Judo. Who Says I’m Too Old?

  • 11th September 2015
  • Paul Catherwood

Hi, my name is Paul Catherwood and I’m one of the ‘more mature members’ of Kookateki Judo Club. So how does a guy with less than a year until he hits the big 50 end up doing judo. Well it all started around 18 months ago when I was looking to do some exercise. At that time I was working too hard and doing very little in the way of exercise and generally feeling old and unfit. I came across Kookateki online and the club times suited work and family, so I sent Jonathan an email to see if there was any room for an old dude at his club. Jonathan was really helpful and encouraged me to come down and give it a go and the rest as they say is history.

I came down one Saturday to the Grove and loved it. In my early days I had dabbled with other martial arts, Karate, Aikido and Traditional Jujitsu, however the thing I love about judo is the practical nature of it. It’s all about balance and movement and every and I mean every day is a school day with a new subtly to be learnt. It goes without saying that Kookateki is a fantastic club, with an awesome bunch of guys who have always made me feel very at ease and at home.

Around 3 months ago I entered the Valley Open competition and I was so incredibly nervous it was hard to imagine. I think the main thing I wanted was not to embarrass myself. Well anyway, the most nerve wrecking event turned into the most awesome when I took silver. My first fight didn’t go too well….I tried a sacrifice throw, which didn’t quite go to plan and I ended up getting pinned…0-1 to the old guys. Thankfully the next 2 fights were better and I won both, putting me in second place and getting a silver medal. I have to admit I was so happy to walk away with a medal, and so proud to be part of Team Kookateki and represent my club and coach in even this small way.

Paul Catherwood

Paul gets his silver medal

So what has judo done for me, well I am fitter than I have been for a long, long time. I have lost almost a stone in weight with no dieting and no changes to my eating habits. I feel stronger, more confident, less stressed and as I have been told by a reliable source…..much easier to live with!

I love judo, it has become part of my life, I follow all things judo on Facebook and watch it on youtube. I am so glad that I came to the Grove 18 months ago, I am so thankful to Jonathan for encouraging, challenging and coaching me. I would also like to thank all the friends I have made at Kookateki for making me feel so welcome and so at home.
So what’s keeping you from having a go and coming down to the club….why not make Saturday a pyjama day, you’ll not regret it. I really wish I had started judo 20 years ago. Someone recently said to me that there are 2 times to do something….yesterday and now! So, there you go, hopefully I’ll see you on the mat. I’ll be the old guy with the grey hair and the big smile on my face :))