Monash Uni Judo

Last night I assisted the Monash Uni Judo Club with a Newaza (ground work/fighting) session – good fun rolling with some Judoka and great to have a roll with Greg Matthews (Monash's long-time instructor).
The session was held for a variety of reasons, one of which was to add a bit of variety to their standard Judo training through the introduction of some BJJ perspectives, tactics and techniques.

One thing that I did notice while working with them was the impact the mat surface had on the effectiveness of techniques etc. For those of you who haven't trained on standard Judo mats, they are quite smooth relative to typical BJJ jigsaw/rubber mats. While holding a closed guard on someone is achievable, the reduced mat friction means that the person in your guard is able to push/slide you off the mat with minimal effort. Additionally many sweeps become all the more risky because it is difficult to anchor/position oneself onto the mat effectively plus the opponent is able to move quicker in both attack and defense.

Other than some friction burns (the bane of Judoka) it was a fun session and a nice group of players. We had an Aikido class next to us who were watching everything I/we were doing, which was rather amusing (makes me wonder why they didn't join in). I'm going to try and get out to work with them again later in the year, maybe around September (post-Mundial etc).

AvA: clearly you haven't been paying attention during recent BJJ competitions - judo-style throws have little application in sport BJJ. I suggest long-jump practice (imagine jumping into guard from 20 feet...)

Note: I've recorded 1 Brendon (de-merit) against you for 3rd degree Trolling - another 2 and you're off the forum!!

Advanced hair, yeah yeah.

"Advanced hair, yeah yeah."

Christ, that took me about 5 minutes to work out the connection. About the only thing the two Matthews have in common is they are good a bowling - either people or cricket balls.

hey dutchlaw, can you recommend any judo schools close to the
doncaster area? Are there any particular judo schools in Melbourne
who spends a bit more time on the ground or do all of them spend 90%
of the class with standup?

*disclaimer - the quoted 90% estimate is only from my limited personal
experience checking out judo schools in the past.

Hi Gakami,

sorry I've been out of the Judo loop for 5 years now... if you're looking for some good Judo training in Melbourne I'd suggest get to the weekend State Training sessions and/or Thomastown or check out the following (I don't really know my way around Melbourne so I have no real idea where Doncaster is):


Caulfield South

As for looking focusing on groundwork, I'd suggest that Judo isn't going to give you your fix: I you want to learn ground fighting, do BJJ, if you want to learn gi-based throwing, do Judo. Typical Judo rules don't encourage long, technical groundwork fighting and as such, Judo schools don't tend to spend much of their time training for the same.

Thanks DutchLaw, I was already doing BJJ for a short while with the
Dominance guys (I really need to get back into it but can't yet due to
injury and dough).

I was enquiring for my neighbour's 14 year old kid (but already taller
than me at ~182cm), he's pretty much into Japan and anything
Japanese. When he came over to hang out at our house last weekend I
showed him some Pride/Sakuraba and he was blown away. He told me
he did karate for a short while but it did absolutely nothing for him
since all they did was stand around and throw punches into the air. I
told him there are good karate schools around but it is mostly bad in
Melbourne. Anyway after watching all the mixed grappling and stand
up, I told him a bit about judo and he's interested to give it a go.

He's only 14 though, his father is out of town quite a bit, (mother lives
in Japan) so he'll need an accessible judo school near where we live,
around the Doncaster area.

I have checked out Yamada (years ago before I thought of doing BJJ)
but he's too far away. The Caulfield judo HQ is good also but again
they are too far away. Judo Victoria might have something .. do you
know if they run good schools?

"Judo Victoria might have something .. do you know if they run good schools?"

As far as I know all Judo Clubs affiliated with Judo Victoria are members of the Judo Federation of Australia (JFA). What that means: the JFA has specific criteria/standards, testing etc before authorising its members to teach Judo.

What does this mean? Well a JFA Licensed Judo instructor will hold a Level 1 Australian Sporting Council (Aus-sport?) coach qualifications - meaning that the individual is a recognised coach. I got mine years ago (it has lapsed now) but to achieve a L1 Coach License there were a number of elements/components that had to be satisfied. E.g., extensive Judo theory knowledge, x # of hrs of practical teaching experience (in an assistant to an existing L1 coach), first aid qualifications, and coaching specific training (not Judo technique rather OH&S, student-teacher relationship stuff, training periodisation etc).

What it all amounts to is that any JFA-related club will typically have qualified coaching staff of a high calibre. You only need find the right coach/club for your own goals etc.

Happy hunting!

That sounds great, thanks dutchlaw, much appreciated. :o)

A little story ... A wrestler, a judoka and BJJer all had worms.

The wrestler continued doings take downs but he still felt itchy.

The Judoka continued doing throws but he still felt itchy.

The BJJer continued butt scooting and he felt good.

I hope this answers all your question ;-)


mate of mine lives in Doncaster and does Judo...
Closest place is in Balwyn..
He also goes to a place in Hawthorn.

Caulfield and Thomastown have the best caliber competitors though, from what ive heard.

I'm from Monash BJJ (Caulfield campus) and have worked out a couple of times with Monash Judo (Clayton campus). They are a great bunch of players that made me feel very welcome and I had a great time learning throws and takedowns. It was refreshing learning more standup. Got thrown a lot of times and got to use my breakfall straight away (the first thing I learned in Judo class). They are very aggressive and fast with their newaza and it was the first time I ever encountered the Judo turtle, which was very hard to attack. During newaza, when I pulled guard after being taken down from the knees, my rolling partner called it the "body scissors". Can't wait to go back when time allows.

If anyone here will see Greg Matthews at Monash Judo in the near future, please pass on my warm regards.


Chris Shen

dutchlaw - considering judo people don't spend as
much time on the ground as bjj people do, how
were their newaza skills at monash uni judo? I'm
not trying to start a judo vs bjj troll job, I just want to
know considering 80-90% time spent stand up
compared to ground.

By the way I was a student at monash uni before i
graduated a few years ago, and did a semester
with the aikido guys you mentioned. The aikido
instructor is actually a very good teacher, and very
open minded. Some nights he would show us
choke holds and "unconventional" (meaning
non-aikido syllabus) escapes from various stand
up positions.

They would sometimes organised combined
classes with the other martial arts classes at
monash uni. They did one with judo a while back if
I recall correctly, they definitely did a combined
class with the kendo people. They did one with the
wushu people when I was there.

" were their newaza skills at monash uni judo?"

The majority of the Judoka at the club on the night I went along were relatively inexperienced players. Besides Greg (who is 2nd Dan+ ?) their was one female Black Belt from Germany and the rest of the players were sub-Blue.

Their newaza skills were pretty basic but that's not surprising. E.g., if they spent even 50% of their time doing newaza, then they'd take twice as long to get the ground work exposure of a similarly dedicated BJJ player. From what I gathered, most of the players on the night were from the 2-3 training sessions a week crowd and (I'd hazzard a guess) had been training less than 3 years: that would suggest they'd have been exposed to no more than one years worth of BJJ training (2-3 times a week) in ground-work terms i.e. still at white belt level in pure ground work.

Talking with Greg I know there are other players who do train there with a lot more Judo exposure e.g., some Olympic hopefuls etc... Greg himself is 42(?) and started Judo at 8(?) - so after 34 years of continual Judo training (and regular competition: he is a multiple Australian, State and University title holder) I know he'd have a thing or two to offer most students! The club has been quite successful in recent years at the Australian University Judo Championships, they've won more than a couple of the team events (I was part of the victorious '99 team in Perth) and regularly manage to field a competitive team.

I'm really regretting not signing up for judo when i was at monash.
That was my final semester, I'd completed all my majors and only had a
few electives to do so the pressure was more or less off, that's why i
went a little crazy with the clubs (and other social activities) at uni. I
had a hell of a good time with the kendo club, that was pretty intense
training. The only thing was it clashed with one of the judo classes. On
the off days I'd do aikido so that pretty much filled up my week.

"They are very aggressive and fast with their newaza and it was the first time I ever encountered the Judo turtle, which was very hard to attack. "
try a soccer kick :)
gakami, sounds cool what you are doing for that kid. if his parents are'nt around like you say, getting him into some serious training will keep him out of trouble.

ondamat - nah it's not like he's going to be getting into any trouble, he's a good kid. Even though his parents are divorced, they've handled their divorce well (as far as I can see) and are very supportive of their kids. Daniel is leaving for Japan next week for a 3 weeks to see his mother there, she's got some kind of art exhibition going on. His father is a TV presenter / documentary maker (I knew I'd seen him somewhere before for a whole year and a half since I moved in to that area) so he's out a lot, but he's a really nice guy.

I checked out the nearby judo schools, I was thinking if they're close enough, I'd drive him there and maybe do a few classes myself but it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to because judo divides their classes between u16 and o16. But even though he's only 14, this kid is already taller than I am .. I wonder if I'm able to get him into the o16 classes which means I can try out some judo as well.