Adolescence is the time of our lives when we transition from children to adults. It's when we have so many options and opportunities that just about anything seems possible. The decisions we make during these years have a long-lasting effect on how we view and interact with the world as a grownup.
So as far as personal development goes, adolescence is the most important phase of our lives.
Since our children are growing up in the digital age, they are facing more distractions than any generation before them, each fighting hard to grab their attention and to divert it away from the things that matter the most.
That’s why it’s now more important than ever to help your teen find the right activities — ones that are not only fun but also productive in shaping their personality. Their very future.
One activity that fits the bill is judo. It provides children with an opportunity to develop competence and resilience from an early age so they can thrive for the rest of their life.
The way judo instills such admirable qualities in young teens who are struggling to define themselves is by teaching the following five skills.
1. Judo Teaches Self Defense
Bullying is more common than you think. According to this report, one out of every five teens reports being bullied. Hence, it is important to train children on how to deal with bullying. One of the best ways to tackle bullying is to train your child in self-defense.
Judo is a martial art that trains its practitioners to respond instantly to all forms of attack. The training encompasses movements that deflect direct attacks, as well as throws and holds that can help subdue a much larger opponent. It can teach them how to break a stranglehold and how to hold someone down without harming them. In short, it can teach them the right way to defend themselves; avoid unnecessary confrontations, knowing when to run and successfully defend themselves.
2. Judo Builds Self Confidence
Many teenagers have confidence issues. In fact, this report suggests that up to half of adolescents struggle with low self-confidence during the early teenage years.
Since self-confidence is the belief that we will be successful in a particular task or situation and that we’re a worthwhile individual, it’s a skill that can be developed through practice. That’s why our judo classes are progressive with set goals that require a lot of effort to accomplish. Thus, helping our students build their confidence every step of the way.
3. Judo Instills Discipline and Humility
Our teenage years are when we’re still searching for our identity. That’s why we test our boundaries more during those years than any other part of our lives.
Although it’s good for teens to test their boundaries as doing so helps them learn more about themselves, this can often go too far into what we know as the rebellious phase. They become less responsive and act out on every little problem — behaviors that no one wants to see in their child.
That’s why it’s important to ensure your teen has a good grasp of discipline and humility from early on.
At The Dojo, we teach our students to respect not only their coaches and seniors but also their peers. During the practice sessions, we encourage our students to focus on improving not only their own skills but also the skills of their sparring partners.
We also ensure that no one makes fun of, belittles, or overwhelms their sparring partners just to make themselves feel superior. Instead, we teach our students to challenge each other in a way that benefits everyone.
4. Judo Teaches Self Control
As kids get older nowadays, their screen time increases and interferes with more important activities like physical play, homework, and quality time with their family. Furthermore, too much screen time can lead to more serious problems, such as obesity, sleep disorders, and attention problems.
To prevent that from happening, your teen needs a routine break from screen time to balance their lives.
Judo training provides the perfect break, as it demands the student to be present at the moment which requires plenty of physical and mental effort.
5. Judo Promotes Healthy Competition
At The Dojo, we are a band of brothers and sisters. Each member of our band is treated equally and everyone motivates and takes care of their peers. We know it takes a village to raise a child. That’s why our community is filled with supportive members who all try their best to build an environment of camaraderie.
So you can rest assured that your child will experience nothing but healthy competition in a supportive environment where it’s all about learning — and not just winning.
That being said, if your child shows the drive and motivation to compete with the world’s best judokas, we have pathways that can lead to national and international competitions too.