Lets face it, Judo in Australia isnt as popular as it could be in 2019. Compared to the other popular martial arts in Australia, like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo, Karate, I personally feel that Judo has some work to do.
On some level, these issues or inconveniences contribute to the dissatisfaction of people who are new to Judo, and could likely affect their dedication to support the sport.
Being involved in Judo for nearly 20 years, with majority of that in Australia, I have heard quite a few complaints over the years from consumers of the sport. Years go by as the same issues repeats themselves over and over again. There's no wonder that Judo isnt growing as it isnt being marketed properly.
As an engineer Judoka, I couldnt help myself to work on solutions.
In no particular order,
Here's a list of the top 9 Judo service related issues in Australia:
1) Trying to order a new Judo Gi, but not much information on size
In general, there are guidelines which you use your height and weight to get a general idea of what size Gi to get.
Solution: We are in the progress of coding up a "Judo Gi size calculator" to take the guesswork out. We have also measured individual Gis, so you know what arm length you should be getting from your Gi, before washing. Some Gi are pre-shrunk, which shouldnt shrink too much, and some shrink at a normal rate
2) Ordered a Judo Gi, its been x days and still hasnt been shipped out
Sometimes things do get out of hand during busy periods.
Solution: In general, we like to keep customers informed. If there is any reason for a delay, we will get in touch. Sometimes the courier company itself might delay pickups, but we try to pack and send your order on the same day if possible, or the next day!
3) Ordered a Judo Gi by express, been waiting x days, to call them later on to find out they were never in stock
Sometimes goods arent tracked as well as they could be, resulting in "oversold" products, which should not happen on a regular basis. Customers shouldnt need to call to find out that it was not going to be delivered, or some notice should be given in the first place
Solution: Our stock tracking is automated and we have a great overview of the inventory levels in our product range. This means thats we might sell out of an item (we try to reduce the downtime as much as possible), but never oversell!
4) Ordered a Judo Gi. The Gi shrunk on me!
Judo Gi are mainly made of cotton. Sometimes it is 100% cotton, and sometimes made with a mixture of synthetic material. In general, any Judo gi will experience shrinkage, from about 1-3cm. 4cm is pushing the limits. Anything more (by arm lengths dropping 2 sizes) should be classified as unacceptable
Solution: Pull out products which had any history of extreme shrinkage rates. Educating customers to wash in cold water for less shrinkage, and hot water for more shrinkage. The pre-shrunk Judo gi should not shrink much at all and should fit your body size well, provided that your body size is for that size Gi
5) Live streaming is not view-able
There have been quite a few instances of this, with video footage being quite blurry, choppy, laggy and mobile friendly
Solution: One hurdle is to figure out how to stream with Australia's data network! - Australia's data network is not the greatest. However, we believe we have found a basic 1080p solution and will work on developing the solution over the years to provide everyone a better viewing experience, so you can support your friends/family, whether it may be their first Judo tournament, or 100th. Please do get in touch if you'd like for us to work with you to livestream your Judo tournament. Whether or not we may be the official guys to livestream the event, we will still do out best to get there!
6) Backpatch doesnt fit the Judo Gi!
A one-size-fits-all backpatch doesnt work for the smallest kids with the biggest adults.
Solution: working on a solution to get a custom perfect fit for kids and adults, this is currently in the works. If there's a way to custom print different names on a backpatch, there should be a way to get different sized prints too!
7) Certain sizes of color belts are not easy to find
Since the introduction of black tipped- belts with dual colors was raised in Australia, which calls for manufacturers to make more-custom belts. Some shops have decided to not sell black tipped belts altogether given that Judo isnt exactly popular in Australia
Solution: As a small business, we're looking into getting the less common belt sizes! in the future everything for Judo in Australia should be stocked, as we're working with a good factory which can handle custom orders with smaller quantities.
8) X product in a common size is out of stock.... for ages!
As per the previous points, inventory management and some supply-and-demand comes into play.
Solution: We try and keep the common sizes in stock, and if need be, keep the downtime as low as possible. As a dedicated Judo store, we aim to keep everything in stock, when you need it.
9) Some kids belts are super thin
Some may claim that thin belts are easier to tie for the younger kids, but some have found issues with the thinner belts.
Solution: We have found decently quality belts, which are of great quality but not super thin. We believe that the quality of a belt/gi contributes to the overall experience felt by the user, so we go with the quality products that bring a more positive experience.
I personally have not encountered many complaints from consumers regarding the price of Judo Gi, but there are numerous quality affordable options outside of branded Judo Gi.
How did I go? Do you have any other issues faced in your country that isnt in the list above?