What Is Judo?
Judo is actually an Olympic sport similar to wrestling. Judo involves throws and takedowns as well as pinning and holding techniques.
Jigoro Kano is the creator of Judo. Kano had learned many Japanese martial arts techniques in his youth. He created Judo from It is an ancient form of Jujitsu. Eventually, he realized that although many of these techniques were practical for self-defense, they were impractical to practice at full speed with a resisting opponent.
Therefore, when creating the art of Judo, he decided to not emphasize many of the killing and maiming techniques found in the original art of jujitsu. Kano decided that rather than concentrate on the self-defense techniques he would instead concentrate on only those techniques that could be applied safely at full speed.
Practice techniques at full speed and power?
Consequently, this allowed judo students to free practice and apply the techniques at full force. Judo can be used in self-defense, but it does not have many striking techniques such as kicks to the groin or pokes to the eyes that would be very practical in a real self-defense situation.
We don't know if he intended this martial art to become the gigantic sport it is today. Today, Judo has grown to be an international phenomenon, becoming an official Olympic sport in 1964. Modern Judo is a very dynamic and fast-paced sport that develops strength, balance, agility, and speed for all of the students who practice it regularly.
Here Are 5 Benefits Of Judo Training
1.) Practical self defense
There are many benefits to practicing the martial art of Judo, the first one, self-defense is what most people think of. Of course, there is no doubt that Judo works because Judo skills can end a fight quickly if you are ever caught in a physical confrontation.
The main intent of Judo is called "Seiryoku zenyo" (maximum efficiency). This principle can be described as using the opponent's strength and momentum against them. Furthermore, Judo uses skill to overcome strength taking advantage of aggressiveness by yielding. As a result, in a force vs. force scenario the stronger opponent will always win while a soft approach can be very effective.
2.) Learning judo falls saved my life
One of the best benefits of Judo is learning to fall without getting hurt.
In fact, the very first thing you will learn in Judo class is how to fall so that you do not injure yourself. Certainly, this falling skill will undoubtedly save you at least once in your lifetime.
In truth, every martial arts teacher I have ever met has a story about how knowing how to roll and break a fall has saved them from serious injury.
In fact, my Shuai Jiao (Chinese Throwing) instructor said learning how to fall actually saved his life once when he was falling off of a container truck he was unloading.
My personal ukemi story
Personally, my ukemi story starts with me and my friend's mountain biking in the forests of Hawaii as a young man. While biking, I hit a tree root going at quite a fast speed (I was younger and less wise). My bike stopped cold in its tracks. However, my body was not stopped. I went flying over the handlebars and I ended up performing a forward roll out of pure instinct. Luckily, my falling techniques that I learned from Judo saved my neck. Literally.
When I looked back toward my bike, I could see a portion of the surrounding dirt where my head had left a semi-circular cutout or indention in the compacted soil.
If I had not trained this important martial arts skill in class I am sure I would have hurt my neck pretty badly. I now teach the forward roll or ukemi (in Japanese) to all of the beginning students at my Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy.
3. ) How judo pins can teach you humility and grace
Because Judo is a competitive sport, there is a winner and a loser every-time you step into a match. Therefore, Judo teaches you to win with humility and lose with grace.
Everyone reacts differently to winning and losing. However, the right way to look at the competitive aspect of Judo is to know that every loss is a chance to learn.
Winning should teach you that the more you stick with it the more you start to win. Losing is motivation as well. Losing a match is some potent fuel for training harder the next time you step on to the mats.
In my opinion, one of the greatest benefits of Judo is that it keeps you humble.
4.) Judo Teaches you Tenacity, And Perseverance
When you think back on your own life, and you think about your greatest accomplishments, what strikes you as your proudest moments? Is it something that required little effort on your part?
Or is it something challenging and difficult that you had to go through and came out of it stronger and wiser? Perhaps it was graduating from school or getting that promotion at work.
In a Judo match, a competitor can win a match by pinning their opponent to the mat for 25 seconds.
However, holding someone down for that amount of time is not easy. It is also not easy to be the person on the bottom trying to get out. Either way, you need mental toughness and perseverance to be successful at Judo.
The rare quality of perseverance
Perseverance is working through a difficult situation and coming through it. Perseverance is also working to get out of a Judo pin and escaping the disadvantageous position. Finally, perseverance is also trying to keep your opponent down on the mat and keeping your advantageous position.
Some kids take to this tough and challenging art right away. They see it as an opportunity to test themselves.
However, other kids need to learn this attitude. They need to learn how to push themselves. This requires courage. After all, there is a risk of failure.
In real life though, there is also a risk of failure. Honestly, the best way to prepare your kids for the real world is to gently expose them to the idea that they have to work hard to get what they want in life. They need to realize they aren't entitled to anything.
This kind of perseverance and toughness is rare. If your child can learn this, they will indeed be a special type of person. Perseverance is one of the best benefits of Judo training.
5.) Judo teaches mental toughness
Throughout the years, we have found that teaching the pins of Judo and some different escapes, is the best way to introduce grappling to kids. Also, when children learn to continue fighting, to continue trying, it develops MENTAL toughness.
As a result, they cannot give up and must persevere until they get out of the pin. Not all kids will be able to escape but our expectation is that they fight hard. However, sometimes they do get out and it is those times that really drive home the idea "If I give up too early I wouldn't have accomplished what I did".
The benefits of judo are many!
How important is that lesson in life? How much is that character trait going to help them in the real world?
As adults, we understand the value of working through the hard stuff. Therefore, teaching this value to kids through the training of martial arts is one of our main goals. I hope it is one of yours as well.