There are many reasons Judo America is San Diego’s Premier Training Center.

Experience: We’ve been serving San Diego since 1972 under the longest active coach in the county.

Coaching: Our Director of Coaching is USJA Master Coach Gerald Lafon, 7th degree black belt. He’s an internationally recognized coach and blogger who believes in innovative, unorthodox and modern coaching methods that will benefit both recreational and competitive participants. Coach Lafon, a former technical consultant to the Bahamas Judo Federation, has taught his modern approach in Japan, Mexico and Canada, as well as throughout the U.S.

Program: While we have retained many of the traditional aspects of Judo, we have moved away from traditional training methods and adopted a more modern, science-based model of instruction. Our dynamic and innovative curriculum is designed to meet the physical, self-defense and social needs of everyone from young children to older adults. While most of our participants are recreational, we also serve the needs of the competitive athletes. Judo America is the only club in the county to have developed an Olympic athlete.

Safety: The most important piece of equipment in any Judo club is the landing surface or mat. While other clubs operate out of recreation centers, public schools or YMCAs on mats unsuitable for the safe practice of Judo, Judo America continues its tradition of offering permanent, safe training facilities to its students. We use only the safest landing surface possible: Olympic mats on a spring-loaded platform. We use pliable tires, not foam blocks with little give. This makes learning Judo safer and more enjoyable. We also use thick gymnastics crash pads while teaching you how to throw and how to land.

Judo: At the sport’s international level, many changes in competition rules have made Judo weaker and less relevant as a fighting art. The current joke is that you can do more Judo in wrestling, Sambo and Brazilian jiujitsu than you can in Judo. That is certainly not the case at Judo America. We teach and practice all Judo techniques, and ignore the limits and restrictions imposed upon the sport by the International Judo Federation.

Family: Judo America offers a family oriented environment. We encourage parents to get involved with their kids. Most of our coaches have children in our program. Some started Judo only after enrolling their child. Pool parties, BBQs, and our Halloween party are some of the family events we host.