’t stop when you get to the edge of the tatami, we consider our parents and guardians to the children just as much as our family. They deserved somewhere awesome to sit so once again we designed and created a bespoke seated area with cushioned seating – another feature not offered at other clubs.

Our gong

Too many white walls, let’s get some artwork up!

We invited a local artist to do her very best work on our walls. Kelly Hudson did bring the wow factor to the dojo with her vibrant and bright artwork on every wall, featuring world champions from across the world in live action. We can’t thank Kelly enough for her amazing timeless work, check out her social here.

To conclude, we cannot be more proud of how far we’ve grown as a Judo club across this last decade and cannot wait for what the next decade has in store for us. We thank you for all of our supporters, we could not have even come close to this without each of your help and dedication.

Photos provided by Top Judo – see here