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Judo for kids

BigStu1972

Distinguished Member
That is my thinking. There is no such thing as "safe" sport, unless we are talking about chess (but I'm not sure it is actually sport at all).

My reasoning behing trying to start him young in sport is not actually connected to martial arts as such. I want him to develop mentally and work on his confidence, which will be very important later in life. It has nothing to do with beating other boys or anything like that.

Not taking away anything from other martial art sports, I think Judo has a good balance between mental and physical development. Self confidence and respect for others are the basis of everything in Judo. I also think it is a good start up sport, one that he can stop at any point and start something else. I also want to instill in him the love for sport and love of being fit from a very young age. He already is very fit for a small kid and loves all kind of sport (and I'm not talking here about watching them on TV). He also has lots of energy which I would like to channel.

The only problem I have is to find the right class / trainer for him, one that will not only show him how to throw somebody on the ground but also work on mental development as well. Knowing him, I think best for him would be a small class of same age / skill kids and a trainer who loves and knows his job.
I'm glad you are sticking to your original idea for your son to practice Judo and not being swayed by other "more flashy" martial arts, which don't necessarily equate to being more practical.

Obviously judging by my profile pic you could say I am slightly biased towards Judo however I did Karate for many years as a kid and then went on to study and teach Kung Fu. I now practice, almost exclusively, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I'd still recommend Judo as the prefect Martial Art (technically its a Martial Way :)) for kids to learn and one that should he continue to practice in to his teens and adulthood, will become an effective form of self defense, unlike a lot of traditional martial arts that do not have full contact sparing as part of their training.

The founder of Judo, Dr Kano, saw Judo as more than a physical Art. It was introduced in to the school curriculum In Japan as a way of teaching the body and mind. I believe he was against Judo becoming an Olympic sport, despite being part of Japan Olympic committee himself.

anyway I digress. I hope you find a good club soon.
 

=adrian=

Distinguished Member
I'm glad you are sticking to your original idea for your son to practice Judo and not being swayed by other "more flashy" martial arts, which don't necessarily equate to being more practical.

Obviously judging by my profile pic you could say I am slightly biased towards Judo however I did Karate for many years as a kid and then went on to study and teach Kung Fu. I now practice, almost exclusively, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I'd still recommend Judo as the prefect Martial Art (technically its a Martial Way :)) for kids to learn and one that should he continue to practice in to his teens and adulthood, will become an effective form of self defense, unlike a lot of traditional martial arts that do not have full contact sparing as part of their training.

The founder of Judo, Dr Kano, saw Judo as more than a physical Art. It was introduced in to the school curriculum In Japan as a way of teaching the body and mind. I believe he was against Judo becoming an Olympic sport, despite being part of Japan Olympic committee himself.

anyway I digress. I hope you find a good club soon.
Thanks for that. Judo was, and still is, the only one I am interested in for my son to start with. I really do believe that it is a good sport for kids to start with and I have chosen it years before my son was actually born, so there is not really a danger of going with anything else until we try that first.

The only thing I am worried about is that my son does not really like trying out new things too much. Once he tries, he usually loves them, but sometimes it is hard to get him to try and I don't really want to force him into it. I want him to like it and enjoy it. I also want it to be his decision - "yes, I like it and I want to keep doing it". So finding a good club is crucial IMO. Also while I am doing that, I am also planning how best to introduce him to it, to not to scare him off. I have already started talking about Judo with him, as a first step in the process and so far so good, but if we go there and he will be put against an older boy who will start throwing him around on week one, that will be it and there will be no going back for him (he is quite stubborn). I need to do it in a bit of a gentle way and find somebody who understands a difference (in physical and mental development) between a 5 yo and a 7 yo.

Anyway, that's my problem and I know it sounds like I am over-thinking this, but I'm also quite sure I will find a way. Thanks again for words of encouragement :)
 

BigStu1972

Distinguished Member
if we go there and he will be put against an older boy who will start throwing him around on week one, that will be it and there will be no going back for him (he is quite stubborn). I need to do it in a bit of a gentle way and find somebody who understands a difference (in physical and mental development) between a 5 yo and a 7 yo.
Any half decent club should make sure the above does not happen. I've never taught Judo to kids but from what I've observed they will be mainly playing games and not even realise that they are learning skills applicable to Judo. Games like Bulldog but starting on the knees, Sumo and some basic gymnastics. Then there is learning how to breakfall, which must be taught before being thrown.
Even when they get to the throwing bit, they are thrown on to mats and if your son is anything like my two kids (5 & 3) he'll be well used to rolling around on the carpet at home so nice comfy Judo mats will be just like a trip to softplay.

I took up Judo in my 30's and at that age it hurts but kids are no more likely to get hurt doing Judo than they are playing in the school playground.
 

=adrian=

Distinguished Member
Any half decent club should make sure the above does not happen. I've never taught Judo to kids but from what I've observed they will be mainly playing games and not even realise that they are learning skills applicable to Judo. Games like Bulldog but starting on the knees, Sumo and some basic gymnastics. Then there is learning how to breakfall, which must be taught before being thrown.
Even when they get to the throwing bit, they are thrown on to mats and if your son is anything like my two kids (5 & 3) he'll be well used to rolling around on the carpet at home so nice comfy Judo mats will be just like a trip to softplay.

I took up Judo in my 30's and at that age it hurts but kids are no more likely to get hurt doing Judo than they are playing in the school playground.
From the physical point of view, I am not worried about him a bit. He is quite resiliant and loves physical excercises. He is outdoors pretty much everyday for hours (weather permitting), running, jumping, climbing, cycling, etc. As for cycling, we cycle together often and our usual route is 8+ miles long. Might not seem like a lot but you have to remember he only has a small bike with one gear, and constantly tries to race me on it. The route is not all flat either.

That is another thing. He is competitive to the extreme. There is no second place in his books. He has to be first in EVERYTHING. Even in trivial things. If he is second he will get frustrated. While he pushes competitivness too far, I still want to channel it. It is not a bad trait to always want to be best.

I know he could be good at sport. But I am looking for best way to start him in it. And I want to do it before he gets to the playstation age (he doesn't have a console yet).

Unfortunatly, it takes time for him to get used to new things and we now have some teething problems with school. After first day in primary school yesterday, last night he was crying that he doesn't want to go back. I want to give him some time to settle down in school, before throwing another new thing at him. Gives me time to research :)
 

=adrian=

Distinguished Member
Update time from a proud dad 🙂 My son started Judo about 10-11 weeks ago and yesterday got first grading and is now official Judo Scotland player. It took longer to get him signed up for judo clssses, but I did not forget about it. In the meantime he has done a year of karate classes as well, but there was too much fun and games and not enough karate and he soon got bored with it.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Yup, my daughter is 10 months in to her kickboxing now. Really enjoying it even though she finds the fitness part tough at times. Much harder than any PE they do at school.
 

TheBlueBrazil

Well-known Member
Update time from a proud dad 🙂 My son started Judo about 10-11 weeks ago and yesterday got first grading and is now official Judo Scotland player. It took longer to get him signed up for judo clssses, but I did not forget about it. In the meantime he has done a year of karate classes as well, but there was too much fun and games and not enough karate and he soon got bored with it.
Which club is he going to?
 

TheBlueBrazil

Well-known Member

martimu

Well-known Member
Judo is great as a kid (and adult) it's a bit more wrestling and grappling than standing line punching so think he'll enjoy it. I migrated to Ju-Jitsu after trying a fair few other martial arts as it suited me the most. But if your lad doesn't get on with Judo they may love karate, Kung fu, or something else as the styles can be quite different

My kids do Krav Maga rather than judo for 2 reasons as much as anything 1) great instructor who works really well with them, good balance of humour and serious. 2) Their mates go there.

If they have fun and they want to see their friends they tend to stick with it.

Hope he loves it!
 

cosmicma

Active Member
a few years ago my lot including the wife decided they wanted to try their hand at karate so i signed them up to a local club,
they enjoyed it for a while but soon became a little bored with the venture and one by one gave up.
maybe i picked the wrong club but i found it to be a very commercial exercise with some sort of club venture / belt upgrade every month or so.
the biggest mistake was signing up on a yearly contract that tied you in from the start meaning regardless of attendance you paid.
everything was fine for the first 8 months or so but like i said it was getting to be a bit of a chore to motivate them to go although they did enjoy it once they were there.

eventually everybody gave up and to be honest you can't really force them if they don't want to go
after paying the membership fee and buying all the outfits, protective gear not to mention the badges , club emblems and the monthly gatherings which all cost extra on top of the membership fee it can get quite expensive.
that little venture cost me £2,000 which wouldn't have bothered me so much if they stuck at it

the lesson learned is if you have young ones who want to try their hand at martial arts try and find one that will allow you to pay on the door without tying you into a contract and if it's for them you can think about the financial side at a later date

this is when they were still keen

 

=adrian=

Distinguished Member
a few years ago my lot including the wife decided they wanted to try their hand at karate so i signed them up to a local club,
they enjoyed it for a while but soon became a little bored with the venture and one by one gave up.
maybe i picked the wrong club but i found it to be a very commercial exercise with some sort of club venture / belt upgrade every month or so.
the biggest mistake was signing up on a yearly contract that tied you in from the start meaning regardless of attendance you paid.
everything was fine for the first 8 months or so but like i said it was getting to be a bit of a chore to motivate them to go although they did enjoy it once they were there.

eventually everybody gave up and to be honest you can't really force them if they don't want to go
after paying the membership fee and buying all the outfits, protective gear not to mention the badges , club emblems and the monthly gatherings which all cost extra on top of the membership fee it can get quite expensive.
that little venture cost me £2,000 which wouldn't have bothered me so much if they stuck at it

the lesson learned is if you have young ones who want to try their hand at martial arts try and find one that will allow you to pay on the door without tying you into a contract and if it's for them you can think about the financial side at a later date

this is when they were still keen

I pay monthly for the judo. It was the same with karate, monthly payments cancel any time.

To bad they did not stick with it. Maybe try judo this time ;)
 

cosmicma

Active Member
I pay monthly for the judo. It was the same with karate, monthly payments cancel any time.

To bad they did not stick with it. Maybe try judo this time ;)
that was back in 2012 they've all grown up a bit since then
 

wilco1uk

Active Member
I started Judo when I was about 8 and continued it until I was 12 or 13. Really enjoyed it, until they moved halls and had a 1 hour walk every saturday each way. Even though I'm now in my late 40's I'd say I still have two legacy benefits, great balance and pretty good flexibility. My school club was one of teh Brian Jacks ones. I can't really give any advice as to what makes a good club and what doesn't but the things I would check out would be:
1) Will your kids be matched to others of both the same age and ability (nothing worse than being someone else's punchbag)
2) The usual childcare issues (CRB checks, safeguarding, what do they do in the event of an injury etc etc)
3) Do they partner with other clubs in UK or Europe....we had several weekend friendly club exchanges to France and Germany, that were really informative in my developing years.
 

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