Judo in Schools, the benefits.

Judo is taught primarily to children, often this is done in their primary and secondary schools. The education system is welcoming to Judo, and the benefits of Judo in schools are becoming better known and appreciated by head teachers and parents a like.

P1100264Last year, the European Judo Union (EJU) held a coaching seminar all around kids Judo, I facilitated a half-day workshop where the Judo coaches from across Europe sat and discussed the benefits of Judo for children.

Common themes in the discussion were, improvements in:

  • fitness
  • self-confidence
  • self-esteem
  • self-discipline
  • social skills
  • personal appearance and hygiene
  • school attendance
  • school grades

Also identified were decreases in:

  • violent behaviour
  • bad attitudes
  • bullying
  • bad language
  • disruptive behaviour

Physical exercise has long been recognised as a way of improving health, treating depression and other mental illnesses etc. Activities that give a child fun and focus, develop their various skills, and give them a wider positive social circle are also good for kids.

Judo provides all these things and much more. Judo was developed as a way of improving the person, both physically, emotionally and in the wider context of society. The founder of Judo saw Judo as a way to improve society, by improving the members of that society.

Judo will help your child develop their fitness and decrease their excess weight  if they have it. Judo will also place them in a social situation where they have to interact closely with other children. This interaction involves very close physical contact and 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 clubs have both formal and informal elements, discipline and free “play”. This is good for children as the formal helps them learn to behave appropriately in such situations, to control themselves, to have self-discipline. The more relaxed moments are of course fun and allow kids to do what kids should… play.

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 kids associate effort and results. 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 tidy. 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 smelly unwashed Judo suits, so children learn about life skills like the need for laundry.

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 enforced boundaries on children’s behaviour. It provides a unique environment that is unique and teaches children skills in a unique way. 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.

The quote below is from a school governor and nicely summarises how Judo is perceived in the area of bullying:

‘… the ethos of Judo fitted perfectly with any anti-bullying strategy and, could also be used as evidence during any Ofsted inspection…

It is a great endorsement of Judo and it;’s use in schools with children.

As a parent, the benefits of Judo listed above, along with the many and various ones you will discover when your child is in Judo will have a big impact on your childs development over the years.

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This entry was posted by LanceW on Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 10:25 am 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.


  1. […] Searching for Maryland Judo schools that are ideal for your child may be difficult especially if your child has health issues or social-related concerns. If your child has health concerns, you must consult the doctor first prior to enrolling your child to attend in any martial arts classes. Furthermore, if your child has issues getting along with other kids, that might something you need to consider too. Learn the benefits of Judo for kids at Judo4Parents.com. […]

  2. Autumn Lucas says:


    I am looking to get a coach in to start a Judo After-school club, i am wondering if you can help me out?

    Thanks Autumn

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