Fledgling CEC judo club proving popular with students

Monique Chiasson
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TRURO - A crash to the floor sounds painfully bone-chilling outside one of the Cobequid Educational Centre classrooms.
But instead of the anticipated scream, all is well. In fact, this is one of the school's physical education judo classes. The course was introduced just this semester and students are thrilled to have it.
"It's incredibly unique ... others schools around here don't have it," said Grade 11 student Derek Eisses.
"I wanted to take it because I love martial arts and it's a lot better than math, English and biology where you can get bored; this is fun."
Students take the course five days a week and learn not only the art of judo but about the Japanese culture from which it derives and about themselves, too.
"I've learned I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was, physically and mentally," said Eisses. "In self defence you need mental focus and concentration and it could help with other classes too."
Eisses' classmate Jessica Boyle is one of four girls in her class.
"I thought it would be fun because I wanted to know how to defend myself ... you get in a zone trying to know your opponent's next move before they do it and how to use their weakness," said Boyle. "It teaches you balance ... gives you confidence in the ability to protect yourself and to respect people."
She also enjoys learning about Japanese culture, which is a vital part of the course, said instructor Hans Budgey. Posters of Japan, the history of judo and cross-culture assignments are all part of the course, which he said is unique to Nova Scotia.
"It's rare to have this type of course in the country. Other schools have martial arts but CEC is the only one with judo physical education in Nova Scotia," Budgey told the Truro Daily News.
He said the co-operation and encouragement between students has been amazing
to witness, especially when a routine is
conquered.
"When they work through it and nail it, there's applause. How often do you see that in class?" asked Budgey, who is a coach at the Colchester Yawara Judo Club in Truro, has a first-degree black belt, and is also a science teacher at CEC.
Budgey said there have been minor injuries such as a sore back or shoulders, rug burn or hurt finger, but safety skills are integral to the course.
Judo students have also participated in a recent school-wide fundraising initiative. Students collected pennies for a campaign called Pennies for Patients, in which about $3,500 was raised in total for cancer research.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Cobequid Educational Centre, Truro Daily News, Colchester Yawara Judo Club

Geographic location: TRURO, Nova Scotia, Japan

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