All our classes are held in the Activities Room of Hart House. Participants must be Hart House members and pay the course fees. We are no longer permitted to accommodate guests on a pay-per-visit basis. All information about current judo class schedules and prices, as well as information on membership options, is available from the Hart House Registered Classes guide.

Class Descriptions

We currently offer Judo classes at three levels, BeginnerIntermediate and Advanced, in four terms: Fall (September to December; 12 weeks), Winter (January to April; 12 weeks), Spring (May and June; 8 weeks) and Summer (July and August; 8 weeks). Please note that Beginner classes are not offered during the Spring and Summer terms.

For the Beginner level, no previous experience is necessary. Attend the judo demonstration that is usually scheduled one week before classes start to get a clear picture of what judo is about and to speak to the instructors directly. If you decide to sign up for the beginners’ class, you may initially come in normal gym wear (e.g. T-shirt and sweat pants), but you must wear a judo uniform (judogi) after two weeks of class. Uniforms are available for purchase through the club and cost $60. Uniforms purchased from other retailers are acceptable. Other martial arts uniforms may be admissible, although they are generally much less durable. In the Beginner class, break falling, basic groundwork (generally pins, with some simple armlocks and chokes) and basic throwing techniques are taught. At the end of this class, students undergo a grading exam to receive their yellow belt, which allows them to participate in the intermediate level classes. Instructors: Jorge Comrie and Ben Ganss

At the Intermediate level, practitioners must hold a yellow belt or higher in judo. While extensive previous experience in other grappling arts such as wrestling or Brazilian jiujitsu may allow one to practise with experienced judoka, please speak to an instructor before registering for the Intermediate class. Emphasis in this class is on learning new techniques and improving basics, and practicing them in frequent “free practice” (randori or sparring) sessions. Grading for coloured belts (orange to brown) can be arranged during this class. Instructors: Izidor Marinovich and Bernard Letendre

The Advanced level class is intended for judo practitioners holding an orange belt or higher, and is recommended as a supplementary and complementary practice for members of the Intermediate class. In this class, advanced judo techniques, combinations, and strategies are taught with a competitive aspect in mind. Instructor: Ron Desormeaux and Bernard Letendre


    Jorge Comrie – Black belt 5th dan

   Head and Beginner Instructor

Jorge started judo in 1967 at the National Judo Center in Panama City, then came to Canada in 1973 to study, and graduated from York University with a degree in economics. Over the next decades he went back and forth between Panama and Canada and trained at various clubs here and there, including the Hatashita Dojo and the Minoru Judo Club, both in Toronto. With over 40 years of experience, including international competition highlights such as several PanAmerican games and the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Jorge is our most seasoned judoka and the Chief Instructor of the club. Jorge holds a fifth degree black belt (go-dan) and has been with the UofT Judo Club since 2001.


    Ronald Desormeaux – Black belt 5th dan

    Advanced Instructor

Began judo practices in 1956 in Hull Quebec; promoted Shodan in 1959, Godan in 2004. Participated in numerous provincial, national and international competitions during the period 1959-1970. Team captain for the Canadian military judo delegations at several International Rendezvous. Held memberships with the Federation Canadienne de Judo 1956, Academie Kawaishi, Paris 1961, CKBBA in 1962, British Judo association 1966, and Tokyo Kodokan Institute 2000. Current member of Judo Canada, Judo Quebec and Judo Ontario.

Founder and Dojo Shu of several training centers in Quebec. Visiting professor and teacher at dojos in Manitoba, Alberta and BC and abroad. Past President and member of regional judo executive committees and Board director of Judo Quebec. Various experiences in organization of judo events, seminars, competitions and demonstrations. NCCP level 3 since 1998 and technical judo writer with six books on judo matters and 67 technical articles published and freely accessible in electronic forms at

    Izidor Marinovich – Black belt 3rd dan



    Bernard Letendre – Black belt 3rd dan

    Intermediate and Advanced Instructor

Over the past three decades, Bernard has achieved high rankings, including many podiums, in various regional, provincial, national and international tournaments, including a 5th place finish at the 2010 World Masters Judo Championsips. Before moving to Toronto in 2011, Bernard trained for over thirty years under Sensei Raymond Damblant, 9th dan, at Club Hakudokan in Montreal, where he was also an assistant instructor for almost 10 years. Bernard is registered with the Coaching Association of Canada as a Level II Coach (Dojo Instructor).


    Ben Ganss – Black belt 1st dan

    Beginner and Intermediate Instructor

Ben started Judo in 1974 in Bad Neustadt (Germany). Highlights of his competitions include a 5th place at the German National Junior Championships in 1983 and a 7th place at the International German Junior Championships in 1984. Ben obtained his Black Belt (Sho-Dan) in 1987 and competed for several German teams between 1983 and 1993. He trained at the Shidokan Judo Club in Montreal from 1993 to 1995 and joined the U of T Judo Club in 1996. Ben is currently the President of the club.

Email: b.ganss *at*


Associated yudansha

    Senpuuki-sama – Black belt 10th dan


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