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Judo runs in the blood of this Norfolk family of martial arts lovers

PUBLISHED: 12:15 26 May 2015 | UPDATED: 12:46 26 May 2015

Howard Oates who has written a book about Judo with his son Colin. Pictured here with his grandson Reece who features in the book.

Howard Oates who has written a book about Judo with his son Colin. Pictured here with his grandson Reece who features in the book.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

A judo champion has enlisted his martial arts mad south Norfolk family to write a beginners’ guide to the sport.

Colin Oates, 31, who has a total of 21 gold medals to his name in various top competitions including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, has written the book Judo Getting Started which shows how the martial art can be practised without continual heavy impacts.

The book has been co-written by the London Olympics competitor’s father and personal coach Howard Oates, 62 and from North Lopham, near Diss, who introduced his son to the sport and is a dab hand at judo himself as he has a third dan at black belt.

And the book also features Colin’s brothers and sisters David, Charlotte, Vicky and his seven-year-old nephew Reece photographed at Lopham Village Hall trying out various judo techniques, such as hip throws, breakfalls and a normal cross strangle.

Colin, who is temporarily based in Scotland and is eight times British champion, says in the foreword to the book: “Although I choose to fight around the world, this book will show judo is very much a family sport.

“If ever a sport can be shared by a family, it is the sport of judo.”

His father, who won four British veterans championships in the 1990s, had come up with the idea of the book.

He said: “A lot of people can be put off from judo as they think it is all about impacts and there are injuries.

“The concept of the book is that we wanted to introduce people through a gentler form of judo.”

Reece, who goes to St Andrew’s Primary School, said: “I did a breakfall and got to throw my mummy over.”

Colin and Howard, who runs the Kumo Judo Club, are not the first members of the family to write a sporting book as Howard’s older brother Ralph, who also lives in North Lopham, has written several books about boxing.

Have you got a sporting champion in your family? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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