Choosing which sports your children should play can be a difficult decision for parents. With so many options available, it can be hard to know which sport will be the best fit for your child’s personality, interests, and physical abilities.
If your child is not interested in any of the mainstream sports, such as soccer, baseball, or basketball, why not have them try something different then the norm, like Judo?
Judo is a martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan in the late 19th century. It was developed by Jigoro Kano, a Japanese educator who sought to create a system of physical and mental training that emphasized self-improvement, mutual respect, and non-violent conflict resolution.
At its core, Judo is a system of throws, grappling techniques, and joint locks designed to enable a smaller and weaker person to defend themselves against a larger and stronger opponent. It is often referred to as the “gentle way” because it relies on using an opponent’s strength and momentum against them, rather than directly opposing it.
The sport has a rich history that spans more than a century. However, it wasn’t until the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, where Judo was introduced to the world, that it gained popularity as a competitive sport. Today, Judo is practiced in more than 200 countries around the world and is one of the most widely practiced martial arts.
Judo has many benefits for children, making it an ideal sport for parents to consider. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Judo develops physical fitness: Judo involves a lot of physical activity, which can help children develop strength, endurance, and flexibility. The techniques require precise movements, which can improve coordination and balance.
2. Judo teaches self-discipline: Judo emphasizes the importance of self-discipline and self-control. Children are taught to respect their opponents and to use their skills in a responsible and controlled manner.
3. Judo promotes teamwork: Judo is often practiced in pairs, which can help children learn to work together and support each other. This can help build social skills and develop a sense of community.
4. Judo encourages mental resilience: Judo involves a lot of mental focus and concentration. Children are taught to stay calm and focused in stressful situations, which can help build mental resilience and confidence.
5. Judo provides opportunities for competition: Judo competitions can be a great way for children to test their skills and compete against others. This can help build confidence and self-esteem.
Judo can be considered a full-contact sport in the sense that it involves physical contact between the participants. Judo is a grappling martial art, which means that the techniques used involve close physical contact, including throws, pins, chokes, and joint locks.
Unlike some full-contact combat sports such as boxing or mixed martial arts (MMA), Judo does not involve striking techniques like punches or kicks
Instead, Judo emphasizes the use of leverage and body positioning to control and throw an opponent, with the ultimate goal of immobilizing them or forcing them to submit through a hold or choke.
While there is physical contact in Judo, the sport places a strong emphasis on safety and proper technique, with rules and regulations in place to prevent serious injury. Judo competitions (completely optional) can range from local tournaments to international events, and they are governed by the International Judo Federation (IJF).
Competitions are typically organized according to weight categories and age groups, and participants are matched up based on their skill level and experience.
In competition, Judokas (Judo practitioners) compete against each other to score points by executing Judo techniques such as throws and submissions. The objective is to either throw or submit the opponent, or to accumulate points through throws, holds, and other techniques.
To summarize, Judo can help children develop physical fitness, self-discipline, teamwork, mental resilience, and provide opportunities for competition.
For these reasons, parents looking for a sport that can provide both physical and mental development should consider Judo for their children.