Welcome to our Website!

Red River Judo is a new judo club in the Fargo Moorhead area, established in 2003. The school’s instructor Vern Borgen has been teaching Judo in the Fargo Moorhead Area since 1979.

We hope you enjoy our website. Stop in and visit us when you are in the area. This site is designed to give you information about our facility, our staff and provide you with information about how to contact us as well.

What is Judo?

Judo is a Japanese Martial Art. Judo is a style, or school of Jujitsu. Jujitsu is a martial art with a long history in Japan and is essentially the empty handed combat of the Samurai warrior.

Judo is often translated as “Gentle Way”, but this is an overly simplistic translation and there is really much more to it.

"Ju" refers to flexibility, agility or gentleness. A gentleness like water, kind to all living things but can wear away the strongest rock. "Ju" also implies a "mind -body" connection.

"Do" is a road or a path, a way. "Do" sometimes means principle.

So a less elegant translation of the word judo would be the “principle of mental-physical coordination and a special kind of agility."

Judo is characterized by its dynamic throws, immobilization techniques, joint locks, strangulation techniques and to a lesser degree punches and kicks. This all sounds pretty dangerous and it is except that there are procedures and rules to follow reducing the risk of practice to a low level consistent with "having to go to work or school tomorrow." The injury rate and severity is equivalent to playing volleyball or basketball.

The judo taught at Red River Judo is classical judo. The emphasis is on good physical education, self defense, discipline, etc. There are people in our program who compete in sport judo and while we support them, our program is not geared toward competition. To be promoted it is not necessary to compete.

Those people who do wish to compete have done so successfully. Ms. Jana Seaborn, 3rd degree black belt, competes in kata (forms) and shiai (sparring) at the national level. Ms. Seaborn earned a gold medal in kata and a silver in master's shiai at the 2002 U.S. Judo Nationals. Mr. Dane Ankeny, 1st degree black belt, competed at the 2003 U.S. Judo Nationals and while he did not place, fought in four matches in a single elimination tournament with the best that the United States has to offer.

The instructional program at Red River Judo is geared toward adults. Mature young adults are welcome (13 to 15 years of age.) At present we do not have a program for kids.