Is Judo Good Self-Defense for Kids?
Sure, you’ve seen the movies where one guy takes out a whole crew of the bad guys just by using the right martial arts techniques – but how does it stack up in the real world if you use judo for self-defence?
Judo is suited to the real world and daily life situations. Flashy techniques look great on film but in reality, would be hampered by clothing and other issues you can’t control.
You also don’t get to choose your opponents in real life, where aggressive situations can occur when you least expect them.
Why Judo for Self-Defence for Kids Makes Sense:
• Realistic conditions – it’s not just a sport. For example, you learn how to grip and use an aggressor’s jacket/clothing as part of your takedown defence, which is what you’d encounter in the real world, be it in the schoolyard as a child, or an adult in the street.
• Evasion and adaptation: A Judoka learns to evade and adapt to an opponent’s fighting techniques and use their energy to his or her advantage. As such, an attacker loses balance. This allows the Judoka to get them down to the ground. It evens the odds against a stronger opponent.
• Judo employs physics & leverage: Judo teaches one how to use an opponent’s own movements against an attacker. It works best when another person is coming at you; either attacking or grabbing you in an aggressive manner.
• Judo emphasizes control: When people fall and or are thrown, they panic. Learning how to break your fall allows you to stay calm and in control.
• In Judo, you stand upright, which in practice is the best way to stay in control: Crouched fighting stances, used in many other martial arts, can be a hindrance when trying to defend yourself from an attack, especially when the aggressor is taller.
• Free practice/sparring (aka randori): Randori simulates real-life hand to hand combat, much like a street fight…but with rules and etiquette to be used when in the Dojo. Randori is a part of every judo practice including children, teens and adult judo classes.
Judo uses repetition (uchi-komi) to teach moves, similar to how a piano player practises scales until they become second nature. When the time comes, your body instinctively knows how to react and execute the right move at the right time.
In real life, there are no weight classes – you have to deal with the situation at hand. This is one of the lessons that you learn doing judo. It teaches its students to think on their feet. Some compare it to playing a game of `physical chess.` In other words, expect the unexpected.
Whether you are a child or adult, Classic Judo principles teach a smaller person to defend themselves against a bigger opponent. As a result, you learn how to use the difference in weight and strength to your advantage. This allows you to unbalance your aggressor and or bully, giving you control over the situation.
Is Judo an Effective form of Self-Defence for Children?
The short answer is YES. At Budokai, we simulate a form of non-striking, hand-to-hand combat, similar to many street fighting situations, most of which end up on the ground. Whether from the standing position or on the ground, a seasoned Judoka is able to neutralize and or prevent a potentially bad situation from getting much worse.
As a part of our kid’s judo classes, we teach children self-defence techniques to help neutralize bullies and other aggressors. In fact, this is one of the main reasons parents bring their children to the Budokai Judo Club.
Get to know Budokai Judo Club
We teach judo to men, women and children for self-defence, recreation, fitness, fun and competition! We are The Go-To Judo Club in North York & Willowdale, and for those living near Toronto and the GTA, for adults and kids ages 5+
Budokai Judo Club – 1110-5 Finch Ave. West – North York, Ontario – M3J 2T2
(Located in North York Aikido Club/Aikido Hokuryukai)