Judo instructor hopes dojo can spring fresh life into Ely community

Stuart Aldous, who will manage the new Ely dojo, is hoping to make an impact on his local community once doors are able to...

Stuart Aldous, who will manage the new Ely dojo, is hoping to make an impact on his local community once doors are able to open. From left: Stuart, Hiroshi Katanishi, European judo educator and 8th Dan, and Noah Aldous. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

A judo instructor is hoping to provide residents a chance to learn new skills whilst improving on their mental wellbeing with the opening of a new dojo.

An artist's impression of the new Ely dojo to be located above FRESH on Broad Street. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS

An artist's impression of the new Ely dojo to be located above FRESH on Broad Street. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

The Ely Dojo, located above FRESH ran by Sara Ford and Alice Loombe on Broad Street, will become the permanent home for judo and other martial arts in the city once completed.

A group of volunteer coaches and members from Witcham and Littleport judo clubs helped build the new facility, which contains features such as a purpose-built spring floor, where both clubs will eventually move into.

Stuart Aldous, judo instructor who will manage the dojo, said: “The enthusiasm that Sarah and Alice are putting into FRESH is a great boost and it’s an inspiration for Ely Dojo to be part of what will become a much valued asset for the city.”

Ely Dojo will hold judo classes for people aged five to 75-years-old, specialist classes for Ne-Waza (ground judo) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as specialist seminars in self-defence.

From left: Philip Rolls, Stuart's former judo teacher, Brian Jacks, ex-Olympic judo competitor and Stuart. Picture...

From left: Philip Rolls, Stuart's former judo teacher, Brian Jacks, ex-Olympic judo competitor and Stuart. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


Stuart, who holds a black belt Dan grade in judo and has coached participants to national success, will be accompanied by other highly-skilled instructors, including Chris Ellington of Avaddon MMA Academy in Wisbech.

“Individuals can work to their own goals and achievements at their own pace,” Stuart said.

Most Read

“Members can work through the grading system of coloured belts, learn the ‘katas’ of traditional forms and take on the challenge of contest.”

Stuart has also received support from Living Sport and East Cambridgeshire District Council in setting up a satellite club for males and females aged 14 to 18-years-old.

Members of Witcham Judo Club, who will attend the new Ely dojo when it opens. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS

Members of Witcham Judo Club, who will attend the new Ely dojo when it opens. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

The self-defence instructor expects the club to be fully booked, just one way he looks to make an impact on his local community.

“This will be for all young people, in particular those who have experienced difficulties throughout the pandemic and lockdowns of the past year,” Stuart added.

“The funding help from Living Sport will enable participation for the young people and present them with a great opportunity to get active and improve their wellbeing.

“Unfortunately, Covid-19 makes it difficult to plan a full opening schedule, but we are hoping to invite existing members from the judo clubs along to visit the dojo before the end of the month and hope to get some classes started in the new year.”

Members of Witcham Judo Club, who will attend the new Ely dojo when it opens. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS

Members of Witcham Judo Club, who will attend the new Ely dojo when it opens. Picture: SUPPLIED/STUART ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

Ely Dojo is available for hire by the hour and are keen to hear from interested clubs, instructors and other community groups.

If interested, email elydojo@gmail.com or visit the club’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter