Get to know the coaches: Dave Quinn

Given the regular presence of numerous coaches on the mat each week, encountering a session with a different coach can be quite overwhelming. To ensure everyone feels warmly welcomed, we are delving into the backgrounds of our coaches in this blog series.

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David Quinn and Bill Sergant and Dick
Dave Quinn refereeing

Get to know Dave

Hello, I’m David Quinn and I’m the head coach here at United Judo. I’m a competitive 6th Dan and take numerous classes throughout the week including beginner classes through to the randori and technical classes too. I’m quite an old-school Judo fanatic and like to keep things simple as best I can making the session easy for everyone to understand. I have supported countless players from the school level up to the national level and higher and have a desire for competitive success within the club. If you know me though, I’m an easygoing laid-back Dave – simple as that!

What are some of your judo achievements?

If you do Judo for as long as I have you do achieve a thing or two which I’m to this day immensely proud of. I try my best to remember every single success I have within this brilliant sport as I believe win or lose, it’s all part of the fun. My first medal ever was in a club competition friendly in the Swanley at Samurai-Do Judo Club – this was under sensei Dave Rumble in temporary buildings. Little did I know I’d be getting married in the same building, to our now Club Secretary Cee. I walked home with a respectable Silver medal which I was happy with as it meant there was still room for improvement. Following that I kept competing through Kent Area and Southern Area – then more recently the British Masters Open and World Masters in Canada back in 2010.

David Quinn training in Japan 2003

What got you into judo?

My first attempt at Judo was around 1969 when my father encouraged me to join in the sport as he thought I was a softy. He broke his ankle trying to show me how easy it was – this only spurred me on more to achieve medals and do competitions. When old enough I joined a local club on my own at around 12 years old – the Swanley Judo Club. Little did I know that years later I would be running that same club as a Black Belt. Looking back at it now and how much Judo has influenced my life and day to day – I’m really glad my dad encouraged me to do it.

What was your first Judo club?

My first Judo club was in Bromley behind a working mens club on the A222. Went in my dad’s side car but unfortunetly I can’t remember the name of it as it was such a long time ago and I was only ten years old.

How long have you been doing Judo?

I have been doing Judo for quite a while now some would say, 53 years and counting.

What's your favourite thing about Judo?

I like that Judo isn’t a one-and-done sort of thing. There are always things to improve! You could be having a bad day at randori and now you’ve got things to work on, or you could lose in a competition and be ready to fight that opponent again by working their game out. There’s always more to be added to your Judo and I love that. I like that you can keep improving to achieve your targets and that’s truly great for your heart and spirit.

David Quinn with his british masters medal

What's your best Judo memory?

My best memory is deciding to go in for the World Masters Judo Championships in Canada in 2010. I took my entire family and I think they enjoyed seeing their father train hard when they were all on “holiday“. Each day I’d be up before them, down in the hotel gym ready to go – I think my son got a kick out of seeing it, determination and doing what needs to be done if you want to achieve. When we got to Canada it was the trip of a lifetime, I remember we were driving up to Montreal from Buffalo USA and we had a Johnny Cash album on repeat all the way there.

It was great because after singing our hearts out to Johnny Cash we then pulled up to this huge competition venue. I could feel the excitement of the kids as I weighed in. Long story short, I won the competition and took home a very shiny gold medal that I am very proud of today. Seeing the joy on my family’s faces as I took my place on the podium was next-level joy, there’s nothing like it.

Rob New, David Quinn and Andy Dodd

What countries has Judo taken you?

I’ve been to a fair few countries now with Judo, as some of you may know I’m a competitor, referee and press photographer so have had the privilege to travel across the world on numerous occasions and count myself very lucky. I have competed in Belgium, France, Japan, Austria, the USA, Canada, Scotland, Wales, and probably a few more that I’ve forgotten.

Who is your favourite Judo player or icon?

When you’re as old as me it’s impossible to say one however I would have to say, Neil Adams, Angelo Parisi, Georgii Zantaraia, Illias Iliadis and Kosei Inoue. Proud to say I have taken photos of all of these players around the world.

What is your favourite Judo throw?

My favourite throw is Utsuri Goshi.

What is your one Judo wish?

For them i.e. the IJF to not change the rules so much that it is unrecognisable from what Kano left us with.

David Quinn throwing opponent

Final comments?

I am running for ‘World Greatest Coach’ of All Time, every vote counts – I know I can count on yours. And like I say I run all my classes for ALL who want that EXTRA 110% MORE. Would be good to see you there soon!