I'm thinking about starting judo. I'm 16 almost 17 years old and don't know much about martial arts. I would like to know if I start to practice judo how will the training be? I know that at the beginning you learn the fundamentals (obviously), but I want to know if after that I will train against older people or more experienced people. I live in a small town so I don't think there are a lot of judo beginners here. What if I'm the only beginner/white belt? With whom am I going to train? How does that work?
You can only train with the people who are present. If there are a large number of beginners, there may be a separate beginner class, but if not, you can expect to be in the regular class where others will be more experienced.
It's beneficial to train with more experienced judo partners:
- You get to understand techniques directly rather than from a partner exploring.
- Experienced partners better protect you while you are still learning to fall safely.
Good judo instructors ensure the safety of students.
You'll train with the other students and instructors at the dojo.
With specific techniques, good students and instructors will present rank-appropriate material. One strong benefit of being surrounded by more-experienced classmates is that they've already been through what you're going through. It's easier for higher ranks to feel your mistakes and correct them.
With sparring, you're going to lose a lot if you only have high-ranks to spar with :D This may be frustrating, but it's okay: long-term you'll be a far better judoka for it.
(You'll generally be safer, too; just had this same conversation with both some BJJ and FMA students. Lower ranks can be scary to work with—some have something to "prove", some are just out of control. Not malicious, just unaware.)