Sterling Judo Club members swept a division at the 2017 state championships: Axel Coxwell, 2nd; Peyton Williams, 1st; and Liam Way, 3rd.

Sterling Judo Club members swept a division at the 2017 state championships: Axel Coxwell, 2nd; Peyton Williams, 1st; and Liam Way, 3rd.

Sterling Judo Club resumes training

Mark your calendars for September 12, the startup date for Sterling Judo Club’s resumption of instruction and practice for new and returning students.

Classes take place at the Sterling Elementary School gym in Sterling every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

The minimum age for new students is 8 years old and beginners ages 8 through 12 may register and begin class either from Sept. 12 through the 22 or next January at a date to be determined. Beginner teenager and adult students may register and start class at any time.

This program is operated under the auspices of the United Stated Judo Federation with which the club (49th State Judo &Self Defense, Inc.) and all its members register. The cost of a twelve month registration is $70. In addition, the club charges every member an annual fee of $10. New members will also need a judo gi (practice uniform). Gis may be purchased through the club.

Limited scholarship assistance to cover the registration and uniform costs may be available and is based solely on financial need. Those running this judo program strongly believe that no one should be denied the opportunity to study judo in this community wide program due solely to financial need.

There are no monthly or other dues, fees or tuition for class instruction and training, although experienced members interested in entering in judo competition are usually assessed an entry fee by the host club. The club sensei (teacher), assistant sensei and all teacher assistants each volunteer typically six to ten hours of personal time each week to bring this program to the Sterling-Soldotna area.

Judo, an Olympic sport of Japanese origins, is found through the world. In the US there are approximately 30,000 persons involved in the sport with some 1000+ clubs around the country. Around Alaska at any one time there are about 25 active judo clubs everyone of which is operated by qualified volunteer teachers with many like the Sterling Judo Club able to use public school facilities. The total annual registration for the club is close to 100 members, including a satellite program, Team Mica Judo, operating in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas program is operated by Sensei Kati Gibler, nidan (2nd degree black belt). Sensei Gibler also conducts popular self defense classes for girls and women in the Soldotna- Sterling area twice a year. These classes typically include both beginner judo and self-defense techniques.

Judo consists of 40 basic throwing techniques together with a large number of control holds and submission techniques. It is both a sport and non-aggressive form of self-defense. Everyone gets plenty of exercise. Students also learn some basic Japanese words and have lots of opportunities to learn and to practice discipline while the teachers strive to make each class interesting and fun. There are lots of personal development and growth opportunities too.

Please check the Sterling Judo Club page on Face Book for more information about this program and to confirm the September 12 startup date. You can also contact any of the teacher assistants or current members of the club for further information and by calling Sensei Bob Brink at 242-9330 or by emailing to

— Submitted by Sterling Judo Club

Sterling Judo Club students and instructors.

Sterling Judo Club students and instructors.

Sterling Judo Club instructors.

Sterling Judo Club instructors.

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