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San Diego's Judo Club

Welcome to our San Diego Judo club. Originally started in 1949 by Sensei Al Holtmann, we are the longest running of all Judo schools in San Diego as well as North America overall. We offer outstanding classes and training, beneficial to both Judo purists and other athletes who want to learn the world’s premier Martial Art for throwing and stand up grappling.

Now run by Dr. Zibi Piec, a Rokudan (6th degree Black Belt) and one of the top Judo Coaches in the U.S., our Judo academy offers the best instruction in San Diego for both new students and experienced Judoka looking for high level training and Randori (judo sparring)

Our adult San Diego Judo classes are perfeect for developing balance, coordination, movement and and discipline while learning one of the world’s most dynamic Martial Arts. We focus the first part of Judo class on both fundamental and advanced Judo techniques, followed by live sparring (Randori) for those who wish to participate.

Beginners are taught the fundamentals of falling (Ukemi) and then move on to the basics of throwing. As they advance, students are taught the intricacies of various throws and learn to chain them together.

Like all of our Combat Sports programs, we offer a strong emphasis on Judo training competition.  For those who wish to compete in a variety of San Diego, National and International tournaments, we work individually and in groups to focus on the necessary strategies and skills needed for Judo competition success.

Coach Zibi heads our Judo Competition program and has led us to victory in prestigious tournaments such as the USJA / USJF Winter Nationals, where we’ve placed in the top 10 of over 100 teams, including ones from Judo powerhouses Japan, Korea and France.

Dr. Zbigniew Piec, better known as Zibi, is our Head Jiu Jitsu Coach. Zibi started training in Judo at the age of 10 and has studied with some of the most respected teachers in the World. He has competed extensively on an international level and lived in Japan for 6 years, where he trained at the Kodokan and Tsukuba University.

Karen Maestro is our children’s Judo Coach. She has been training and coaching in Judo for decades, beginning at our original location with our founder Sensei Al Holtmann. She is widely respected as one of the best Judo coaches for children in the U.S.

Looking for the best private Judo training in San Diego? We have you covered. Once you become a member of our gym, you pay our trainers directly and we stay out of the transaction. We get your membership dues, the trainers keep what they earn, and you get huge savings. It’s a win-win-win for everyone. So if you want San Diego’s best private Judo lessons at the best prices, we’re your gym.

If you’re looking for Judo schools and classes “near me”, you found us. Members come from all over San Diego to train at The Arena. Our Judo gym is easily accessible in Point Loma off the 8 freeway on Sports Arena Blvd. Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Bay Park, Downtown San Diego, Golden Hill, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, North Park, South Park, La Mesa, El Cajon, Clairemont, College Area, Miramar, Kearny Mesa, Clairemont Mesa, City Heights, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Coronado, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach are all within easy driving distance.

Train Free
For 30 Days

Testimonial | Alan K.

“I’d been training Judo for several months before I came here. I really wanted to pick the best Judo school I could find. It’s become my favorite one in San Diego. Learning Judo techniques has had a lot of positive development for my life in my overall confidence and my fitness levels, and it adds to my other martial arts in general. Zibi is patient, he’s not overbearing, he teaches a lot of good material. He doesn’t withhold good techniques and he really focuses on where you’re at in learning and what you need to learn.”

Testimonial | Koji F.

“I’ve been training Judo for about 34 years. I started in Japan, grew up in Japan and came over here when I was 20. Zibi is a very solid teacher. He’s been trained in Japan as well. We learn a lot from him. Traditional Kodokan style Judo to Self Defense training. It’s one of the best Judo Dojo’s in San Diego. At age 41, I’m still competing at a high level. We keep training hard to continue representing The Arena. We’re doing a really good job. It’s one of the greatest gyms in town.”

Competition Judo

Ready to take it to the next level and compete? Then join Team Arena. Just fill out our form and we’ll be in contact. Whatever your competition level is, we have you covered. If you’re just starting out, we’ll develop you into a skilled novice. If you’re an experienced novice, we’ll bring you to the highest amateur levels. If you’re ready to turn Pro, we’ll guide you through every step. And if you’re a talented pro willing to put everything you have into it, we can bring you to a world-class level.

Ready To Compete?

Judo FAQ's

Looking for some of the best Judo classes anywhere in southern California? The Arena’s Judo program is taught by Zbigniew Piec. Piec has been training in Judo since the age of 10 and is a 6th degree Judo blackbelt under some of the most respected teachers on the planet. The Arena Judo program features 4 classes throughout the week and is taught in our 4500 sq. ft. facility dedicated solely to Judo.

Judo, or “the gentle way” is a system of unarmed combat, modern Japanese martial art, and Olympic sport. The objective of competitive judo is to throw an opponent, immobilize them with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke.

Learning Judo will allow you to better understand grappling, especially with regards to takedowns and throws. This is especially important for self defense as using judo techniques will allow you to remain standing or in an advantageous position while you immobilize or throw a potential attacker.

A judogi is the only piece of equipment you will need to start training Judo.

Judo is an excellent martial art for beginners. Judo teaches throws, joint locks, and pins. It also teaches excellent balance and a strong base, both of which are essential for martial arts training as a whole. We currently offer Judo Fundamentals on Monday and Wednesday at 6:30.

We offer various membership options to fit your specific needs. Our most popular unlimited training membership is under $100 monthly.

This depends on a number of different variables such as your schedule, goals, availability, current fitness level, etc. As a general guideline, we recommend training 2-3 times weekly to expect gains in knowledge, application of the art, and physical conditioning.

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