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Things to Know Before Your First Day of Judo

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Part of the Century Answers: First Day of Martial Arts Class series.


Bonny Overley is a newer addition to the Century team! She’s working part-time as a photography assistant, and she came with a background in judo!

Before we get into Bonny’s answers about what to do to prepare for the first day of judo, I want to share another piece of her story with you. It’s a great example of how martial arts can be truly beneficial to a person’s life.

Bonny was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about four years ago.

“So I did the typical thing, you know, where you get diagnosed with a chronic disease and go sign up for a martial arts class!” she jokes.

Some friends of the family had done judo, and they recommended the sport to her. It might seem counterintuitive to fight arthritis, a disease that causes joint pain and stiffness, with an art that involves repeatedly throwing others and being thrown onto a mat, but actually, exercise is a key part of managing arthritis. Bonny says judo has been a “crucial” part of her management.

“Having that next class to look forward to really encourages me to stay in shape, to keep moving, to do the stretches, to eat healthy – you can’t eat, like, half a pizza and then go do judo,” she says.

(Author’s note: you can’t eat that before muay thai, either. I’ve done it and it really, really doesn’t work.)

So if you’ve been longing to start a martial art, but are worried that because of a physical condition or other ailment, don’t give up! You have way more options than you think, and you may find that not only can you do martial arts, but that they actually help!


1. What do I need to bring to judo?


2. What can I expect to have happen during judo class?


3. What are some misconceptions about judo?


4. What’s basic etiquette for judo?


5. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to take judo?


6. What advice would you give to parents who are considering judo for their child?






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