Case Studies

Randori Dojo

Randori Dojo provides a positive impact on the local and wider community’s physical, psychological, social and emotional wellbeing, through Judo.

Mark Taylor was inspired to start his social enterprise because of his own experience of Judo and the positive impact it had on his life. He founded Randori Dojo in 2018 to share this experience and use Judo to create a positive impact in his local community.

I have been a Judo player since the age of eight. I have been involved in competitive fighting at an international level and in coaching. Judo has been a major influence during various stages of my life and after a 20-year career in Residential Child Care, I made a return to competing and started coaching again. Judo in my local community had once thrived, so I was surprised to see that most of the local Judo Clubs had all but ceased to exist. I wanted to utilise my skills to benefit my local community through Judo.

Within two years of starting up, Mark and his team had established five community judo clubs and launched their pre school JudoSaurus classes. They were providing several funded memberships, free community events and established projects for children with additional support needs and for adults experiencing mental health challenges as well as an active schools program. By the end of 2019 membership had reached 170.

Prior to Covid-19, Randori Judo operated out of hired venues. The pandemic underlined the need to have their own dojo (training centre) as the other venues were either unavailable or were no longer suitable. In summer 2020, they identified a central area within their community and transformed an industrial unit into a bespoke dojo. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the team at Randori have worked to provide a safe place to return to Judo, they have been able to add additional classes, and membership has increased to almost 350 across all age ranges.

Having realised that there was potential to replicate the Randori Dojo model in other areas, Mark applied to LaunchMe with the ambition to set up additional Community Hub Dojos for other communities in areas of need.

He secured a place in the sixth round of LaunchMe in March 2021 and since then, Mark and his team have been working flat out to get the organisation in a strong position ready for expansion, and in doing so, broaden their reach and increase their social impact.

Talking about what the LaunchMe programme of support, Mark said:

Various elements were challenging and intensive, however, they all came together throughout the programme, and it led to strong informed decisions which could be made with confidence.

Find out more about Randori Dojo on their website and their Facebook page.

Do you have ambitions to grow and scale your social impact? LaunchMe is open for applications until Monday 17 January! Visit the LaunchMe page or sign up to an Information Webinar to find out more.