Judo Vs. Karate/TKD/KungFu for children.

Judo competes against Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu for your child’s attention.

karate kid meets flying mom - _MG_3046.JPG

This post is not about saying that one is better than another. This is about what differentiates Judo from the others and how that relates directly to children.

Judo, unlike Karate, TKD, or Kung Fu, does not involve kicking or punching.
This is a key differentiator, as a parent of two children, I know how young children (and especially boys) soon start playing fighting games with their friends. My boy for example likes to play “Power Rangers” despite never having seen the TV show. We took him to see the film “Kung Fu Panda” and ever since he has been throwing kicks and leaping about like a mad thing.

Judo does not have stylish poses like Kung Fu, we do not have pieces of wood to break either. There is no kicking or punching involved. So often kids will state a preference for doing Karate (or similar) rather than Judo.


Most kids have never been punched or kicked. So their preference is not based on experience, but on perception. Equally, they don’t realise how little posing there is in a Kung Fu programme, or how long and hard they’ll have to work to reach a level to emulate what they see on TV.

Judo however is great in that it allows for all levels. A child in their first class will generally also have their first “fight”. Maybe it’ll just be wrestling on the ground, but they can participate fully despite not knowing very much. This is the converse to most “kicky punchy” martial arts, where they are generally not involved in sparring till at least a few weeks for safety reasons.

Judo also has no kicks or punches. So a child learning Judo will not be in the playground kicking their playmates. Judo culture is also very much about the sport of Judo rather than the martial elements, so kids do not come out of Judo classes feeling like a Power Ranger able to fight anyone and everyone.

As a parent, involving your child in Judo will hopefully satisfy your childs hunger to do martial arts; but will guide them away from kicks and punches.

Judo is also very open and inclusive. There is a single international governing body for example. I personally, have travelled to many different countries and been able to participate in Judo clubs. Judo is the same world wide, there are no competing “schools” or “styles”, so if you move town the Judo club you find in your new town will accept your child and they will not have to start from scratch.

Equally, grades (belts) in Judo are recognised between nations. As long as your black belt for example is registered properly and you have the documentation to support it, it will count in a new country. This is not the case in other martial arts. A blue belt in one Karate school will not be recognised in a school of a different style necessarily.

This entry was posted by lancew on Friday, October 31st, 2008 at 1:25 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.

One Comment

  1. Sigidisig says:

    I think on trick would be to hava a judo film… do you know any? We are going to have a judo club night. With some games and food and hopefully a film! But I don’t want to screen Karate Kid or Kung Fu Panda… Is there a judo alternative?

Leave a Reply