What qualifications should a Judo coach have?

gifted & talented students @ elgar college: april 2008As a parent, you want to ensure two things when you enroll your child at a Judo club. First that the coach keeps them safe and second that the coach knows what they are doing and can help your child learn, develop and earn their grades and belts. In this post I want to outline a little of the qualification process here in Europe. It is different in every country, but they all follow a similar structure.

( Disclosure: I am involved with the delivery of the European Judo Union’s Level 3 qualification via http://www.judospace.com )

Judo as a sport is unusual in that we have more than one qualification system. By this I mean Judo has a Judo qualification system and a sport of Judo qualification system. This normally manifests in the requirement for all instructors/coaches to be at least Brown Belt or Black belt before they can start qualifying to be coaches. It is important to appreciate that being a skilled or experienced Judo player is NOT necessarily an indicator that someone can teach Judo to others.

Black Belts are indicators of someone’s personal ability to do Judo, not an indicator of their ability to manage a class, or help others learn Judo and improve.

Coaching certifications are generally apply to an individual organisation, normally nationally. Though increasingly there is progress towards qualifications that carry across sports and across national borders. Here in the UK for example, the system starts with the UKCC certifications. Level 1 being for assistant coaches, Level 2 for coaches running clubs and level three for more advanced coaches. It is then followed by the EJU (European Judo Union) qualifications. This starts with the EJU level 3 and follows onto the level 4 and 5 Elite Performance Coach qualifications.

As a parent, you want your child to be taught by people that have these certifications, as well as Judo ability and grades… as appropriate.

This does not mean that your 5 year old needs to be coached by a 7th dan EJU level 5 coach. A Brown belt coach with UKCC level 1 is more appropriate for novice children than an elite performance coach whose focus is on developing high level athletic performance perhaps more than ensuring your son or daughter enjoys them self and learns good technical fundamentals. That said, many high level coaches are excellent with kids!

Many clubs have the certifications of their coaches on display at the club, or stored in a folder. If not, they should at least be able to bring them along if they are stored at someone’s house or the coach has them on the wall at home.

You should not feel uncomfortable asking about the qualifications of the coaches at you kids club. Good Judo clubs understand your need to know and also should understand that coaches need to continue to learn and stay up to date.

If you have issues seeing this sort of documentation, you should definitely contact your national governing body and express your concern.

This entry was posted by LanceW on Monday, November 30th, 2009 at 8:05 pm and is filed under Uncategorized . 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.

Leave a Reply