Benefits of Judo
Some parents discourage martial arts for various reasons. Some worry about encouraging violence, some prefer that their children practice more conventional athletic activities, and some simply don’t consider activities such as judo. However, there are several very specific benefits of judo that can not only help children develop extracurricular skills, but can also be beneficial in the classroom. Here are a few of these benefits to consider:
- Confidence – Even for children who are not naturally gifted when it comes to judo, the structure of the typical judo lesson is build to recognise improvement. Children can gain confidence and self-esteem from working on and improving at their judo.
- Physical Pride – Children at a certain age start to become conscious of their physical wellbeing, and for this reason the physical benefits of judo exercise can be very beneficial. Not to mention, children who stick to physical activity outside of school develop healthier habits.
- Discipline – Judo and other martial arts also teach children the benefits of disciplined practice and technique. While specific application will be for judo, this sort of discipline is also a general habit that a child can learn, and which can be applied to school and is an excellent grounding for everyday life.
- Defensive Instinct – For parents concerned about the violent side of martial arts, it’s important to recognize that judo and similar arts actually teach defensive instincts more than attack methods. Children learn to recognise and react to potentially harmful situations, which can always be a valuable set of skills.
- Intellectual Stimulation – Finally, judo also involves intense focus, memorisation, and an active mind, which all provides intellectual stimulation.
Judo will help your child develop their fitness and decrease excess weight if this is a concern. Judo will also place them in a social situation where they interact closely with other children. This interaction involves very close physical contact and the potential for hurting one another, it takes very little time to learn that hurting another child results in the same happening to you in Judo. Throw your partner too hard and they may throw you hard next time. Children learn the essential empathy that helps prevent violent behaviour and bullying.
Judo grades and belts are a method of highlighting and rewarding children’s efforts and progression, this is valuable in reinforcing positive self image and helping child associate effort with results and gauging their progress. Judo grades are not given away, the belts are earned. The children in Judo learn that if they work (and play) hard, they will gain the next belt. This is a lesson that transfers well to general life too.
Judo suits are white and must remain so, those that do Judo must be clean and presentable. Children in Judo must be clean and tidy and that is something that most every parents desires in their children. The close physical interaction leaves no room for dirty or unwashed Judo suits, so children learn that being clean and presentable is expected in Judo as in normal life.
There is no violence or bad language permitted in Judo, ever! Again this restriction has helped children learn that some behaviours and language are not appropriate in some situations. What is okay in the playground is not ok in the Judo club. Judo coaches also emphasise that the throws and holds we learn in the club are only for the club.
To summarise, Judo provides a framework and enforces boundaries on children’s behavior. It provides a unique environment that teaches children skills in a unique way through Judo. Schools are learning that Judo is good for the pupils, not just as exercise but also as part of other efforts, such as Anti-Bullying campaigns.