Clacton Club History


Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano

Kano formulated his form of “Kano Judo” from a study of different ju-jutsu styles, he started to teach “Kano Judo” in 1883. The early Japanese experts that came to England earned a living touring the music halls offering to fight challengers for money and performing a number of tricks. One of these early experts Yukio Tani was appointed chief instructor of the newly formed London Budokwai in 1920, which became the most famous Judo school outside Japan. Even today leading Japanese champions take up temporary teaching posts at the Budokwai.


The first Judo to be practised in Tendring was in 1956 when Jack Paternoster a Colchester Lathe Company Inspector moved into the area and started a club at the Pier Hotel in Walton-on-Naze. At that first club the highest graded and well respected local Judo player and coach started out in the sport, this was Peter Chumbley 5th dan Black belt. In the late sixties Peter started the Walton Red Triangle Club and Les Barford and Lou Lawrence started Judo at Green Lodge, Clacton. Judo is still practised today at both these clubs. Clacton Judo Clubs senior coaches Dave Foskew and Mick Hearn were both taught by Peter Chumbley at Landermere Youth Club, Thorpe-le-soken. At that time this was the strongest club around and players would come from miles around to train. Mick started Judo in January 1974 and gained his 3rd dan Black belt (contest grade) in May 1994. Mick Hearn officially formed Clacton Judo Club in 1981, which went on to become one of the most successful Judo clubs in this area.

Judo is an excellent pastime for children and adults alike, it teaches co-ordination, improves confidence, self-respect and general level’s of fitness. It teaches children discipline and gives all that take up the sport direction in life, but it always remains great fun. If a sport is not enjoyable only a very few people would take it up and hence it would die out. Judo is a very cheap sport, lessons are £2.50 and before players take part in contests they must take up membership with the governing body (The BJA). Judo suits start at around £22 and can last a very long time. However no suit is required for the first few weeks. Parents are very welcome to stop and watch the lessons. With tea and coffee available at Green Lodge the Saturday morning lessons are very popular with the parents, as it is also a good drop off point being so close to the market.

Former British Heavy Weight Judo Champion Richard Blanes

One of the most successful local Judo players who started his career with Mick Hearn was Richard Blanes. Richard carried on with his Judo whilst at university and was trained by Neil Adams. He was in the BJA Squad for 9 years, four of which he was Ranked British number 1 and three of those being the British Champion. At one time he was Ranked number 7 in the World when he competed in the 1995 World Student Games in Japan.

Richards home as featured on “Home Front” presented by Laurence Llewelyn Bowen and Diarmuid Gavin.

Clacton Gazette Young Person of the Year

Another key pointer to the success of the Clacton club has been the number of times local Judo players have been awarded the Clacton Gazette’s Young Sports Person of the Year Award. These are Petra Palmer (1984), Debbie Monkcom (1988), Philip Pearce (1990), and Richard Blanes (1993 Runner up) all being nominated by Mick Hearn.

The local Clacton newspaper the Clacton Gazette in partnership with the Rotary Club, started the young sports person of the year award back in 1984. The trophy is awarded annually and is judged by representatives of Tendring Sports Council, Clacton Rotary Club and the Clacton Gazette.

Petra Palmer was the first winner of the award, she is pictured receiving the award from Mrs Winifred Cox, widow of Leslie Cox, whose name the trophy bears. Mr Cox was a journalist in Clacton for more than 30 years with a particular interest in the local sporting scene.
Debbie Monkcom took the title in 1988, she is pictured receiving the award from Bill Parker the then president of the Clacton Rotary Club.
Philip Pearce took the title in 1990, he is pictured receiving his award from David Mitchel-Gears the then president of Clacton Rotary Club.