Chihuahua inmates learn judo, yoga in prison

POSTED: 02:59 PM MDT Aug 16, 2013    UPDATED: 07:01 PM MDT Aug 16, 2013 
Judo in prison
EL PASO, Texas -

Inmates at Chihuahua state prisons are being trained in the "gentle way."

Since April, more than 400 prisoners have been practicing judo, a traditional Japanese martial art  whose name means "gentle way,"  twice a week.

Cereso officials said judo has been widely accepted as a vehicle to learn discipline and a more healthful lifestyle.

The practice is not just recreational but it's becoming competitive, they said.

Inmates from seven facilities in the state of Chihuahua will face each other in a first-of-its-kind tournament this November.

There are categories for men and women. Juveniles at the correctional facility will begin their training soon, prison officials said.

In January, the Cereso prison announced the start of a yoga program sponsored by the facility's psychology department. The three-hour course was offered twice a week and was headed by an inmate who was once a yoga instructor.