High Peak man says martial arts saved his life - now he wants new Buxton Judo club to give back to the community

Adam Brown says martial arts saved his life when he was a young adult - now he wants to use his new club to give back to the community and the next generation.
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In just over a year Adam has already outgrown his first venue and is now operating from Harpur Hill Sports Centre.

He said: “I can’t believe the journey we have been on and in such a small space of time.

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“It’s really exciting to have a new bigger venue more suited to our needs.”

Adam Brown from Buxton Judo. Photo Jason ChadwickAdam Brown from Buxton Judo. Photo Jason Chadwick
Adam Brown from Buxton Judo. Photo Jason Chadwick

Living in the North East as a youngster Adam says the area he grew up in was a deprived one and there very few opportunities to go to sports clubs.

“I had no purpose, no direction and made the bad choices in life and went down the wrong path and was mixing with the wrong sort of people.”

By his early 20s he said he had so much aggression and pent up anger it was becoming destructive.

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He said: “My mental health was in a terrible state and I had no one in my life I could talk to and just spiralled downwards.

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Adam with a selection of students of different ages at Buxton Judo. Photo Jason ChadwickAdam with a selection of students of different ages at Buxton Judo. Photo Jason Chadwick
Adam with a selection of students of different ages at Buxton Judo. Photo Jason Chadwick

“It was then I was introduced to martial arts and my world changed.

“It was like this light bulb moment that this was the controlled release I needed.“From then my life started to change for the better and I got myself back on the straight and narrow.”

Life took Adam to Sussex where he continued training.

He then moved to the High Peak to be with his wife however found the area did not have many judo training venues.

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Adam watches some of students going through their paces. Photo Jason ChadwickAdam watches some of students going through their paces. Photo Jason Chadwick
Adam watches some of students going through their paces. Photo Jason Chadwick

The 36-year-old said: “I was travelling to Cheadle which was, on bad traffic day, a four hour round trip for a hobby.”Then covid hit and the classes were stopped.

“I could feel my mental health deteriorating again.

“I have a borderline personality disorder and without the regular release of judo I felt I was lost.”

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As social restrictions were lifted Adam had the idea to set up a venue here in Buxton.

“If I wanted a place to do judo I couldn’t be the only one so I decided to just go for it and do it myself.”

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Buxton Judo opened and they have spent a year growing as a club.

“For me the key focus has always been to support young people.

“The parks are full of glass, they are vaping and drinking and maybe doing drugs and they are bored.

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“There are very few activities where teenagers are welcome or want to be there so I set about changing that.”

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There are around 15 children who have signed up to his class as well as six adults for the older session.

“We take children from the age of five, they are like a sponge and want to learn and have fun and it’s great to see the change in them as their confidence develops.

“We have children from all walks of life and those with special educational needs at our classes.

“We have children with ADHD, autism and Down Syndrome training along with able bodied children.

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“On the mat it doesn't matter what your background is you are here to train.”

Adam says he never saw himself as a teacher and only ever doing the sport as a hobby.

“But I love it,” he said.

“I love seeing the children blossom and grow. It’s very rewarding.”

Adam says he wants to be a person who the children and young people can turn to and trust.

“I never had anyone I could talk to and it wasn’t nice.

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“Some kids don’t don’t feel they can talk to their parents but they know I’m here to listen and because they know they are coming to a safe space they feel comfortable.

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“You can see the weights and worries of the day leave their shoulders because when you are training you haven’t got time to be thinking about anything else and at the end of the session they are walking taller and leaving with a smile on their faces.”

Adam says he puts all the money from subs back into the club and kits the judo members out in their whites and had even brought hoodies for members because when ‘you look good you feel good’.

Adam is not just looking to work with the local community he is also working with the judo community nationwide.

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He has secured an international visit from a 9th Dan - the highest level of judo master - who never normally travels out of mainland europe.

“To get Sampson Sampson is a big deal and very exciting.

“Doing things like this and securing visits from people at the top of their craft is to inspire people of what they can become.

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“To be teaching the next generation of people who love judo and to pass on that knowledge and passion is amazing and I’m excited to see how we can progress in the future.

“We teach true Kodokan Judo in style, rules attitude and application. Incorporating traditional Judo which has applications beyond sport.

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“We have a friendly atmosphere which is welcoming to all to allow people to learn what Judo has to offer.

“We hope to see you soon.”

Adam runs several sessions for different age groups at the Harpur Hill Sports Centre on Trenchard Drive.

For more information visit the website wixsite.com/buxton-judo-club or call Adam on 07387177538.