FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  Most of the other dojo I've researched in this area are much more cost effective judo program than yours.  Why should I choose Seiei Dojo? 

A:  Our space is significantly bigger and better situated and considered the best judo gym in the PNW(Pacific Northwest). Seiei Dojo has about 3500 square feet of mat practice area (one of the largest in the PNW) and we are centrally located in Bellevue. Our facility has a total of about 6000 square feet area that has small lounge area for you to relax or weight facility and equipment you can use for free while waiting for your child or family. Our other programs include Muay Thai Kickboxing and strength conditioning, Boxing and Yoga for a small add on fee all in one place. So, you can enroll in one of our programs while your child or partner attends one of the programs. This setup is very popular for parents having their children attending a judo class. As a young club, we do not have as much infrastructure as older establishments and as space is our biggest expense, our fees are aligned with other similar martial arts establishments in Bellevue.  Why brave traffic when you can get a world class Judo education right in central Bellevue?  In addition, we have consistently over 35 kids in the youth program practicing and participating in competitions. In the last National Junior Judo Olympics, the biggest and toughest competition for the juniors , Seiei Dojo won a total of 19 medals with 9 golds , 8 silvers and 2 bronzes. Many of our judokas have been with us for years as this has become a big part of their lives and the community has become family. Seiei dojo is the only gym in the area with permanent padded mats on top of a spring loaded support platform system that minimizes the impact of falls. This platform system is very important for your safety and health. Our instructors are world class and have excellent credentials.Some of them had trained in Japan and were competitors themselves. Though we are a young club, we had produced excellent competition results compared to other judo schools for a short amount of training time that our members had. On top of this, you can join the other programs free of charge at least once a month with no extra charge.

Q:  I’m afraid of being thrown, I heard that’s what happens in Judo.

A:  Throwing is not the first thing you learn in judo. Learning how to properly fall is the first thing you learn as it is essential to prevent injuries from being thrown. Also, knowing how to fall correctly is a skill that can prevent many unnecessary injuries in other aspects of life such as running, biking, skiing, roller blading, ice skating, and etc.   Seiei dojo is the only dojo in the area with permanent padded mats on top of a spring loaded support platform system that minimizes the impact of falls, like gymnastic mats, come visit and give it a try!

Q: Do you have any women in your dojo ?

A: Yes we have women in our adult judo and Muay Thai program and we also have some very strong girls in our youth judo program. One of our instructors was US ranked no.1 in women's -48 kg division and represented US and had placed in many international competitions. While many parents consider martial arts for their sons, Judo was created with women in mind because judo emphasize the concept of maximum efficiency. This is evident, as the root of many Judo techniques is not necessarily brute force, but using your opponents’ movements and strength against him or her. While physical strength and size are important, mental strength is probably the most critical factor in competition. Judo is one of the few sports where both boys and girls can practice and train together giving brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn from one another. As Ronda Rousey states: “If you have to muscle something, it’s wrestling, if you do it without muscling, it’s Judo.”Our Muay Thai kickboxing class has a big number of female members having fun.

  Q: Why should I sign my daughter up for judo vs other martial arts?

A:  As mentioned above, Judo focuses on 2 main things:  throws and grappling. As parents, one of our biggest fears is our daughter being attacked and being wrestled to the ground by the attacker.  Judo teaches you how to throw an attacker to the ground and take control on the ground. The judo training allows you regular practice doing it as part of the sport and self-defense. Judo will be something that you can put into use when necessary as it becomes part of you. Rhonda Rousey , a famous UFC fighter and former Olympic Judo Bronze medalist, had no prior experience with other martial arts but dominated most of her opponents who are masters of different martial arts in their own field.

 Q:  Why judo instead of BJJ?

A: Judo is an official Olympic sport. In most scenarios, a strong judoka will perform better than BJJ as Judo requires more speed and explosiveness and trains both on the throwing and grappling instead of only grappling. Being an Olympic Sport and the second most practiced sport in the world, your child can look forward one day with a goal of being in Olympics or World Championships where each country is truly represented.

Q: What age range do you accept/Am I too old for Judo ?

A: We offer classes starting from age 3 to no limit!

Q: Do I need to be in good shape to start Judo ?

A: People of all shapes and sizes benefit from Judo. Generally, martial arts fitness can increase a person’s strength, stability, stamina, flexibility and explosive power. As with most physical activity, the more you do, the easier it becomes. Compared to other martial arts, Judo involves strengthening as well as cardio. Other martial arts such as TKD, Karate, Kung-Fu are more cardio based. 

Q: Are you a competition focused Dojo ?

A: Yes, traditional Kodokan Judo is our primary focus, approximately 50% of our intermediate/advanced youth members compete regularly (and do very well). We believe that competition helps bring the best in your child as they learn how to set goal in life. More importantly, they learn the most important lesson in judo "you can fall 7 times but you get up 8 times".Please note that while competition is a beneficial way to test one's skills, it is not the absolute focus of our dojo and participation in competition is not a requirement to advance. We welcome everyone who wants to learn judo, be it competitive or recreational that does not require to participate in competitions.

Q: Is judo right for me ?

A: Yes. But if you want to try it out just to make sure, please come visit or contact us, we offer trial classes. 

Q: Is there punching and kicking in Judo?

No. Judo is a defensive martial art which focuses on grappling and control. In many cases, the smaller person has advantage. There are Kata (forms) that include striking, but it is only practiced by higher ranking Judokas.

Q: Do I need to purchase any equipment 

A: Judo is practiced in a Judo Gi. For the first month or so it is not required but highly recommended. If you are trying out, you are welcome to borrow a gi from our collection. A judo gi will become necessary to practice and learn judo techniques. Jiu-Jitsu gis are allowed in practice if you already have one , an actual judo gi is mandatory for competition. Karate gis do not perform well in Judo class and often rip. 

  Q: How much does your class cost ? 

A: We offer many different options to fit your needs. Please contact us for our fee schedule and additional information.   

  Q:  How long before I get promoted to Black Belt? 

Judo is not for impatient people. It could take from 6 years or more and it depends how much you are committed and dedicate to learning it. Regular competition participation helps lessen the years to black belt especially if you're on top of your games and standing on the medal podium most of the time.Students under 15 years old are rarely promoted to black belt unless they are exceptional Judo practitioners and competitors. Earning a black belt in judo means you can handle and defend yourself from much bigger and stronger attackers in real life if necessary.