Starting Judo

Beginners are always welcome at the club!


Although Clyde Judo started as a club for children and young adults, adults are welcome to come and train with us.

 Judo kit


For the first month at the club, a judo suit can be borrowed for practice sessions. Is is best to wear jogging trousers or similar until you buy the proper kit. Make sure that the trousers do not have any zips or buttons. This gives children time to decide whether they wish to continue with the sport.


For safety reasons, if your hair is tied-up then make sure that there are no metal parts in the hair tie. Remove earrings and the like.


Initially, a white (beginner’s) judo belt is worn. At the end of the trial period, it is worthwhile purchasing a judo suit to wear for training sessions. These can be purchased through the club coach, online or in sports shops (make sure it is a judo kit as karate kits are too flimsy). The judo suit  is called “Judogi” in Japanese (often shortened to “gi”).

A white suit is the best choice as it can be used in training and competition. Blue suits are good for everyday use but are not suitable for some competitions.

Judo Scotland license

At some point during the first few weeks of attendance (or after four sessions), the parent/guardian should also apply for a Judo Scotland license through the club coach. This is essential as it provides insurance cover for injuries. Your child is only insured for the first four sessions without a Judo Scotland license. A Judo Scotland license is a compulsory requirement for any child wishing to practice, grade or compete. Once the license is received, the coach will grade the child to their first non-beginner grade (coloured belt). Although you should apply through one of the coaches, the full details on applying for membership can be found on the Judo Scotland website.


The good news is that Judo Scotland offers a Provisional membership free for the first four months. Plenty of time to decide if Judo is for you!


As the children pass through the different grades they are awarded different coloured belts to denote their achievement. Gradings are normally held every 4-6 months. There is a grading fee charged by Judo Scotland for each grading. Once a child has passed a grading, they are given a certificate by Judo Scotland, their license is updated with the new grade and they become entitled to wear the belt associated with the new grade.

Children aged under 8

Children under the age of 8 follow the Kai grades. These are denoted by white belts with differing coloured stripes. There are 9 Kai grades. When a child turns 8, their grade is converted to the equivalent Mon grade.

Children aged 8-15 (inclusive)

Children aged 8 – 15 inclusive follow the Mon grades. There are 18 Mon grades and there are denoted by different coloured belts with varying numbers of red tabs.

  • 1st – 3rd Mon – Red belt
  • 4th – 6th Mon – Yellow belt
  • 7th – 9th Mon – Orange belt
  • 10th – 12th Mon – Green belt
  • 13th – 15th Mon – Blue belt
  • 16th – 18th Mon – Brown belt

The full grading structure including the Senior grades can be found here.