Should my child practice Judo at home? YES!


Often parents ask if it is okay for their child to practice Judo at home, often also I have heard instructors say no. I have heard Mum or Dad say no as well.


The reason for saying no to home practice is generally that it is not safe to do so. Another reason is that you don’t want your child practicing on another child, hurting them.


However, if managed properly practicing at home is a brilliant way to help your child learn Judo and also to bring some of the things being learned at Judo into your home. Below are some ideas to consider.


Judo Rolls (Ukemi / breakfalls)

You child can practice falling at home. Forward and backwards rolls can be done on carpet or grass. Ukemi (breakfalls – where they hit the floor with their arms) could be practiced on a mattress perhaps? You can assist them in their rolls, protecting them from injury especially if they are new to Judo, or just watch and compliment them on their technique.


Bows language and general Judo etiquette

You could help your child practice putting on their Judo suit (Judogi) and tieing their belt (Obi). Your could help them with learn their Japanese words, their bows (Rei) etc. Getting them in the Judo suit will help refresh their memories and practicing the words will help them remember them.


Let you child throw you.

My 4 year old twins love throwing Daddy, they love throwing their Uncle too! It is easy enough to gently roll on the grass when a small child is “throwing” you. As they get bigger, stronger and better you might want to attend some Judo yourself and learn to fall properly. But, when they are small and just starting, even without training you can roll over for them.


Do ne-waza (groundwork)

Let your child pin you on your back on the grass or carpet. Roll around with them and have a bit of fun. Again, when they get bigger you might need to get some knowledge of the techniques of Judo, just so you can hold your own with your child.


Establish Rules

Just like in the Dojo (training hall), practicing Judo at home needs rules of behavior. For example, make it clear that they are allowed to practice their throws on you, not anyone else. Make sure they know that they must not hurt you (or anyone else).


Practice on your brother! Practice on your sister!

If (like me) you have more than one child, let them practice Judo with one another at home. They key thing here is that it is done in co-operation. That all the points above (specifically not hurting anyone) are followed. I would also suggest that this is only done supervised by you.




Allowing practice at home increases the amount of time your child is spending doing Judo, which helps them progress. Learning to do Judo without mats and on non-Judo people (you or a sibling) teaches them to control what they are doing so that nobody gets hurt.


Bringing Judo into the home can also help the important delf-confidence, self-discipline and self-control lessons of Judo transfer into other aspects of your child’s life.


It is also a great way to engage with your child. You can be part of something they love doing. Too often I hear people say that Judo is unlike soccer, that you can’t play Judo with your kids. This is just plain wrong (in my opinion), you can play Judo with your kids. Your kids can play Judo with one another outside of Judo.


Try it… you’ll like it!


This entry was posted by lancew on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 at 11:41 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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