SRJC Judo Club: Grappling, Throwing and camaraderie


Kelsey Claybrook practices the O Goshi throw at a Friday evening Judo Club meeting.

Nadav Soroker, Staff Writer

The boisterous SRJC Judo Club members meet Friday evenings in the wrestling room as the orange glow of sunset fills the room.

The club’s instructor is Destinee Tartuffe, a friendly woman who laughs and jokes easily with the club members. Tartuffe has been an active practitioner of Judo for 12 years and an instructor at  SRJC since fall 2007.

When asked why she feels Judo is so important Tartuffe said, “I really feel people need to get
that mind-body connection.”

The 10-20 mostly SRJC student members show up to practice and exercise outside of their normal class time. The Judo club also hosts high school students and community members as part of its outreach efforts.

The club meetings are a place where members can come to work on their techniques in a less
formal setting than the normal SRJC classes or prepare themselves for competition.

The students attend two to three competitions a year, mostly in the East Bay and San Francisco. They will attend the Hanabi Classic: 47th Annual Albany Judo Tournament Oct. 21 and the CCSF Invitational Dec. 2. Both of these tournaments are free and open to spectators.

“It’s probably my favorite part of Judo to get in there and compete,“ said member Nathan Dunn. “For three to five minutes, you aren’t afraid of dying.”

Dunn added, “It’s humbling, judo in and of itself is really good for the ego.” He explained that in Judo you really learn your place and your skill level, where you are and where you are going.

Member Kelsey Claybrook was very excited as he talked about the Judo community. He said he meets amazing people from all around the world at competitions and clinics who are very dedicated and passionate.