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Judo Academy

Judo Academy

Welcome to the Parkland Judo Academy

Judo has been a part Parkland since 1989 when the Parkland Judo Club was founded by former Parkland teacher and Judo instructor, Mickey Fitzgerald.  The Parkland Judo Academy began its first year in September of 2012 and is the only program of its kind in Western Canada.  We are very proud to offer Judo as one of the unique opportunities available at Parkland Secondary.

Practicing Judo is frequently described as a life-changing experience.  Not only do participants build physical strength, endurance and flexibility but the inherent discipline, focus and mental fortitude positively benefit Judoka in all aspects of life.  The close proximity, supportive and cooperative method of learning Judo often forms bonds and relationships that extend far beyond the Judo mats.  Judo is also a fantastic means to experience vigorous competition.  Few experiences are as thrilling as entering a tournament, stepping out onto the mats and waiting for the referee to signal the start of the match – Hajime!

Students registered with the Parkland Judo Academy will receive four credits for Judo as well as an additional four PE credits each year they participate.  Judo will be taught in the last block of the day (no need to go back to other classes sweaty!) and will run on a linear schedule as a year long course.  In addition to at least three days on the mats, students will have the opportunity to study the history of Judo, its origins and how it has spread to become one of the most widely practiced sports worldwide.  Students will also be expected to pursue a personal training program designed to not only succeed on the mats but to also build strong physical health and mental well-being for life.  Ultimately, our goal at the academy is to promote a healthy lifestyle, during the students’ school years and beyond, through the incredible sport that is JUDO!

About Judo

The sport of Judo was officially founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano a physical education specialist, administrator and advocate.  Dr. Kano created a means of preserving the martial art of Judo in a safe sporting form with both cooperative and competitive elements. Literally translated, Judo means “the gentle way” and Dr. Kano characterized the goal of Judo as achieving maximum efficiency through mutual benefit.  Seeking to popularize Judo beyond Japan, Dr. Kano became a member of the International Olympic committee in 1909. Judo officially became an Olympic sport in 1964 and today is practiced by millions worldwide.

The pursuit of individual excellence and achievement is an inherent part of Judo. Dr. Kano’s original vision of Judo was as a central core to physical education.  In many ways, this anticipated a contemporary understanding of the importance of the mind body connection.  The recognized significance to maintaining and improving mental health through activities that challenge balance, coordination and endurance has been well documented.  Judo is a fantastic means of developing overall body conditioning, flexibility and strength.  However, the techniques of Judo are of paramount importance to progress in the sport and metal development of the Judoka is considered above and beyond physical development.   Skill and expertise in Judo are recognized through belts and requires a demonstration of technique, proficiency and personal growth before the individual can progress to the next belt rank.  These belt exams require an ever expanding knowledge of appropriate Japanese terminology for the demonstrated techniques as well as an understanding of the subtle differences that can distinguish one technique from the next.  This system of progress through the belt ranks lasts far beyond the student years but follows Judoka (practitioners of Judo) throughout their lifetime.  The nature of Judo makes it possible for young and old, competitive and non competitive Judoka to practice together and to receive mutual benefit from their cooperation.

Judo has officially been part of the greater Victoria community since 1957 when the Victoria Judo club was founded.  Judo has continuously been a part of Parkland since 1989 when Mickey Fitzgerald founded the Parkland Judo Club.  The club continues to run today and is officially recognized by Judo BC and Judo Canada.


Adrian van Erp

Adrian van Erp started Judo in 2003 and trained under Rokudan Henry Boas. His training in Penticton led to a silver medal at the BC Winter Games in 2006 and competing in the national tournament scene. Mr. van Erp received his Shodan from Rokudan Mickey Fitzgerald at the Victoria Judo Club in 2020.

Mr. van Erp completed his practicum with the Parkland Judo Academy in 2015 and has been the head instructor since 2022. He currently sits on the board for the Victoria Judo Club and is an active member in the local Judo community. In addition to teaching Judo, Mr. van Erp is on the Inclusion support team at Parkland and has a background in Science and Math.



Merida Zeindler

Merida Zeindler started her Judo career with the Parkland Judo academy in 2021. She is an active member of the Victoria Judo Club and actively trains with the students on the mats. In addition to assisting with Judo, she teaches English at various levels in the district. Ms. Zeindler also brings her various passions to Parkland Secondary and is a valued member of the school community. 

How to Apply

To apply to the Parkland Judo Academy, please download the following PDF form.  Completed applications can be emailed to or mailed to the address below.

***Applications for September 2024 received by April 30, 2024 will be given first priority***

2024 Application Package

For further information email:

Parkland Secondary
Attn: Parkland Judo Academy
10640 McDonald Park Road
North Saanich, BC
V8L 5S7

International Students

Parkland Secondary is located in the beautiful District of North Saanich, BC, Canada. North Saanich is a quiet-sea-side community on the Saanich Peninsula, on Vancouver Island. Parkland is a smaller high school in the district and has earned a reputation for having a caring staff who take a genuine personal interest in their students success. Students who enroll in the Parkland Judo Academy will benefit from the individual attention that is part of the Parkland tradition. Students will also benefit from the safety and ease of staying in a small community while enjoying the relative accessibility of near-by Victoria, Vancouver and surrounding Islands.

Whether you are a beginning or advanced Judoka, the Parkland Judo Academy will provide you with an invaluable life experience and lifelong peer to peer connections. Judoka at all levels will find dedicated training and instruction to enhance their own unique Judo experience.

Experience the benefits and well-being that come with studying Judo. Develop respect, confidence and discipline. Be part of this unique opportunity in Western Canada. Be part of this Judo family. 

Judo Links

Victoria Judo Club – Non-profit home of Judo in Victoria, BC since 1957

Judo BC – Governing organization for Judo in BC.  Includes schedules for upcoming tournaments.

Judo Canada

Kodokan Judo Institute – Founding school of Judo in Japan.

District of North Saanich

Town of Sidney

Saanich International Student Program