When can my child start Judo?


When to start a child in Judo?

This is a common question I hear asked often and also one that has a wide range of answers.


The answer in my opinion is:


“As soon as they can do it.”


Which is intentionally vague. Participation in Judo is really a matter of what the club is capable of and of what your child is capable of. If your child is physically advanced for their age, they may be able to start younger than other children, and vice-versa.


At this point it is important not to confuse starting age with potential. Many high level Judo athletes have started as young children but many others have started as late as their teens and gone on to great things.


The easiest way to tell if your child can start Judo is to take them along to the local Judo club’s most appropriately aged class and see how the children compare to your child. So, look at the sizes of the children. Look at their physical abilities, look also at their language skills, their concentration and attention levels. How do they compare to your child?


Next, talk to the instructor(s), do this if you think your child is not ready and if you think they are ready. The class you are observing may not be indicative of the normal class. The Instructor may be trying to get younger children involved, or less. Let your child meet the instructor and let the instructor “size them up”.


Before you take this step, you may wish to consider the following points as well, but in all cases, nothing compares with taking your child along and seeing for yourself.


Points to consider:


Is your child “potty trained”?

Can your child sit still for several minutes?

Can your child balance on one foot?

Can your child do simple rolls (rolly pollies)?

Is your child physically strong?

Can your child cope with a little “rough and tumble”?

Is your child comfortable playing with other children?

What is your child’s temperament?

Is your child prone to violent outbursts?

Does your child throw “Tamtrums”?

Can your child cope with a 45 minute lesson?

Does your child bore easily?


All the above points neither qualify nor disqualify a child, they are simply considerations to keep in your mind.


The final and most important question to ask yourself and potentially your child is this…




If the answer is yes, then the chances are they are ready.

Try a class (or three) and see how it goes. If it does not work out then try again in 6 months or a year, when they have developed even more.


This entry was posted by lancew on Monday, June 4th, 2007 at 11:39 pm and is filed under Judo . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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