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What Qualities do Children Learn from Judo?

17 January 2023

When thinking about Judo and martial arts in general it is tempting to consider the gains made by students purely in terms of the physical skills that they learn such as being able to keep their balance better or co-ordination. In reality, Judo offers so much more than this, as it is more than just a sport or a system of self-defence. If it is allowed to develop, it can become a focus, a perspective, a way of life, a world view even. 

That may make it sound slightly cultish but that isn’t the intention. The qualities instilled in young people by a good Judo instructor can inspire them and help them to do great things throughout their lives. We will look at some of the qualities that a true Judoka possesses. 

Emotional and Impulse Control

In Judo, students are taught not to act rashly, without giving the situation in front of them due consideration, no matter the provocation or intimidation. This can help to keep your child from getting involved in difficult and dangerous situations when they are growing up. Being able to look at a situation dispassionately and realise that getting involved in it isn’t a good course of action is something that a lot of kids struggle with but it is something that is taught as part of the Judo curriculum. 

Respect for Others, Even Opponents

An important tenet of Judo is instilling respect for others whether they are involved in Judo, or are friends, neighbours, enemies, strangers or family. This is done by explaining that everyone has something to teach an aspiring Judo student, even opponents and they are worthy of respect for the lessons that they will teach, even if they are hard ones. 

This is something that the best Judo students work hard to assimilate and take on board. The bow to their opponent before a match is both a show of respect and to thank their opponent in advance for the lessons that they are about to receive, both about their own skills and those of the other person.

It is a lesson that translates well into life outside Judo and will help your child to live a happy, well-adjusted and respectful life. 

Work Ethic

If you wish your children to learn the value of working hard then Judo is an excellent teacher in this regard. It is drilled into Judo students that the only way that their skills will improve is to practice them whenever they have the opportunity. This kind of lesson, being taught by a respected instructor at an early point in their life will help to shape their view of the world and how they should be making their way in it. Judo instructors can be great role models in this regard and can help your child onto the path of success in their lives, however that may turn out to look in practice. 

These are just a few of the qualities that learning Judo aims to instil and it is clear that they will be a positive influence on your child’s life.   

Photo by Artem Podrez

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