Judo is an extraordinary activity for kids and adolescents of any gender, to develop their motor and mental skills.
During a typical class, the kids go through a series of games, exercises and simple Judo practices to learn coordination, basic judo techniques and how to land on the floor safely.
The exercises increase progressively in complexity and difficulty allowing the kids to make progress while having a lot of fun.
Judo as physical activity
Judo provides a great environment with the right stimulus to fully develop the kids’ fundamental movements, also called ABCS2 skills (Agility, Balance, Coordination, Speed and Strength) .
Throughout our life, humans have what is called Windows of trainability, which is a period in the life of an individual when specific skills develop. This opportunity remains open for a certain time and if the right stimulus is not applied, the opportunity to maximise that skill is lost.
The duration of these windows varies from one to another and some repeats a second time later in life. Most of Judo skills are very closely associated with many fundamental movements (ABCS2) and are a great stimulus to develop the kids’ motor skills.
For example, the window of trainability for speed is one of the first in a person’s life and occurs around 7 years old for girls and 8 for boys and it last for several months. During this period, the kids learn how to move fast and when proper stimulus is applied, the speed development is maximised.
Furthermore, Judo is one of a few sporting activities that offers the opportunity to participate in “play-fighting” or “wrestling” activities
in a safe and non-violent form.
So, since Judo provide kids with a strong motor skills foundation, even if they don’t keep practicing it in the future, it will prepare them to practice any other sport they might choose.
Judo to develop character and confidence
Judo as a Martial Art provides a gateway for kids to develop their character and confidence. Judo is highly recommended for shy kids as well as for kids that are hyperactive, building up confidence on the first ones and providing a framework to channel their energy to the later.
On the other hand, by learning judo your kids will be better prepared to face stressful situations, like bullying, applying many of the skills developed during the regular training like escapes from different grabbing situations, self control and self confidence.
When Jigoro Kano founded Judo, his ultimate objective was to form people who would contribute to society and in Yuki Judo we live by the Judo Moral code that you can find below, which is embedded in all Judo classes and competitions.
Courage (Yuki in Japanese, which gives the name to our Dojo) Judo is not easy to learn and some techniques, for example, feel challenging at first, so you learn to face difficulties with bravery.
Courtesy We always bow before we start the class and before start practicing an exercise, to thank others for the opportunity to learn with them.
Honesty By practicing judo you learn to be honest with yourself and others, learning to identify your weaknesses and ways to overcome them.
Honour Walking through the Judo way you learn to maintain your integrity over other things like results or rivalry. This is usually seen reflected even in elite international competitions.
Modesty You learn that wining is not absolute and you might be the one losing next time. So, you learn from your mistakes and own your victories without changing your attitude towards others.
Respect. In Judo classes everybody is valued, from the teacher to the least experienced Judoka and everybody helps others get the most of their training.
Self Control When you practice Judo, you realise that you are not competing with others for ranks or medals, the Judo way is about overcoming your own limitations, perfecting your techniques and exploiting your strengths, which leads to a path of self discovery.
Friendship Judo is and individual sport from a competition perspective, but at the same time it cannot be practiced alone so we need others to train the different techniques in a collaborative way which generates a bond among your fellow Judokas.