Based in North York, Budokai Judo Club is the Greater Toronto’s Area’s (GTA) Go-To Judo Club for professional judo instruction for adults and kids.
Known for its physical and psychological benefits (fitness, confidence, self-defense), judo is not only a martial art, but has been an official Olympic sport since 1964; practiced by men, women and children world-wide since 1882.
Judo for Adults
For adults, the reasons to study judo are endless. Many adult judoka (judo practitioners) enjoy learning a new skill while getting in shape. Some want to learn self-defense. Others enjoy the competitive aspect of judo – winning medals, trophies and recognition. Some are motivated by the prospect of one day earning their black belt, a challenging but immensely rewarding individual achievement.
Judo for Kids
For kids, many of the same motivations apply. And yet, there is a subtle difference. Unlike adults, children have much less control over what happens to them in their day-to-day lives.
Sadly, I am often approached by parents who are concerned for their children’s psychological and physical welfare. Let’s face it; children can be cruel, especially to other children. Unfortunately, bullying is all too common and can lead to a sense of sadness, despair and depression in its victims. I know…being smaller than most of my peers growing up, I was an easy target. I tried to stand up for myself but I often came home bloodied, black eyed, or both until, at the tender age of 12, I joined my first judo class…and never looked back.
So, when parents ask me if judo is the best martial art for kids, here’s what I tell them.
Based on my experience of teaching kids judo for over 30 years, if it’s not the best, it is surely one of the better and safer martial arts for kids, for a number of reasons:
• Judo is based on leverage. Judo teaches a smaller person how to overcome a larger opponent; turning the attacker’s (bully’s) size and strength against them.
• Judo is most effective when a person is being grabbed, attacked or assaulted.
• There are no kicks and punches in judo. Participants can do randori (spar at 100%) safely while still getting real hands-on experience in hand-to-hand combat.
• Judo incorporates standing techniques (throws, flips, foot sweeps, and take downs) and grappling (pins, hold downs, and chokes and arm locks for older, more advanced students.)
• As children become more proficient in judo, they become more self-assured and confident. Their Sensei’s (Teacher’s) encouragement goes a long way to help them achieve this goal, but the confidence level will extend far beyond the Dojo (judo school).
I could give you lots of other reasons for kids to learn judo, but instead, I’d like you to hear from one of my students. Jonathan Muir.
Jonathan started studying judo because he was being bullied and harassed at school. Read his story.
Judo gave me the psychological and physical tools I needed as a young boy to deal with many of my self-doubts and the bullying issues I encountered at an impressionable time in my life. Like Jonathan, I’d had enough! It was time to take control.
I began studying judo in 1976 and after a few months of diligent practice at the local judo school, I was once again faced by my bully and his cohorts at my public school. With no escape, I was forced to defend myself. It did not end well for my bully. Suffice it to say that from that point on I was never bullied again. I had gained a new-found respect amongst my peers…including my former bully.
As my first sensei taught me, “You NEVER start a fight, but when confronted and faced with no other option, make sure you finish it.” I stand by that philosophy to this day. No one should have to suffer unnecessarily at the hands of a bully. So, is judo the best martial art for your kids? You be the judge. Bring your child in for a free trial lesson. You and your child have nothing to lose and much to gain.
Written by Ray Litvak: in memory of my original sensei, Mr. Chris Toule
About Budokai Judo Club
Founded by Sensei’s Rick Koglin and Ray Litvak, (Certified Judo black belts and instructors), the goal of the club is to imbue its students (men, women, children) with the character, confidence and courage that practicing judo over time instills in its students.
The club can be found in the heart of North York at 1110-5 Finch Ave. West, North York, Ontario M3J 2T2 and is located in the North York Aikido Club/Aikido Hokuryukai. The club will officially open its doors on Sunday August, 19, 2012. For more information, or to pre-register, please contact Rick Koglin at (416) 712-6751 or e-mail us today.
Based in North York, Ontario, Budokai Judo Club is the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) answer to professional judo instruction (recreational, fitness and competitive) for people of all ages.
Budokai Judo Club: Providing judo lessons for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) including Toronto, North York, Downsview, Vaughan, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge and York Region, Ontario.