Make Judo part of your Vacation.

International Judo Camp

Regular visitors to this site will have noticed that I have been quiet for a few weeks, this is in part because I recently attended the University of Bath BSc course on Judo coaching where I am completing my EJU level 5 coaching certification. I also took a week off and went away with my family on holiday.

Which brings me to the topic of this short blog post, on the Wednesday in the middle of my week long vacation I took my kids to the local Judo club near where I was staying on vacation (Torquay, Devon, UK). Many Judo clubs and Judo coaches run Holiday programmes and this is a great opportunity for you to incorporate Judo into your family holiday.

In my case, I took both my kids down to the Torquay Judo Kwai club for the morning. Simon Ward, the coach, ran a fun session that all the kids enjoyed. He allowed me to come on the mat and participate, which meant primarily holding hands with my daughter and being thrown by her. This could be you too, you do not need to be a black belt or have much Judo experience generally. You also don’t need to participate.

Incorporating Judo into a Holiday is a great way of including Judo in your family and life. It is a great break from the beach for  a start.

My recommendation would be to talk to your local club coach about your going on holiday. Tell them where you are going and ask them if they know a coach in that area, you might be suprised by at where your local coach has friends or colleagues they know in odd places. If they know someone then they will probably be able to tell you if they think that coach/club will be okay for your child to attend.

The second way is to contact the national Judo governing body and ask them for a recommendation for a club in the area you will be taking your vacation. They will have a database of clubs and potentially even have a database of events including holiday camps etc.

Finally, you could Google for Judo in the area and try and find information direct from club websites.

I really enjoyed being on the mat with my kids and it was a terrific and very unique and special addition to our family holiday, hopefully having some new people in the club from far away was fun for the Torquay Judo Club members too.

British Judo Association (BJA) 6TH MON — 7TH MON Grading requirements for belt.

Welcome to another in this series on the BJA (British Judo Association) Mon grade syllabus. This series is designed to help you as a parent ensure that your child feels confident they know all they need to know before attending a grading. This helps ensure they have a positive experience. For more information the official BJA guidance is available at http://britishjudo.org.uk/technical/gradings_home.php

Official requirements for 7th Mon from BJA:

6TH MON — 7TH MON
FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
Tachi-waza:
• Ko-uchi-gari
• Tsuri-komi-goshi
• O-goshi

PERFORMANCE SKILLS
Combination Techniques:
• O-uchi-gari into Ko-uchi-gari
• Ko-uchi-gari into O-soto-gari
Counter Techniques:
• O-uchi-gari countered by Tsuri-komi-goshi
Ne-waza:
• escape
– from Kesa-gatame using ‘bridge and roll’
– into Kesa-gatame from between Uke’s legs’

Randori:
• demonstration of light Randori with a co-operative partner
PERSONAL CHOICE
Candidates are required to:
select and demonstrate two tachi-waza and one osae-komi-waza from the BJA Technical Grading Syllabus
TERMINOLOGY AND SUPPLEMENTARY KNOWLEDGE
Candidates are required to:
know the common English translations and meaning of all Japanese terminology used in this section
give two examples of actions against the contest rules
translate the following Japanese words into their common English names and where appropriate explain their meaning:
Uke  Tori    Waza-ari-awasete-ippon
demonstrate the proper procedures for coming onto and leaving the mat during a contest
NOTES
1.  Randori is introduced for this grade. It is to be demonstrated in the form of light randori of approximately three minutes
duration. The examiner will expect to see a variety of waza and kumi-kata and, if possible, throws to both right and left
sides. Although there are no specified requirements the judoka should understand and observe the simple regulations
and terminology governing Randori, including the correct method for signalling submission.
2. For the personal choice element, the judoka may select any waza from the BJA Technical Grading Syllabus but it is
recommended that less advanced techniques are chosen at the stage.

Below are some images and words that may help you understand what is being described above so you can help your child learn the requirements for their next Judo belt.

Ko Uchi Gari from Judoinfo.com

Ko Uchi Gari from Judoinfo.com

Tsuri Komi Goshi from Judoinfo.com

Tsuri Komi Goshi from Judoinfo.com

O Goshi from JudoInfo.com

O Goshi from JudoInfo.com

O Uchi Gari to Ko Uchi Gari from www.akitasjudo.com

Ko Uchi Gari into O Soto Gari from www.akitasjudo.com

O-uchi-gari countered by Tsuri-komi-goshi from www.akitasjudo.com

Running for children in Judo.

Judo is a fantastic exercise and will help your child develop physically (as well as in other areas) and can deliver a high intensity workout that will leave the sweating and smiling. As you child progresses they find that they want to develop their aerobic capacity and or endurance via running. Some Judo clubs even have running sessions to assist in the fitness develoment of young Judo players. In this post we shall discuss running and some of the benefits and risks associated with it, from a parents perspective.

Children in holidayRunning for kids is natural, much like wrestling on the ground is pretty natural for most kids too. And similarly, both are acceptable exercise for kids of all ages. If your child is 5 or 15 they can run, the question normally is how far and how fast. Both the American Council on Exercise and the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) support and encourage running as a form of exercise for children.

The issues with running for children relate primarily to children’s ability to disipate heat and with the state of their joints due to growth. These issues need to be considered and addressed for a safe running programme for children doing Judo.

Heat
Children’s thermal regulation is poor compared to adults, as running will cause the body temperature to rise, it is important that running not be done in extreme heat and that children are not pressed to hard. they also need access to water etc. to assist in cooling. Equally, it is not sensible to send children out running in extreme cold or during extreme rain etc.

Bones
Children are growing at different speeds and this leaves their joints in particular in weaker states than those of fully developed adults. As such children’s running needs to be limited to prevent excess pressures are applied to the joints (most typically the knee). This will mostly mean limiting the distances run and the terrain run across.

Running Distances for Children
It is quite difficult to find definitive guidance on distances that children should be running, the following is a rough guide that should give you as the parent an indication of what distances are appropriate for your child. The key factor in deciding how far your child can run is your child them self.  You child should (especially when first beginning) be able to run the distance you choose comfortable, whilst being able to speak comfortably with you (unless sprinting of course).

5 year old running distances:

  • Gentle run/Jog: .25 to 1.0 mile.
  • Full run: up to .5 mile.
  • Sprint: 25 metres.
  • Focus: Short bursts, games, games and more games.

6-7 year old running distances:

  • Gentle run/Jog: .25 to 2.0 miles.
  • Full run: up to 1.2 miles.
  • Sprint: 50-100 metres.
  • Focus: Short bursts, grass track games with coach, much cornering and change of direction

8-10 year old running distances:

  • Gentle run/Jog: .5 to 3 miles.
  • Full run: up to 1.2 miles.
  • Sprint: 50-200 metres.
  • Focus: Care prevention of injury (Osgood-Schlatter). Gentle running, build distances slowly.

11-12 year old running distances:

  • Gentle run/Jog: .5 to 4.0 miles.
  • Full run: up to 2 miles.
  • Sprint: 100-400 metres.
  • Focus: Cross country, prevention of stress fractures in not fully developed bones. Development of technique.

13+ year old running distances:

  • Gentle run/Jog: .5 to 5 miles.
  • Full run: up to 2 miles.
  • Sprint: 100-800 metres.
  • Focus: Introduction to more structured training and competition scheduling, periodisation, etc.

As you can see even very young children can become involved in running, the key factor is preventing injuries. This is mainly done by ensuring that the children are not training beyond their physical capacities. Limiting the distances run and the number of runs per week is how this is done. Also ensuring that kids enjoy the running. If they are not smiling, then the trainingmay be too much.

As a parent, you might want to take on the role as running coach, by taking runs with your child. This si often a great opportunity to engage in your childs life as well as getting much needed exercise yourself. It is vital that you run at your childs pace, walking or stopping is ok and to be encouraged. Spend the time talking with them, this helps ensure they are not working too hard.

It is also a good way of ensuring that your child is supervised and safe. If you are forced to run on the road, then ensure you run facing the traffic and that you are the one closest to cars, so you can easily ensure your child is off the road when cars come by. Cars passing is also a good opportunity to stop and rest. Ideally yu will run off road on grass, perferably on variable terrain, so up and down hills etc. As long as the running surface does not have too many dangerous holes, branches etc. Something that undulates but has a smooth grass track is ideal, here in the UK the footpaths across farms and through woods are often ideal.

You should also invest in some high visibility clothing, especially but not exclusively, if you are running in the evenings. Cars and other traffic as a VERY serious issue for runners of all ages and levels. There are some very dangerous and plain antisocial drivers out there, so avoid cars as much as possible and make sure they can see you and your child!

Adding more exercise to your child’s life means they will need more rest, more nutrition and more time to recover. be careful that you do not fit too much into each week. Be careful also that running is not impacting your child’s Judo (or vice versa). Watch out also for “niggling” aches and pains or excess tiredness. In any of these cases do not be afraid to stop your child running for a period of time to rest and recover. Then start again with less running in all the areas: distances, durations and intensity.

As always, discuss running with you Judo club coach, you may also want to contact a local running club for their advice or to enroll your child in a junior running programme if they have one.

References: http://www.kidsrunning.com, http://www.marathonkids.org, http://www.runnersworld.com, http://www.acefitness.org, http://www.halhigdon.com, http://www.nice.org.uk/ .


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.

British Judo Association (BJA) 5th Mon to 6th Mon Junior Syllabus requirements and help.

Welcome to another in this series on the BJA (British Judo Association) Mon grade syllabus. This series is designed to help you as a parent ensure that your child feels confident they know all they need to know before attending a grading. This helps ensure they have a positive experience. For more information the official BJA guidance is available at http://britishjudo.org.uk/technical/gradings_home.php

Official requirements for 6th Mon from BJA:

FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
Ukemi: Mae Ukemi
Tachi-waza: O-uchi-gari
Osae-komi-waza: Tate-shiho-gatame
PERFORMANCE SKILLS
Combination Techniques: O-uchi-gari into Tate-shiho-gatame
Ne-waza:
• escape from Tate-shiho-gatame using ‘clamp and roll’ action
• turnover into Mune-gatame (Uke “all fours” position)

Kumi-kata: demonstrate alternatives to standard grips e.g. right against left, double lapel and high collar
Randori: demonstration of Nage-komi in light Randori with a co-operative partner
PERSONAL CHOICE
Candidates are required to  demonstrate two of their favourite waza
TERMINOLOGY AND SUPPLEMENTARY KNOWLEDGE
Candidates are required to:

  • know the common English translations and meaning of all Japanese terminology used in this section
  • give two examples of actions against the contest rules

NOTES
1.  Nage-komi is introduced for this grade. It is to be demonstrated in the form of light randori which will be of approximately
two minutes duration with each judoka throwing alternately. Although throws may be repeated, the examiner will expect
to see a variety of techniques and, if possible, to both right and left sides.
2.  Kumi-kata is a requirement for this grade and the judoka is required to demonstrate the standard grips and alternatives.
3.  For the personal choice element, the judoka is required to demonstrate their favourite waza which may be demonstrated
either to the right or to the left with any suitable grip.

As in previous posts in this series, below are some images and words to help you understand what is being asked for.

Mae Ukemi - from JudoInfo.com

Mae Ukemi - from JudoInfo.com

Ouchi Gari - From Judoinfo.com

Ouchi Gari - From Judoinfo.com

Tate Shiho Gatame - From JudoInfo.com

Tate Shiho Gatame - From JudoInfo.com

Escape from Tate Shiho Gatame - From BJA Pictorial guide

Escape from Tate Shiho Gatame - From BJA Pictorial guide

Turnover into Mune Gatame - From BJA Pictorial Guide

Turnover into Mune Gatame - From BJA Pictorial Guide

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Balance development issues in children doing Judo.

Balance is an essential attribute in the sport of Judo. One of the fundamental principles in Judo is the mainatining of your balance whilst breaking your opponents balance. A child in Judo will develop a good sense of balance and the ability to maintain their balance despite being pushed and pulled by others. It is worth being aware however, of the changes in how children maintain balance as they grow up. (This post is a complimentary post to a more scientific coaching article soon to be published on Judocoach.com).

BalanceAs a parent, you will have already seen the development of blance in a child. You see it as they progress from not being able to do anything more than lie on the backs/fronts, to being able to sit, stand and walk. There is a definite development path that is followed, in this path your child will go from basically moving their head and body as a single unit, to moving head and body independantly to maintain balance.

This transition typically happens between 6-7 years of age and as with all changes in a young childs life, there is a awkwardness associated this stage in their development. This can raise (what are generallyminor) issues which can affect your child.

If your child has been in Judo from before 6-7 years of age, then they will go through a phase where their balance maintenance changes. This may result in changes in their ability to excute Judo techniques. They may find different movements more challenging than previously, they may not.

If they are starting at 6-7 years (which is quite common), then there may be some difference in balance development between children in the class. Good coaches will be aware of the changes in thierr students and will be able to deal with it appropriately.

If your child is starting Judo later than 6-7 years, then they have most likely made the transition, but be aware that their balance is still developing.

What are the changes?

The main is from head and body moving as one, to head moving and body moving independantly. This might be visible when they are off balance, say when balancing on one leg. In this position a younger child’s head is going to be inline with their body, whilst an older child may keep their head more upwards.

As children age further, the nerve activity becomes focussed lower in the legs. Moving from hips and kness to ankles.

Parents probably are unconciously aware of these sorts of developments in your children, bringing them into concious awareness and perhaps mentioning it to a coach might help ensure that your child progresses more smoothly in a Judo class. In teh coaching context (as will be covered in the Judocoach.com post), the coaches will need to ensure they are not trying to get young children pre-transition from trying to move head independantly from their body, which is common in Judo, as we often encourage children to look in one direction whilst moving in another. With your young child, coaches will be doing movements where head and body move as a single unit.

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BJA JUNIOR 4TH -> 5TH MON SYLLABUS

Welcome to fourth in this series on the BJA (British Judo Association) Mon grade syllabus. This series is designed to help you as a parent ensure that your child feels confident they know all they need to know before attending a grading. This helps ensure they have a positive experience. For more information the official BJA guidance is available at http://britishjudo.org.uk/technical/gradings_home.php

Official requirements for 5th Mon from BJA:


FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
Ukemi: Mae Mawari Ukemi III
Tachi-waza: Ippon-seoi-nage
Osae-komi-waza: Kami-shiho-gatame

PERFORMANCE SKILLS
Combination Techniques: Ippon-seoi-nage into Kami-shiho-gatame
Ne-waza:

  • turnover into Kesa-gatame (Uke in “all fours” position)
  • escape from Kami-shiho-gatame using ‘action and re-action’

Kumi-kata: demonstrate alternatives to the right and left standard grips


PERSONAL CHOICE
Candidates are required to demonstrate two of their favourite waza

TERMINOLOGY AND SUPPLEMENTARY KNOWLEDGE
Candidates are required to  know the common English translations and meaning of all Japanese terminology used in this section

NOTES
1.  For the personal choice element, the judoka is required to demonstrate their favourite waza which may be demonstrated
either to the right or to the left with any suitable grip.

As with prior weeks, below are some images and words to help you ensure that your child knows what is required of them when they are examined for the British Judo Association’s 5th Mon grading:

Mae Mawari Ukemi III - From Judoinfo.com

Mae Mawari Ukemi III - From Judoinfo.com

Ippon Seoi Nage - From JudoInfo.com

Ippon Seoi Nage - From JudoInfo.com

Kami Shiho Gatame - From Jonathan Beck

Kami Shiho Gatame - From Jonathan Beck

Turnover into Kesa Gatame: The BJA syllabus and even the BJA pictorial guide are not very clear on what sort of turnover should be done. The example in the pictorial guide shows the play kneeling next to there partner, who is on elbows and knees. They then, reach with the hand closest to the belt and grasp their partners lapel, going under the body and staying below the arm/armpit. The other hand (nearest the head), reaches across to the partners far arm, grabbing on the sleeve at forearm level. This arm is them pulled back towards you and the other arm used to lever the opponent onto their back and side; ending up holding them in Kesa gatame.

Escape from Kami Shiho Gatame: The version shown in the BJA pictorial guide shows the person being held down, twisting/rocking first to their left then turning over on to their stomachs to the right. It is a “pencil roll” type of movement.

Kumi Kata: Your child should be able to show an alternative grip to the standard “sleeve and lapel” Judo grip.For example, taking a double lapel grip or double sleeve grip “should” be okay. The Example in the pictorial guide appears to be a high grip on the collar and a sleeve grip held on top of the opponents arm rather than under it as in the normal grip.

Terminology:

  • Ukemi = Breakfall
  • Mae Mawari Ukemi = Forward Rolling Breakfall
  • Tachi Waza = Standing/throwing techniques
  • Ippon Seoi Nage = One arm shoulder throw
  • Ne Waza = Ground techniques
  • Osae Komi Waza = Hold Down techniques
  • Kami Shiho Gatame = Upper four quarters hold down
  • Kesa Gatame = “Scarf” hold
  • Judoka = Someone who does Judo

As with all things pertaining to grading, it is wise to make sure that you speak with your child’s coach and an examiner for clarification on any of the above. I have included them here just to help, not as a definitive guide.

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Nutrition and Hydration for parents of children in Judo.

Fresh vegetables are common in a healthy diet.
Image via Wikipedia

Children in Judo participate in a high intensity activity, that causes them to get hot and hungry. In this post we shall look at how the food and drinks you give your child relate to their participation in Judo and also to their health.

Lets be clear, a huge majority of children in Judo need no changes to their diet to help them participate in Judo! Children in Judo generally do not need nutrient supplements, special diets, expensive sports drinks, etc. In fact there are some very good reasons that you should avoid “sports nutrition” products.

What a majority of children in Judo need is a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and plain tap water to drink.

This said, there is more to the topic. For example the age of your child is in fact a big factor. I would normally suggest that someone drink a good quantity (a glass) of water 45+ minutes before a class to help ensure they are hydrated properly. However, if you have very young children in Judo classes this can backfire as their bladders may not be up to the duration and they will either wet themselves or be forced to leave the mat for the toilet; neither of which are desirable.

On the topic of hydration, I would suggest to parents that you give your child a sports “sipper” bottle of tap water to take along to class, incase they need a drink. I would recommend avoiding “sports drinks” like Gatorade or Lucozade as they typically have high sugar levels and this can cause dental problems like encouraging tooth decay (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323001206.htm).

Similarly, other “supplements” can be safely ignored unless prescribed by a doctor. Your child does not need protein shakes, additional vitamins, energy bars and the like. A simple balanced diet will provide all the nutritional requirements for your child. If you change anything you may need to alter the carbohydrate content (potatoes, pasta, etc.) slightly to increase the amount of calories your child is consuming.

This of course assumes that your child is of a healthy weight, in which case participating in Judo will cause them to use more energy and you need to add more healthy food to their diet to balance the outgoing calories. If the reverse is the case and your child is overweight, then you need to maintain the same calorie level and increase participation in Judo. Perhaps changing the balance of the meals to have less carbohydrate and fat content slightly.

If your child reaches a high level in Judo, you may need to really work hard to provide enough calories to meet their nutrient needs. However, the majority of us are well below a level where we need a special diet. A varied, balanced diet is more than adequate for a vast majority of children in Judo.

Fresh fruit and vegetables and a wide variety of food types is by far better for your child than any amount of special “sports supplements”. Also, if your child is reaching a high level (like a national team) supplements become even more risky as some supplements have been found to contain banned substances. Organisations that govern drugs in sports urge caution when using supplements and as far back as 1999 the advice was to avoid them (http://www.uksport.gov.uk/news/new_sports_supplements_resource/).

If you are looking for advice your local GP will be able to point you in the right direction.

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BJA JUNIOR 3RD -> 4TH MON SYLLABUS

Welcome to third in this series on the BJA (British Judo Association) Mon grade syllabus. This series is designed to help you as a parent ensure that your child feels confident they know all they need to know before attending a grading. This helps ensure they have a positive experience. For more information the official BJA guidance is available at http://britishjudo.org.uk/technical/gradings_home.php

Official requirements for 4th Mon from BJA:

FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS
Ukemi:  Mae Mawari Ukemi II
Tachi-waza:  Tai-otoshi
Osae-komi-waza:  Yoko-shiho-gatame
PERFORMANCE SKILLS
Combination Techniques: Tai-otoshi into Yoko-shiho-gatame
Ne-waza:
escape from Yoko-shiho-gatame using ‘trap, bridge and roll’
turnover into  Yoko-shiho-gatame (Uke in prone position)
Kumi-kata: demonstrate the right and left standard grip
PERSONAL CHOICE
Candidates are required to  select and demonstrate two tachi-waza and one osae-komi-waza from the BJA Technical Grading Syllabus
TERMINOLOGY AND SUPPLEMENTARY KNOWLEDGE
Candidates are required to  know the common English translations and meaning of all Japanese terminology used in this section

Here are some images and words that will help you ensure that your child is doing the right thing:

Mae Mawari Ukemi II from the BJA Pictorial Guide

Mae Mawari Ukemi II from the BJA Pictorial Guide

Tai Otoshi - From JudoInfo.com

Tai Otoshi - From JudoInfo.com

Yoko Shiho Gatame - from JudoInfo.com

Yoko Shiho Gatame - from JudoInfo.com

Escape from Yoko Shiho Gatame - From BJA Pictorial Guide.

Escape from Yoko Shiho Gatame - From BJA Pictorial Guide.

Turnover into Yoko Shiho Gatame - From BJA Pictorial Guide.

Turnover into Yoko Shiho Gatame - From BJA Pictorial Guide.

Gripping (Kumi Kata), how to take a standard grip:

Terminology:

  • Ukemi – breakfalls
  • Tachi-waza – Throwing techniques
  • Osae-komi-waza – Hold down techniques
  • Ne-waza – Groundwork techniques
  • Kumi-kata – Gripping
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Child Protection for Parents of children in Judo.

Sadly, not all people are good and wholesome, even those involved in martial arts and sport. In this post we shall discuss some issues pertaining to child protection within Judo clubs and how that relates to you as a parent.

Action

Within any environment where children are involved there is a risk that someone or something will put your child at risk.  A well run club will have policies and procedures in place to ensure that your child is protected. Some examples of how good Judo clubs will protect your child are listed below:

(UK) Criminal Record Bureau check.
Here in the UK, all people involved with working with children should undergo a CRB check. This is a check to ensure that the staff of volunteers in your club are not prior offenders.

Parents should be welcome to watch sessions.
Well run clubs do not prevent parents from watching classes. You should be allowed and encouraged to watch any session your child attends. Good clubs will make this a comfortable experience and provide facilities to assist this like seating for example. Within some venues space may be limited of course, but a well run club will not discourage you from attending.

One to one training
Children should never be in one to one situations with an adult instructor/coach. It is good practice for clubs to ensure that this does not occur. Clubs should always have multiple staff around of both sexes, a well rub club will manage this and ensure that there are at least parents available to attend sessions to ensure that coaches are never alone with children. This protects both the coach from alegations and the child from being put in a situation alone with a coach.

Coaches will behave appropriately as should the class.
You should never see a good Judo coach swear at children, or allow it in their presence. Similarly, coaches should never be involved or allow bad behavior. Examples might be encouragement of inappropriate physical contact, favouritism, rough play, sexual innuendo or humiliating punishments.

Openness about procedures.
Safe well run clubs will be open with you about the procedures they have in lace to protect your child. These will go from recruitment procedures, through to coach training, coach supervision, paperwork and more.

Qualifications.
Good coaches are well qualified, the days of the coach who graduated “the school of hard knocks” or is “qualified by experience” are gone. All coaches should have good qualifications for teaching Judo. Within Europe the European Judo Union has coaching qualifications from 3-5 (with more being defined). Within each nation, the governing body has it’s own set of standards also. There are also external qualifications such as the UKCC in the UK and of course university degree courses.
A black belt is NOT a qualification to teach!

Good Communication
Good clubs and coaches will communicate with you, they will keep you informed as to what is happening, why it is happening and so forth. Better clubs will give you information on your child, they will tell you how your child is progressing, any issue they are having, etc. If your child suddenly stops coming or their behavior suddenly changes good clubs will ask why.

What you can do to protect your child and others?

You can help protect your child by becoming involved in the club and communicating with them. Study up on child protection issues and volunteer to be the child protection officer at the club (or one of them). Ensure that you child’s club is an example of how to do things right and that things get done the right way. Often bad practise is not a case of bad intentions just lack of time and resources, so offering to help can be the best way to help protect your child.

Further reading a sources of information for this article:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/cpsu/HelpAndAdvice/Parents/ClubSafetyChecks/dangersignals_wda62018.html
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/cpsu/HelpAndAdvice/Parents/ClubSafetyChecks/clubsafetycheck_wda62016.html
http://www.safesport.co.uk/ChildrenAndSportWhenToBegin.html
http://www.greatersport.co.uk/clubs/children-in-sport
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/cpsu/HelpAndAdvice/Organisations/Standards/Standards_wda60694.html
http://britishjudo.org.uk/policy/childprotection/policy.php