Training at the home of judo is on the wishlist of two of Wellington’s brightest martial arts talents. Wellington High School’s Qona Christie and Onslow College’s Alex Rivett spent the first week of the school holidays training at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) with the New Zealand youth development squad, but both have Japan as a long-term ambition.
Christie said the AIS training had taught her a lot.“We had a French head coach teaching us new skills and I really benefited from it. We were working on our posture, grips and some advanced judo techniques.
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Judo (meaning “gentle way”) is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano . Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata,) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice. A judo practitioner is called a judoka.