Sandia Judo

Sandia  Judo


Our hearts are with the family of Jesse Ballou and all of his students at Sandia Judo.
The 20th Annual Denver Classic Judo Championship is less than 3 weeks away! We hope that everyone can make it to this great event. We will be offering divisions for novice and advanced juniors, seniors, and masters/veterans as well as kata. There will be a cash prize and championship belts for the winners of the men's and women's open divisions!

On-line registration is available at

The complete entry packet can be found at

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to help volunteer for this event - [email protected] or 303-591-9563

We look forward to seeing you soon!
Online registrations for the 2021 Colorado State Judo Championships are open!
Register at
Everything is coming together for a great event on 10/16/21!
Open division winners will receive a $200 cash prize.
No junior walk-in registrations this year!
I am moving to Albuquerque and study judo, Nihon Jujutsu, Goju Ryu karate and would like to join your dojo. I am older guy, so not as flexible as I used to be but want to continue study. I really like what you folks are doing. How much is your fee please? Thanks
Garrison Wells
Hey All! Greetings from Boston! Just wanted to send you all well wishes since I will not be coming home this summer due to the pandemic. Take care and hope to see you all when things get back to normal. Stay healthy, be safe, and keep busy!
I am trying to reach Darlene Anaya. She was a world bronze medalist in 1983 from Albuquerque. She was a police officer also. Do you know how I might reach he? If you have contact info, would you please text it to me at 404-808-7108. Thanks
Training camp with Carlos Honorato.
Olympic silver medalist;
World bronze medalist;
7 time gold medalist Panamerican championships;
Junior world bronze;
Honorato is known for throwing Hidehiko Yoshida for an ippon with an uchi-mata that ended up dislocating the elbow of the Japanese judoka.
Save the date as you can't miss it!
2020 Colorado State Judo Championships - 4/18
Camp with Carlos Honorato - 4/19 and 4/20.

sandiajudo.50 Sandia Judo Club was established in September of 1972, by Sensei Jesse Ballou. Sensei Ballou began Judo January of 1955 in Sacramento California, he is 6th degree black belt (Rokudan).

Sensei Howard Higgins, 6th degree black belt (Rokudan), is the current owner of the club; and the Primary Sensei of the Tuesday and Thursday classes. He is also President of New Mexico Judo Inc., the governing body of sport Judo in New Mexico. Howard sensei began studying Judo in Yonkers, New York in 1963 and began training with Sandia Judo in 1974. Sandia has many experienced Sensei (some Sensei

Operating as usual


Sandia Judo Club is in mourning. Our founder and sensei, Jesse Ballou, passed away yesterday. He taught many of us, was much loved, and will be missed.


Sandia Judo Club will be closed December 24, 2021 through January 2, 2022. Workouts will resume on January 4, 2022. Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends! 🥋


Sandia Judo Club will be closed on Thursday, November 25th. and Saturday, November 27th, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes resume November 30th. Have a great holiday!


Friends and fellow Judoka, please note that we now are offering a Judo for Juniors class. This is being taught on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:45-5:00. Come and see our spirited youth in action! Masks mandatory.


The Board


The candidates.


Sandia Judo had a very successful belt testing event yesterday. Six students tested, and all were promoted. These included: Silas Goff to Rokkyu, Matthew Goff to Rokkyu, Viktor Parnall to Yonkyu, Joel Poore to Yonkyu, Malia Irvine to Nikki, and Annika Irvine to Ikkyu. Congratulations to all of these very fine students!


Our current hours have changed (increased!):

Tuesday and Thursday
Juniors: 4-5:15 PM
Seniors (all welcome): 7-8:30 PM

Saturday (Open Mat):
Saturday: 11 AM-1:00 PM


Open Mat restarted! Beginning Saturday, September 28; 11:00-1:00 the club will be open Saturdays mid-day for your sel-designed workouts, to meet other members, or to just play Judo. Come and join us for some good Judo!


For the next couple weeks the Judo for Juniors class will be taught by Bert Parnall sensei. Thanks to all who are coming! This is a fun class!


Judo for Juniors class starting 7/29! Sandia Judo is pleased to announce resumption of the Judo for Juniors program. This program is for the young: 5-16 years in age, although adult family members are welcome to participate as well. Initially, classes will be Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, 4-5:15 PM and will be taught by Sensei Sean DeBuck, assisted by Sensei Howard.


In line with the CDC and NM DOH guidelines, Sandia Judo is adopting the following mask guidelines:
1) unvaccinated individuals must wear masks at all times;
2) fully vaccinated individuals (2 weeks following second shot, or single J&J shot) are encouraged to wear masks in the presence of unvaccinated individuals;
3) fully vaccinated individuals have the option of not wearing masks while working out and/or visiting the premises.

Thanks to all for being honest about their vaccination status, and following our health driven mandate.


Please note: starting May 20th our hours of operation will return to 7:00-8:30 PM, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Contact Sensei Howard if you have questions.


CDC has authorized fully vaccinated individuals to NOT wear masks indoors and to be closer than social distancing allows! This will permit good Judo workouts at the club! Get your vaccination and join us for Judo practice!


Tomorrow, Thursday May 6, is Tokui-waza day! Come and hone your favorite throw on the crash pad, and work on kata-gatame with us.


Sandia Judo Club is open! Currently, workouts are Tuesday and Thursday 6-7. This may have to move to 7-8:30 in the near future. Watch this site for updates. $50 per month (no contracts). Come and join us! Good workouts, good spirit and good fellowship with other judoka.


Elections Explained! - How Mail-in Ballots are Processed


Sandia Judo Club Reopening!
Co-vid 19 procedures compliant workouts Tuesday and Thursday nights;
No contact training; masks and social distancing enforced.
First class September 17th 7:00-8:00 pm:
Limited to 8 practitioners, first come first served!
Cost: $50 per month or $10 per workout, payable in advance.
By reservation only. To reserve your slot, e-Mail Howard, or respond to this with your contact information. Note: due to social distancing requirements, all participants need to arrive dressed out and no spectators will be allowed at these workouts.


Friends and fellow Judoka,
Governor Grisham has extended her previous executive order through the end of July. This order effectively bans indoor fitness classes, under which our classes fall. I am exploring options for non-contact, social distanced training. This would permit us to restart quickly (although at a reduced level) once the restrictions are lifted. Please consider whether this would interest you, as I’ll need definite commitments from a few of you to begin. I am also preparing the new guidance instruction sheet detailing how we must proceed.
In this Covid-19 world. I’ll post this in the next few days.
Please keep strong is spirit and body. Remember-we are all warriors and winners as we are Judoka!
Howard Sensei


Fellow Judoka,
I had a moment of happy anticipation when I heard gyms would be able to open. However, looking closer, “group fitness classes” are still not allowed. This, unfortunately, includes our Judo classes. I’ll reach out to the governor’s office and see if I can get any thoughts on when we might be allowed to restart. Until then, keep up your home workouts!

Howard Sensei


Friends and fellow Judoka,

The Governor announced new COVID-19 rules yesterday. Gyms still are not to reopen. It is possible they will be allowed to open in mid-June. However, based upon guidance from USA Judo, we will not be resuming Judo classes until social distancing rules are relaxed. Good news is that we won’t have to wear masks while working out. Both the Governor and USA Judo recommend against wearing masks during strenuous exercise. When we reopen there will be new rules regarding disinfection, spectator limitations and so forth. All participants will also be required to certify they are not ill and sign new waivers.

Please stay healthy and continue working out. We’ll be training together soon!

Howard Sensei


Friends and fellow judoka,

Gov. Grisham has extended the closure order for gyms through the fifteenth of May. Unfortunately, this means we will not be resuming Judo classes before then. Depending upon events and decisions by our government in the next two weeks, we may be able to reopen later in May. If so we will! However, be prepared for temperature checks, new rules on cleaning GIS, and increased sanitizing.

In the meantime, stay healthy and begin (or continue) working out!!

Thinking of you all, I remain,
Howard Sensei


Judoka: this is a training tip! I trust all are working out at home (stretching, push-ups, sit-ups etc.). For Judo, hikite pull (“what time is it”) is very important. Add these to your home workouts. Take a light dumbell, workout band, or even small can of vegetables or fruit. Pull it (pinky up!) across leading with the elbow. Do 25 repetitions each side, repeat for 3 sets. Alternatively, you could do a set each time you enter your bedroom.
And, remember to also keep your cardio strong! Run, bike, swim or even walk to get your heart rate up. This will help your immune system and you’ll need good cardio when we start back at the dojo!

See you soon,
Howard Sensei



We live in unprecedented times. In these times we must keep strong and live the “giving way.” I miss you all, and hope you are maintaining the Judo spirit. If any of you need help, please call me or leave a message on the club phone. I have also started trying to reach everyone at home to make sure all are OK.
We hope to reopen next month. If that isn’t happening I may start posting short instructional segments. In the meantime remember, “The path of the warrior is lifelong, and mastery is often simply staying on the path.”(Richard Heckler).

Howard Sensei


Friends and fellow Judoka,

Due to the extension of the shelter at home order from the governor through the end of April, Sandia Judo Club will remain closed through the month. The projected date for our reopening workout is now May 5th, with May 2 a workday to clean mats, locker room etc. and ready for our workouts. Fingers crossed this schedule holds! Work out at home and see you soon!

Howard Sensei


Judoka, families and friends,

The governor extended the closure order through April 10. This means our first workout would be April 14 (April 11 would be a work day to thoroughly clean the club).

However, the President has requested closures and social distancing through the end of April. Thus it is likely our work day would be May 2 with a May 5 opening.

The NM virus case peak isn’t projected to be until the week of April 20. Given this, even the May dates may be too early. But, we will reopen as soon as we can do so safely. In the meantime, watch here for updates.

Stay healthy, work out, watch Judo videos and/ or study Judo books, and do breathing exercises! We’ll all be together as an integral Judo community soon!

Howard Sensei

Judo Fanatics 03/28/2020

Judo Fanatics

Friends, fellow Judoka, and students:

Our governor has not yet ended the business closure order. It also appears unlikely to be lifted soon. We will reopen as soon as health conditions warrant, and it is legal to do so. In the meantime, Olympic silver medalist and BJJ black belt Travis Stevens has posted a FREE home workout at (Travis-Stevens-home-workout). Use of this workout will help you maintain your edge.

Please stay tuned for further up-dates as to when our workouts will resume. Stay safe out there!

Howard Sensei

Judo Fanatics Our goal is to bring you the best instructional Judo videos from the premier competitors on Earth.


Due to the governor’s orders it is unlikely we will be able to open April 2, as planned. We are monitoring the situation and will reopen as soon as we can. We miss you all and can’t wait until we can work out together again. Judo hugs to all! Be safe and healthy out there; it’ s a dangerous world!

Howard Sensei


Due to the directive of the governor, Sandia Judo will not be able to reopen on April 2, as planned. We’ll reopen as soon as we can. We miss everyone and can’t wait until we can “knock heads” again! Judo hugs to all! Stay safe out there, it’s a dangerous world.
Howard Sensei


Hello, friends and Judoka! I hope you all are staying well and fit despite the pandemic. As we are closed by order of the governor, our re-opening date remains in limbo. I’ve researched guidance for exercise during this time and offer the following Do’s and Don’ts:

Undertake mild to moderate physical exercise (20-45 minutes) 3 times per week;
Focus on “maintain not gain” for fitness and/or strength;
Avoid physical contact, 6 ft distance from others;
Wash and disinfect all equipment, mats, and spaces following use;
Disinfect the gym following use;
Stay engaged with us (your cohort) through social media, not direct contact;
Eat and sleep well to maintain strong disease resistance;
Remain optimistic, be here now, and don’t be scared for this too shall pass.

Exercise to exhaustion.
Exercise with flulike symptoms (fever, dry cough, exhaustion, muscle she’s, shortness of breath);
Exercise more than 5 times per week;
Exercise in crowded, enclosed spaces;
Share drinks or utensils;
Over drink fluids to “flush out” pathogens or to avoid dehydration.

Remember: MODERATION in exercise as in all other things! Stay healthy out there and we’ll see each other soon.

Howard Sensei


Sandia Judo closed due to Covid-19 from March 16 through March 31. Stay tuned for further announcements!


Andria Rodriguez-Lopez ha ha here is a better one!

Know it!


Know it!


Hi It's Toni Hardesty-Richtsmeier, does anyone feel like giving me a ride to class tonight? 👍👀


Hi It's Toni Hardesty-Richtsmeier, does anyone feel like giving me a ride to class tonight? 👍👀

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JudoTraining 101


General Manager

Sensei Jesse Ballou 6th Dan Judo


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5315 Acoma Rd SE
Albuquerque, NM

Opening Hours

Tuesday 3:45pm - 5pm
7pm - 8:30pm
Thursday 3:45pm - 5pm
7pm - 8:30pm
Saturday 11am - 1pm

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