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CHOOSING JUDO FOR YOUR CHILD

Discover the multiple benefits of your child doing judo: channelling their energy, developing their coordination and motor skills and their moral compass. You'll also find out more about the essential equipment required in a club, as well as advice for finding a club.

Choosing judo for your child

Judo is a martial art practised by 15 million people around the world. In our collective memory, judo is one of the most wonderful schools of life for our children. Do you know what goes on behind closed doors in a dojo? By nature, judo is a one-on-one combat sport, but which also teaches fundamental values that could shape your child's personality from childhood through to adolescence.

 

Why choose judo for your child?

Very early on in their lives, some children become real live wires, whose energy is often difficult to channel. Sport at school is not enough to satisfy their appetite for exertion, you have to find a way for them to expend this energy. This is what judo is actually made for this.

Meet up with friends after school to let off steam one last time before going home. When learning judo, the instructor will require that they show skill when sparring one-on-one and also the ability to think: judo is both a physical sport and a mental one. Our young budding judokas will have to learn the name of techniques, obviously in Japanese, but also when to use them at the right time. This will be learnt whilst always observing a moral code of conduct.

This is what, in the collective unconscious, characterises judo. A set of life rules to follow to the letter that helps the judoka and the child to best thrive. This moral code is always displayed in the dojo so that each parent and each judoka immerse themselves in it all the time.

There are 8 fundamental principles to respect:

Politeness
is about respect of others.

Courage
is about doing what is right.

Honesty
is about expressing yourself without hiding what you think.

Honour
is about standing by your word.

Modesty
is about not talking about yourself with arrogance.

Respect
there can be no trust without respect.

Self-control
is about knowing to keep quiet when you feel mounting anger.

Friendship
is the hardest and strongest of human values.

It provides each judoka with a code of conduct to respect not only in the dojo but at home and school. But above all else, judo is about falling and then picking yourself up.

Choosing judo for your child

Best practice to adopt during a judo class

Judo is a martial art that comes from Japan. When it arrived in France in 1920, it kept all its traditions, and that is why in a dojo the Japanese language is mixed with the French language. Here are a few examples of words that your children will very quickly assimilate when practising. 

Hajime: This word announces the start of the exercise. To stop an exercise the instructor says: Matte.

The instructor has a wide range of exercises to call upon.The most common are exercises where techniques, with or without a throw, are repeated.

Uchi Komi: Repetition of movements

Nage Komi : Repetition of movements with a throw

Then comes the key moment in the judo class: the randori. Even though the word doesn't sound very nice, it signals sparring. During the class, sparring is the opportunity to put into practice what was covered during the class and the previous classes. The purpose of randori is at once the opportunity to exert yourself during energy sapping one-on-one combat whilst also growing in confidence, developing your motor skills, coordination and assimilating judo techniques of which there are plenty:

Uchi mata, ippon seoi nage, tai otoshi, o soto gari, tomoe nage, kata guruma to mention only the most well known.

The essential equipment for judo

Now that judo holds no secret for you, let's take a look at equipment to choose.

 

The judoka's main piece of equipment is their uniform, which they will feel at one with.The judo uniform's most sought after quality is its sturdiness.It is put to the test throughout the class: grabbed, pulled, friction. The fabric must subsequently be resistant and the seams solid.

 

There is, of course, the judo belt, white for beginners, before changing colours that go along with the young judoka progress, as well as the traditional judo sandals (compulsory in certain clubs) called zoories, and without also forgetting the water bottle for drinking during the class!

Finding a club near you

Finding a judo club doesn't require much effort when searching for one: as a matter of fact, there are 5700 clubs in France ready to welcome all budding champions. You'll find the full list of clubs on the French judo federation website.

There is something for everyone. There are family clubs, but also clubs that closely support future champions, with the judo experience adapted to the child's pace and their needs: from recreational judo to competition classes, the young judoka will always be supported on their journey!

Get your kimono, Hajime!

Amaury

Amaury

Passionate Judoka

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