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Jack Hodgson is going for Paralympic gold in Rio

2nd June 2016

Jack Hodgson is going for Paralympic gold in Rio
This summer, Jack Hodgson will be part of the Judo squad representing Team GB at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. After coming through qualifying, he'll be jetting off to Rio for a chance to take gold. We were lucky enough to get the chance to gain a little further insight from Jack about what it's like to be part of the squad and how he got there.

Tell me Jack, how does feels to be representing Team GB at this summer's Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro?

Being selected for Rio is amazing. It was my first year on the international circuit and I was never expected to qualify so the fact that I've over-performed and not only qualified but finished 4th is something special to me!

Tell us a little about the disability you are competing with? Which category are you competing in?

I'll be competing in the B2 category (+100kg). I have ushers syndrome which means I have tunnel vision, I have 5 degrees of vision and sun and night blindness, I am also profoundly deaf.

How did you first get into Judo and how has it helped you?

I got into judo when I was about 6. I lived on an RAF camp in Northern Ireland at the time and it was a choice between ballet and judo (don't worry I tried both) and since then it's had a massive impact on my life. It's given me goals and dreams, I've been to places I never thought would be possible and I've met amazing people!

Tell us about your training routine...

Training is pretty intense at the moment. We train for around 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, normally with technical gym and randori (fighting). Then on top of that we often have camps or competitions in various places all around the world!

You are part of a 4 man team in the Men's Judo this year. What's the relationship like with the other guys?

The others guy on the squad are some of my best mates. I live with Skell and Jonno and we're always together, it's like family!

What do you do when you're not in training?

When I'm not training you'll probably find me sleeping, or just chilling out with the boys doing something stupid probably.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career is winning silver at the world games in Seoul, it was beyond anything anyone would have expected and just propelled me right up the tables!

What is your target for the summer?

This summer I am just going to go out there and give it my best shot, it's my first games so anything could happen. I'd love a medal but I'm just grafting away right now!

How can I watch the Judo at Rio 2016?

The Paralympic judo will be broadcast on Channel 4, along with full coverage of the rest of the games. You will be able to watch footage on Channel 4 itself, the red button and online that's All 4 player. The judo begins on September 7th and the final takes place on September 18th.

How can I find a martial arts class?

Finding a martial arts class is easy, even if you have a disability. There are a growing number of disabled martial artists as the sport has become more accessible in recent years.

On Martial Arts Near You, there are hundreds of martial arts clubs and martial arts instructors around the UK offering all nature of martial arts styles. These range from karate classes, to judo classes, to Muay Thai classes!

To find your nearest instructor, enter your postcode into the search tool on the website homepage. Once you have found a class that suits you, you can either contact the instructor, or buy a place online.

If you have a disability, it is often best to speak to the instructor first, to ensure the activity is suitable and also to give them a chance to tailor a more specific class plan to your needs.
Source: Martial Arts Near You