Knowing ‘the gentle way’

16 April 2019 | Education

Sheney Mwetako

The martial art created in 1882 has taken the world by storm. Judo, which was only a recognised sport in Japan, is now an Olympic sport with 204 official international judo federations.

Namibia is no stranger to sport and neither is Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS).

Judo is translated as “the gentle way” from Japanese.

It is a combat sport, which requires throwing one’s opponent to the ground and quickly subduing and immobilising one’s opponent with many different grappling methods. This gentle way relies on flexibility, balance, leverage and movements while performing throws. Judo increases your speed, improves your reaction time and strengthens your flexibility and coordination. As far as physical pain goes, judo is one of the roughest sports out there, which places an emphasis on safety and discipline. Judo can be taken and applied to all areas of your life, as it can also be used in self-defence.

Judo is not a new sport at DHPS, as it has been there ever since the early 2010s. Judo coach Sylvia Konzmann introduced this sport at DHPS and has been the coach ever since. Her hard work, dedication and patience has brought back many medals and trophies to the school, as she sees opportunity and potential in all her athletes. She offers her free time for her passion and offers classes every day of the week.

Age does not play a huge factor in joining the classes, as the school successfully introduced a parent-teacher group this year that takes place in the afternoons. The school also introduced an all-girls group this year, because not everyone feels comfortable training with the opposite sex.

The school competes in different competitions annually, including the South African Open Championships that take place at the end of June to the beginning of July. Different counties come to gather and compete against each other, representing their schools or clubs. Last year alone the judo team brought back 30 medals, as they proved all their hard work and training had paid off.

Everyone from different age groups are encouraged to join and be part of this fantastic sport with its many health benefits. For example, judo is a form of stress relief. It makes people feel more confident and safer, as they walk out of their houses knowing how to quickly defend themselves in dangerous situations. As that famous quote says: “You never know what you can do until you try it yourself.”

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