SUNY Oswego’s judo club welcomes members to mental and physical challenges

OSWEGO, N.Y. –The judo club at SUNY Oswego is far more than a place to learn self-defense techniques. For many students, it is a sanctuary where they can challenge themselves, both mentally and physically.

Under the guidance of experienced instructors like Software Engineering Associate Professor and the club’s Sensei Bastian Tenbergen, members grow to master the art. But it goes beyond just the physical aspects of the sport, it is the mental discipline and self-confidence gained through judo that sets it apart.

Judo is more than just a sport for Sensei Tenbergen. For him, it is a transformative journey that has impacted his everyday life. 

“I started judo when I was 11 years old. Back then I was, you know, bullied a lot and I was not very confident. And judo gave that to me. Judo gave me confidence that I’m drawing strength from to this day,” said Tenbergen.

For students like junior Katarina Kozowski, being a part of the club keeps her motivated and active throughout the day. 

“It definitely boosts my energy. Instead of going back to my dorm room and laying down, after classes I come here and get out a bunch of energy,” said Kozowski. 

The club welcomes members with open arms regardless of skill level.  

SUNY Oswego’s judo club members for the 2024 spring semester attending a club meeting. Photo by: Meghan Gonyo