Judo is a real family affair for Philip

Philip Barnett pictured with his little boy Charlie, who is follows in his dad's footsteps.
Philip Barnett pictured with his little boy Charlie, who is follows in his dad's footsteps.

There aren’t many sports were parents get to participate with their children, but Philip Barnett is one of the lucky few who can progress in the sport along with his family.

Philip had participated in boxing for a number of years as a hobby but he decided to give Judo a go as he felt it was a sport in which he could involve all of his children.

And he has never looked back. The sport has helped him enjoy some quality time with his kids, although he did admit it does help having a supportive and understanding wife, especially when he comes home after competing and she has to listen to him moan about all his aches and pains!

So Judo is a real family affair for Philip. His three children started judo from a young age and enjoy going one evening a week.

“They started at seven for Annabeth, five for Eva and three for my wee man Charlie,” explained Philip.

“Charlie, though, cannot officially start judo until he is five and has to make do by watching from the matside, but daddy does judo on the mat to keep him interested with him.”

Before Christmas Philip scaled new heights as he attained his 1st Dan black belt.

To do that, he had to win a total of five fights that normally last a maximum of five minutes per fight by Ippon (10 points score). To win all those five fights, against opponents of equal ability, was his goal.

It was a fantastic day, not only did he win the fights for his black belt, but he fought beyond his own expectations taking on average 22 seconds to win each fight, which were fought consecutively without a break.

To finally be allowed to wear his black belt he now has to do the theoretical part of the testing. Judo is a sport in which all the spoken commands and techniques used are in Japanese. Reading and speaking these Japanese words and knowing their meanings can be a tough challenge. Good coaching and a lot of reading will help to get them correct for the techniques being demonstrated in the examination.

Philip would like to say a big thank you to Philip Duncan for being supportive, an excellent coach and encouraging him to join and represent the Coleraine Judo Club when he was 28 years old.

His climb up the Judo ladder was achieved with the help of the Head Coach, Richard Briggs, and some of the club members including David Small and Stephen Cuckoo.

If you’d be interested in joining you are more than welcome at the Coleraine Judo Club. www.facebook.com/Colerainejudoclub.