Physical fitness, mental health, discipline, and self-defense skills — there are many ways judo can help children excel in numerous areas of life.
One such area in a child’s life is their school. This is the place where they will satisfy their burning curiosity to understand the world around them, make their closest friends, and develop their young minds.
With that being said, school is also one of the most challenging parts of a child’s life and many kids struggle to make the most of it.
That’s why we’re going to cover all the different ways judo can help children not just survive but thrive at school. Without any further ado, here are the two primary ways in which judo can help kids succeed in school:
1. Improve Academic Performance
As kids follow the rigorous routines and drills, not only do they break physical performance barriers but they also grow intellectually.
Science has shown that routine physical activities, especially rough play such as judo, trigger the release of chemicals that stimulate neuron growth. These newly fired neurons then help kids improve their learning, long-term memory, logic and cognitive abilities.
Nothing quite restores energy as effectively as a good night’s sleep. And the physical exertion of practicing moves like Seoi-nage or Uki-goshi is one of the best ways to ensure kids are ready to sleep at bedtime and stay asleep throughout the night.
Another important consideration is the impact a child’s attention and listening abilities can have on their performance at school. This is another area where judo help tremendously, as a good judo program helps kids improve their memory, focus and listening skills.
When put together, the reasons outlined above show that physical activities are vital not only for fitness but a sharp mind as well.
Lastly, the boost in confidence most kids experience from practicing judo results in active participation in all facets of life, especially school. Confident students ask questions when something is not clear and thus stay engaged throughout the entire duration of the class.
So as your child progresses through the various ranks of judo, they will experience a noticeable improvement in academic performance as well.
2. Stay Out of Trouble
Since discipline is at the very core of their training, kids who practice judo build up their self-restraint and learn to resist urges for excessive talking, goofing around, or any other improper behavior during class.
Apart from that, one of the biggest lessons of judo is that words are never the ground for violence. In fact, students are actively encouraged to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner and use minimal force where necessary.
As kids have so much energy, sometimes they exert it by indulging bad behavior and thus developing bad habits. This is another area where judo can help as it offers a safe outlet for them to put that extra energy into.
Finally, with a dedicated sensei and senior students in each class, a dojo provides excellent exposure to positive role models for kids to learn from. Not only does this help them make better life decisions, but it also develops a sense of respect for their seniors.
Needless to say, this automatically transfers to improvement in a school class as kids show respect to their teachers and follow their instructions carefully.
3. Enjoy School
Even though there are many ways practicing judo can help a child enjoy their time at school, let’s talk about the two major ones.
Any good judo program focuses on promoting collaboration by putting students in situations that require working together towards a unified goal. This practice teaches kids the concept of sharing and compassion, and thus allows them to connect with others and make lasting friendships.
With a group of friends they love to hang out with, kids start looking forward to school with enthusiasm.
Another significant barrier preventing kids from enjoy school is bullying. Whether it’s in the form of intimidation, persistent criticism, or outright humiliation — bullying is a sad part of reality for many students.
The good news, however, is that the nonviolent ideology of judo equips its practitioners with the skill and knowledge to deal with bullies in the most peaceful way possible. With a core focus on defensive attitude, judo teaches kids how to defuse confrontations without using any offensive striking.
So not only are students be able to defend themselves in a physical altercation, but they can also deter bullies by showing confidence and disciple while maintaining eye contact and a powerful posture.