is many things to different people. It's a fun
Olympic sport, an art, a discipline, a recreational
or social activity, a fitness program, a means of
self-defence or combat, and a way of life. It is all
of these and more. If you are contemplating signing
up you or your family for some organized sports
activity, here are some of the excellent benefits
which can be be gained from Judo.
Judo is a great way to learn how to defend oneself. Not only will
judo teach you the techniques to defend yourself, but also the way
to think about defending yourself.
people become more proficient in judo their confidence gets a big
boost. They become more self-assured and confident. Their
Sensei’s (Teacher’s) encouragement goes a long way to help them
achieve this goal, but the confidence level will extend far beyond
the Dojo (Martial Arts Studio).
mantra of any martial art is ‘practice makes perfect’. Sessions
include warm-up exercises and regular practice of Judo holds and
throws. Even while sparring or competing – where a martial artist
shows how creatively he or she can apply what they have learnt–
there are still rules and protocols to be followed. All of this
teaches respect for one another, their opponents and colleagues.
It also teaches them the benefits of self-discipline, a value that
is important for the whole of life.
4. Belts and Ranking:
Judo uses belts and ranking to help provide clear goals for a
persons confidence and their desire to succeed. Belts are a great
way to help track your progress and motivate people to strive
5. Emphasis on individual Achievement:
many team sports not all people get the opportunity to be on the
team for the whole game– which means that someone has to start each
game on the bench. In Judo, however, each person’s success is based
on his or her own individual merits. Yes, you may not be the most
winning Judoka in your Judo class, but that will be because
you tried and lost, and not because you weren’t good enough to make
it off the bench.
6. Gender Equity:
Some people still initially consider judo for their sons and not
their daughters. However judo should be considered as one of the few
sports where both boys and girls can play together. It gives
brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn
from one another as well (not to mention the convenience of having
all the family in one place at a time).
typical 1 1/2 hour martial arts class will often consist of warm-up,
games, teaching and practicing of techniques and possibly some
randori (sparring). The warm-up and practice comprise the bulk of
the time, and for that time you will be constantly on the go.
The workout each person gets will not only assist in the natural
development of his or her muscles, but also help them build stronger
8. Respect for Strength:
The first thing the
parents of (even slightly) mischievous children think about when
they send them to martial arts class is: “Is my child going to use
this to hurt others?” Although this is a legitimate concern, it is
always addressed early by instructors who remind students that the
techniques they learn in the dojo stay in the dojo
(except in self-defence), and shouldn’t be used to bully people.
Just like in team sports, Judo enables those who
wish to compete, to do so, but it equally beneficial for others to
focus on theory, exercise and fun rather than competition if they
prefer. Competition is great to test newfound skills and show your
progress. Each competition is a fresh start, where you will
normally get at least three or four turns.
10. For the whole Family:
run classes to cover both adults and children. Classes are in age
groups, which means that you can watch your children workout, and
then they can watch you. This will give you a special activity
to use as a bonding tool with your children. You can also become
physically fit together.
11. The Never-Ending Season:
Many team sports, especially those primarily played outdoors, or in
specific weather, are seasonal. However, judo is all year-round.
Having this consistency also helps build upon discipline, and allows
children to progress very quickly.
12. They will exercise their minds too - Physics, Languages
While all martial arts teach you to fighting
strategies, Judo really teaches much more. While learning Kuzushi
(the art of breaking your opponents’ balance) and throwing
techniques, they learn Mechanical Physics. Combination
techniques and follow-ups teach them improvisation, and finally,
they learn a lot of Japanese too!
13. Judo isn’t about brute force, it is about control:
Kano Sensei (Dr.
Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo), in his teachings, emphasised the
concept of maximum efficiency / minimum effort. This is evident, as
the crux of many Judo techniques is not necessarily brute force, but
using your opponent’s movements and strength against him or her.
While physical strength and size are important, mental strength is
probably the most vital factor in competition.
14. Your child will be well co-ordinated (and we’re not talking
When you’re using your opponent’s moves against him or her, timing
is everything. Many of the throws in Judo will simply not work if
you don’t time them correctly. Feet, hands, hips and head all need
to move in fluid and exact timed motions to properly execute a throw
(which is why an Ippon – or full point – is so hard to
achieve in competition). As your child practises he or she will
learn more complex throws and, in turn, will demonstrate better
reflexes and co-ordination as a result.
15. Judo is Universal
Unlike many other martial arts, Judo techniques and principles are
universal. There are well over a hundred member countries in
the International Judo Federation, and it has held Olympic status
since 1964. Although the styles of teaching and ranking and
promotion standards may vary slightly from club to club – Judo is
Judo is Judo. Which helps your child stick with it, even into
adulthood, as it will never be hard to find a dojo to train
offer a free trial session for new starters, so you don’t need to
make a huge financial commitment up front if you feel that it isn’t
for you or your children.
conclusion, Judo is a wonderful alternative to team sports that will
provide not only an excellent physical workout, but also act
as a vehicle to provide them with a mental and emotional workout as
look forward to seeing you.