Paddy Lish: Judo

Foundation Performance at Central Saint Martin


Tell us a bit about how you first got involved in your sport?

I was 7 years old and I was lacking in confidence.  I wanted to do a sport that would be fun and keep me active. Judo was a good choice because my dad had done it as a child. When I first started, it was just an opportunity to make friends and when you are young in judo it is a lot of games and really good fun.  As I got older I began to fall in love with the sport. I started to do small local competitions and then began attending British Judo Council squad training, and then started to compete more regularly, including regionally and abroad which has been a great experience.  Judo has shaped me to be the person I am today, and I have learned a lot from it.


What is a typical week for you?

My course is really busy so I train a little less than I did previously because I am committed to my studies.  However, I try to train a couple of times a week at Rush Judo on Berkhamsted, and I also have a gym membership in London.  At weekends I am often competing in venues across the UK so it can be a little hectic. I also work at a weekend drama school, so I have to juggle training, study and work shifts carefully to squeeze everything in.


What are your greatest sporting achievements / what are you most proud of?

Achieving my 1st Dan was something that was really special for me because it was the culmination of 10 years of hard training.  I had completed the technical training and then I went to a grading where I had to fight in a pool and win the pool in order to qualify for a line up.  I then had to win the line up (basically beat everyone else who had turned up), in order to be awarded the grade. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I am very proud to wear a black belt.


What are your sporting goals for the year?

Right now I am working on collecting points for my 2nd Dan. I have 40 points so far and I need another 60. I have already completed the technical requirements, so hopefully that is not too far away. I also want to continue to compete regularly and am looking forward to representing UAL.  

This weekend I competed at the London Universities Open Championships and was really pleased to achieve a Silver medal in the Juniors and a 5th place in the Seniors. My next Competition will be the British Judo Council Closed National Championships in Northampton, and the week after I have a Samurai High Grades Championships in Walsall.  It keeps me busy but I love it!