How Judo Boosts The Physical and Mental Health of Your Child

The Origins and Values of Judo:

Judo was developed more than 125 years ago and originates from Japan. However, centuries ago, an earlier form of the martial art, called jiu-jitsu, was used by Samurais. These ancient warriors used hand-to-hand techniques on the battlefield to subdue and defeat their opponent when swords or other weapons were not available. This martial art primarily involved grappling, which included throws and joint locks. However, these techniques were used with deadly intent, unlike Judo. The martial art form of Judo was invented to allow students to carry out techniques to control their opponent, without causing them any harm.

The sport requires a great deal of discipline and commitment, but in turn instills a sense of pride, self-confidence and self-awareness. All these values are embodied in the belt system, which most martial arts have adopted. Even if you have never practiced martial arts before you probably have heard of this system. As you master more moves, and demonstrate the key qualities that judo stands for, you will have the opportunity to earn the next belt in a grading ceremony. Here you are required to demonstrate your knowledge and participate in a bout. Although most students generally earn stripes on their existing belt, when you are presented with a brand-new belt - right out of the plastic - it can be incredibly rewarding.

The Fundementals of The Sport:

The main concept behind a judo throw is very simple to understand yet requires years of training to execute effectively. In essence, a judoka (or judo participant) attempts to off-balance their opponent by first gripping their “Judo Gi”, maneuvering around the mat then initiating contact and finally throwing, making sure to control the fellow judoka all the way to the ground. Timing is essential and improvement is only achieved by rigorous practice. Even the Olympic athletes make mistakes from time to time, but all those who practice Judo accept that there’s always something more to learn and new techniques to develop.

Judo is extremely beneficial to health, helping to improve cardio and endurance. It can also create a feeling of relaxation, promote stress-management and of course boost focus. Many consider Judo to be a way of life and also abide by its principles outside of the dojo. In fact, Judo means the gentle way: this both extends to the elegance and control with which techniques are performed but also the entire ethos of the sport. Mutual respect between partners is essential and humbleness after a competition or fight is imperative.

Since its deviation from jiujitsu, safety has also been a big part of Judo. In your very first lesson you are taught how to properly fall without hurting yourself. The technical term is called “Ukemi”, and is one of the fundamental parts of judo as in reality there is a lot of throwing and if your fall is not broken injury can occur.

My Experience With Judo:

Personally, I started out with Judo around 5 years ago and it has transformed me from a nervous, scrawny kid into a positive, confident young man. Almost from the get-go, I felt myself engaging with the lessons and really taking a liking to the constructive philosophy of the sport. My parents were especially pleased because they noticed I was no longer spending 3 to 4 hours glued to the Xbox and instead was inspired to try other outdoor activities such as cycling and an additional martial art, BJJ.

The Judo Ethos:

Many other kids have been influenced by the dynamic and passionate atmosphere within the dojo and in the judo community. A lot of this is down to Judo’s place in the Olympic games, which has given it a platform to attract many potential judokas and introduce them to the many benefits and awesome experiences to be gained by practicing Judo. Judo was first introduced as an Olympic sport at the 1964 Tokyo games. Since then, its popularity has soared. Today there are an estimated 50 million judoka.

Judo is unlike traditional sports - there’s always a place for you in the dojo and you never know its ability to equip you with the tools to defend yourself might come in handy one day. You don’t need prior experience and pricing is typically reasonable. Judo is truly an excellent way to keep fit mentally and physically for all ages.

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