Judo Club in South Shields is making the grade in new building

Kodokwai Judo Club
Kodokwai Judo Club

A judo club is making the grade in the world of martial arts after moving into a purpose-built gym.

Kodokawai has been training people of all ages in the sport since 1948 - including South Shields born Olympic Judo competitor Sarah Clark.

Kodokwai Judo Club
Father Sid Mukhtar and son Sonny Moyse Mukhtar

Kodokwai Judo Club Father Sid Mukhtar and son Sonny Moyse Mukhtar

Now, settled into their new premises in Commercial Road, the club is keen to promote the martial art to encourage others to give it a go.

Instructor Sid Mukhtar, who first took up the sport at the age of seven, said: “There are a lot of benefits to Judo from the fitness aspects of the sport to self-defence.

“We have a lot of students who have been successful in competitions, have a number of world champions, and five of 12 players in the British Masters Squad train here.

“The club itself is highly regarded in the Judo world, and we have had the RAF team come up and train with us in the past.

There is great family atmosphere, with a lot of the families socialising together outside of the club.

Sid Mukhtar

“The youngest student we have is around three years old while the oldest competitor we have is 70.

“There is great family atmosphere, with a lot of the families socialising together outside of the club.”

The club’s new home has been created with the help of members and has been made possible mainly through self-funding. It is currently the only club in the area with a permanent sprung floor.

The club now runs the grading for the Northern Area and is used for the Northern Area Judo Squad.

Kodokwai Judo Club
Father Sid Mukhtar and son Sonny Moyse Mukhtar

Kodokwai Judo Club Father Sid Mukhtar and son Sonny Moyse Mukhtar

Alongside Judo, classes in yoga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are also available at the gym.

Judo sessions for youngsters take place on Mondays and Wednesdays 6-7pm (4yrs to 10yrs), 7-8pm (10yrs to 16yrs).

Mr Mukhtar added: “Anyone can come along to the classes to either watch to see if they like it, or they can join in.

“The taster session is free and we have plenty of Judo suits for people to wear so they don’t have to go out straight away to buy a suit.”

For details visit Kodokawi Judo Club on Facebook.