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Will Judo Make My Child Aggressive?

17 January 2023

This is a common question that parents have when thinking about martial arts training for their children but the good news is that there seems to be little evidence of this being the case. It’s understandable that this is something that many parents might imagine to be the case as martial arts can look violent to people who aren’t involved in them. 

It is similar to the claims that playing violent computer games lead to violence in children and that being exposed to violent television shows or films will cause the same kind of behaviour in children. There is very little evidence of any of this being the case and many children have grown to be very well-adjusted in adulthood with no violent tendencies arising from martial arts or games, TV and films.

Improving Focus and Situational Awareness

One of the biggest things that learning Judo can do for a child is to improve their focus. With Judo, situational awareness is something that is encouraged in the ethos, so your child should be able to develop their focus and become more aware of their surroundings. This is a skill that can come in handy when seeking to avoid difficult or potentially violent incidents as they get a little older and it will definitely stand them in good stead growing up. 


Increased self-confidence is another major boon from learning Judo, particularly for less academically gifted children who may find school hard. Learning that they are good at something and seeing progressive improvement week on week and month on month, with positive reinforcements from instructors can do wonders for self-confidence and self-esteem. 

The “Gentle Art”

Judo was derived from fellow martial art Jiu-jitsu, and both are sometimes referred to as “the gentle art” for the way that they prioritise grapples, throws, rolls and pins over more aggressive actions like foot or fist strikes. 

This means that if you are choosing a martial art for your child to learn and you have any concerns about the potential for causing them to be violent, it makes a lot of sense to choose Judo or Jiu-jitsu rather than Karate which focuses on striking the opponent with firsts and feet, or Taekwondo, which is mostly focused on kicks and strikes using the legs and feet. 

Judo is all about the efficient use of energy and this means that it is a perfect martial art for children to learn, particularly those who may have been bullied by larger kids in the past. Judo teaches students how to use an opponent’s movements and weight against them, turning seeming disadvantages to their own advantage. It is about using the momentum and weight of the opponent to catch them off-guard and off-balance, therefore defeating them. This ethos is encapsulated in the quote below from a martial arts master: 

When someone attacks you, he makes you a present of his strength. To make use of this gift, you must know how to receive it.” - Yukiso Yamamoto

Photo by Kampus Production

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