YMCA JudoJudo is an exciting sport and martial art that focuses on techniques that equip you to defend yourself through the use of throws and grappling techniques. There is no punching, kicking or boring kata to perform.

YMCA offer Judo classes where you can develop a strong body character whilst enjoying working with others under the supervision of a qualified coach.


There are many benifits to Judo:

  • - Boosts confidence
  • - Trains the mind by learning strategies and developing techniques
  • - Increases co-ordination, balance, cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  • - Teaches respect for yourself and others
  • - Often recommended by doctors to help overactive children with discipline problems and to develop their motor skills
  • - Teaches correct falling techniques on and off the mat, reducing the risk of injuries not only in judo but also other sports as well

History and Core Values

Judo is called ‘The Gentle Way’ because it took the old Martial Art of Ju Jitsu (objective: Protect yourself at any cost) and redesigned it from the ground up to be a safe Olympic sport (Objective: self defence and a lifetime involvement in healthy living). Professor Jigoro Kano who created Judo was a physically small man, not strong, and he was drawn to Ju Jitsu because it taught him the techniques to stand firm against bullies. But as a grown man he realized that traditional Martial Arts could cause injury in training, so he took the best bits of Ju Jitsu, banned the rest, and made it so that anyone, from child to an older person, could do Judo safely all their life. One thing that remains in Judo from the old Japanese tradition is the sense of Respect. Respect for your opponent, respect for yourself, and a set of rules as to what is acceptable behaviour. It’s not about winning. It’s about being strong in honour as well as physical strength. Amongst all the martial arts Judo is a ‘stealth bomber’ when it comes to teaching respect to the kids who need it most. Kids who are bullied or bullies are sometimes drawn to Martial Arts thinking this will give them the power to go toe to toe with their enemies. Kids who come to Judo might think they are going to learn karate chops and better ways to beat up other kids, but they end up gaining the confidence to know that they don’t even need to fight. What I mean is they know, within themselves, that they can defend themselves, and they know, within themselves, that they can even cope with losing. Once that fear of whether they are a coward or not is removed, the need to fight is removed. They have the confidence to walk away, or as Maurie says “use the special Judo running-away technique.” Part of Judo’s safety comes from the strong authority figure in the Sensei. Australian Sensei’s are not strict like Japanese ones. In fact I don’t think I’ve met a more laid-back person than myself, but the authority and respect are non-negotiable. This provides a positive role model to students, an example of how you can be strong without being aggressive. Bullying happens, and the schools are doing a great job at telling the kids what’s the right thing to do, but Judo is physical. Not all kids learn by hearing, some have to learn by doing. Judo doesn’t just say ‘it can hurt to get thrown to the ground’, it shows a kid in a safe and controlled way exactly how much it can hurt to get thrown to the ground. Through this they learn to respect their own power. You don’t have to tell a Judo kid “one punch can kill’, they already know what they are capable of. By experiencing controlled use of their strength in a safe situation on mats it reduces the chance that they will overreact in a fight on concrete and really seriously hurt someone. The way that a Judo club works also teaches valuable life lessons. Training involves people from the smallest of kids up to the oldest of adults, and it is not a contest of equals. In training, kids will be engaged with people who are much stronger than them as well as those they can beat with one hand tied behind their back. Because it’s so obvious that they can win, kids learn that they don’t need to use their full strength. The kids become teachers, and learn the pleasure of letting others win - even when they could beat them. They learn that you don’t have to ‘win’ every encounter, because not everything is a fight to the death. It may sound unlikely, but Judo training removes the competitiveness. It shows it is OK to acknowledge others relative weakness, and in the process learn that it is OK to acknowledge your own weakness. When you learn to be happy within yourself, that is the self-respect that Judo aims for. And when you are able to accept yourself, while at the same time striving to improve yourself, you don’t need to be a bully. Finally, Judo helps to prevent bullying because it allows that natural youthful energy to be expended in a safe way. The fact is that the energy is there, you can’t just tell kids to sit quietly in the corner, because then that energy just builds up until it busts out in crazy stunts. Better to let them come to Judo, use that energy in a safe way, and get it out of their system. Better to come to a place where that energy is welcomed, and where being physical is welcomed instead of frowned at.

Meet Our Coach

Maurice Mirabito

30 + years’ service with the YMCA

Maurice Mirabito's Judo career started in September 1969 at Kamiza club in Corinda at the age of 14. He was coached by John Doherty and Tom McLoughlin. In the 1st year, he trained 2 nights a week at Kamiza and in early 1970, an extra 2 nights at Wacol migrant hostel. Later that year he extended to the city YMCA and Uni club with Phil Brain and Jim Selby and weight training at Middleton’s body works. At the age of 15, he trained on the Qld squad with other members who were mostly in their late teens up to the late Alan Howard 28 yrs old. Maurice began taking the classes in late1970 at Kamiza when the club was deserted by the coaches. On weekends, Maurice took the collected money to Tom McLoughlin approximately 10 km on his push bike. In Early 1971, Maurice's boss Ray Rosenthal bought judo mats for him and he moved the club to Oxley and took over. The 1st night saw 78 students and slowly he paid off the mats.

Maurice continued teaching Judo for many years there as a member of the Qld Judo Union and Australia Amateur Judo Assocociation. In December 1972 he passed his Sho-Dan grading making him at the age of 17, the youngest Judo black ever in Australia. His Ni-Dan came 3 years later keeping the flow going. From the age of 14 Maurice competed in mostly senior events which were all initially straight knock out, and included arm locks and strangles with no Kokas or Yukos. Throughout competition, including from late 1969, Maurice virtually always placed 1st or 2nd including winning many state and open black belt divisions. More than 95% of bouts were won with arm locks or strangles which made him the most feared Ne-Waza player in the state.

In 2001 Maurice received an Australia Day Sports Award for contributions to Judo and also received State Government recognition in their Thanks Coach Thanks Ref campaign. Since 1970 Maurice has competed, coached and refereed. He started refereeing as a blue belt at all local and later state events and went on to referee at all state titles, the North Qld games, the Australian Intervarsity Games, JFA and Kodokan Nationals , Australian Masters, many Asia Pacific Masters and has been a Kata judge. He has also refereed at the World Masters in 1994 and Oceania World Cup Teams Event in 2005.

In August 1986 Maurice was asked to fill in teaching at the YMCA while the regular instructor was on holidays. After 2 weeks he was asked to stay on permanently and about a month after that to permanently take over Y-South and Y-West where still today he is the chief instructor conducting a minimum of 5 classes per week where the club has had great success. In addition to this Maurice does extra classes for some players going to special events. He attends almost every local and regional tournament as a coach and a referee which includes from under 10’s to seniors. Every August he runs the YMCA Judo competition at Y-West which specially caters for 4 to 10 year olds through to seniors. This competition has generally been the biggest in the area and has numbers greater than most state titles with up to 60 u/10s.

Maurice has also been on the technical board for more than 20 years and was technical director for over 10 years where he was responsible for all kyu and dan gradings in Qld. He ran many kata, contests and technical courses including referees seminars and country courses and grading’s. Maurice is a national A grade referee and a state referees technical and grades commission member. He is also holds an A grade oceania referees license.

The YMCA is proud to have such a successful and dedicated coach leading our Judo program.


The first few lessons are designed to be basic introduction classes where the children will learn how to fall safely, and learn basic rolls and tumbles, throws and other exercises. As the term progresses, children advance through a syllabus specially designed for their age.

What to wear?

Shorts, t-shirt and bare feet will be fine for the first few weeks, however after this trial period a judo suit will be needed.

Class Times & Fees - Jamboree Heights

Juniors (4-7yrs)

Saturday 9:00 - 10:00am
$12.35 per session (full term payment)

Advanced Juniors & Seniors

Saturday 10:00 - 11:00am
$12.35 per session (full term payment)

* An annual affiliation fee for Judo Queensland is also charged. Judo classes run throughout the school term, but break for the school holidays.

Class Times & Fees - Acacia Ridge

Juniors (4-12yrs)

Wednesday 6:30 - 7:30pm
$10 per session (full term payment)
$12 per session (casual attendance - weekly payments)

Advanced Juniors & Seniors

Wednesday 7:30 - 9:00pm $11.50 per session (full term payment)
$14 per session (casual attendance - weekly payments)

* An annual affiliation fee for Judo Queensland is also charged. Judo classes run throughout the school term, but break for the school holidays.

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