History of the Club

Carmarthen Judo Club was started over 50 years ago.  Founded in 1973 by Gwilym Vanderbrink and Michael Edwards. Both men had learned their judo under the instruction of Sensei Steadman from Sanshirokwai Judo Club in Llanelli. The Club was opened to give  local people a place to train. We started training in Carmarthen town in a disused storage room behind the Labour Club in Priory Street. As numbers increased, more space was needed therefore we moved to the Leisure centre, where we held training sessions once a week. The Club went on to the Catholic Church Hall in 1991, where training continued and where the officers of the committee put together a plan to buy our own club, which we did, by buying an old factory at Old Llangunnor Road, Carmarthen in 1996. Throughout our time there the Club proved a major success.  Finding the premises to small the Club Committee put together another plan to move the members to a purpose built dojo. Throughout the planning stage the committee had plenty of assistance from local and national funding organisations together with Carmarthenshire County Council.  We put together a package to apply for funding and were successful in gaining in excess of £250,000 in grants, including Club funding of £80,000. This money was handed to Carmarthen County Council in exchange for the dojo at the Leisure Centre – renovated to our specifications.


Source: Geoff Griffiths, Chairman and Ray Barratt, 2nd Dan.



History of Judo

Judo as an Olympic sport has been in existence since the late 19th century and appeared for the first time in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Modern Judo was developed by Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) in Japan from the martial art of ju-jitsu and the skills of the Samurai warriors. His aims were to create a sport that helped physical education, contest proficiency and mental training. The name Judo translates to mean ‘the gentle way’, clearly identifying Kano’s aims and focus of the sport. He is believed to have said, “Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength…The purpose of the study of judo is to perfect yourself and contribute to society.”


For more history on the sport have a look at the following sources;




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