We started teaching judo/jujutsu in Craigieburn in 1992. After teaching in the creche at the Craigieburn Leisure Centre for 23 years, we decided it was time to have our own centre.
In 2014, after many months of negotiating with real estate agents and City Council as to the suitability of the proposed building we settled on our site in Export Drive, Craigieburn.
This became our blank canvas to create our vision. Our immediate thought was to split the building into two sections, upstairs for weapons based arts and downstairs for throwing & grappling arts. The design task of the downstairs dojo proved to be the most difficult as we needed to include change rooms, store room and reception. All based around the existing toilet block and the stairs for access to the upper dojo.
Leanne is standing on a ladder between the 300mm C-section channel floor beams.
Fun fact: The floor has been rated at 500 kilograms per square meter. Imagine 5 x 100kg people in every square metre of space. Wow. That would be 1015 people!!!
In November 2014 Leanne and Kevin travelled to Japan to purchase special Items for the dojo. Including tatami mats, not pictured.
To practice Judo and Jujutsu safely you need a good shock absorbent floor. It is very difficult to get the correct balance between a soft and firm surface while absorbing the impact of being thrown. If the surface is too soft, you risk rolling your ankle. If the surface is too hard, many people fear injury from the impact.
Even with the correct Judo mats it is possible to be injured from falling, Especially if the underlying surface is too hard. To create the perfect Judo/Jujutsu training surface for our students we decided to create a “sprung sub-floor”. There are different types of sprung floors. In gymnastics it is preferred to have a quick compression and strong rebound. This allows gymnasts to jump down onto the floor and spring up high with the aid of the rebound. For a good Judo/Jujutsu surface you need a quick compression and a slow rebound. This is the best combination for maximum shock absorption. This allows students to learn how to throw their partner with power and speed without injuring their partner.
Our sprung sub-floor began with cutting up about 20 of our old high density foam mats into small blocks. The only knife I could use to cut the foam was Leanne’s carving knife we received as a wedding present 34 years ago.
The MANY foam blocks glued to plywood ready to be laid on the floor. Plus the plywood which is screwed to the boards as an upper layer
The foam boards are laid on the concrete floor and then another piece of plywood is placed on top. The upper plywood is rotated at 90 degrees and overlapping all seams. The upper plywood is screwed to the lower plywood in a 10cm matrix. A LOT of screws binding both sheets together
The completed sprung floor with all boards firmly locked together
The sprung floor with the Japanese tatami laid.
The wall of our dojo has a picture of the Butokuden as a wallpaper. The Butokuden is a famous and one of the oldest dojos in Japan. The senior members of Craigieburn Martial Arts Centre regularly train in this dojo when visiting Japan.
Our upstairs dojo has a bamboo hardened floor with a little spring. This is our dojo for practicing Iaido and Jodo. It is also where we host grading, seminar and competition events. The photo on the wall is a part of Ninomaru Garden taken at Nijo Castle in Kyoto. This was the private garden for the Shogun for 400 years. Special permission was required to take this photo.
During our break because of the global COVID-19 pandemic we took the opportunity to install a video and green screen facility in the upstairs dojo. The setup is able to be set-up or taken down in about 30 minutes. It is the ideal setup for recording our techniques.
The Craigieburn Martial Arts Centre was officially opened on the 6th August 2016 by the Mayor of Hume Council, Mayor Helen Patsikatheodora.
It was a great day where student got to perform for the Mayor and other guests.