WHY I STARTED!!!
So it all started when Jason's mum’s best friend had taken her two sons to the local sports centre to try out Judo, asking for something to control anger, build confidence and be able to protect yourself in times of need. Her children had done a few sessions and came back raving about this class at Willesden Judo Club.
At this time I was going through a tough time and I didn't want to go to school because of a few children (who I won’t mention) - let’s just say, he liked to do anything to make my life hell..
My Mum was told about this Judo class, where there was at least 30 kids - all pretty shy for the first few minutes, then they’re all seemed to switch on and focus to a great warm up and with everybody doing the same thing the class automatically felt like a team.
I kept going along for around 2 months at which point I had returned back to school; unfortunately the boy still felt it was his right to approach me and lay a few blows. I managed to stay controlled and managed to walk away without crying.
He tried a few more times over the coming days, until I decided to grip hold of him and just start pulling and pushing to a point he was begging me to stop.
I still believe now, I didn’t have to do more than that, but I could have!! I had started to develop the control, confidence and respect that I still have for people today.
Another incident happened when I moved Primary school due to my Dad’s work; two students thought I was the small kid that they could attack and they did - I ended up with a black eye and poorly belly from where I had been kicked, not forgetting the grazes on my elbows and ripped school jumper.
I kept on getting bullied over a period of time until one day I reacted to a situation; a pupil ran at me and tried to flying kick me - I moved to the side, grabbed his leg and swept his other leg. I turn into a bit of a hero on that day and all the physical abuse amazingly stopped. There was still name calling and nasty words aimed at me, but I focused and didn’t bite back.
WHAT IS JUDO?
Judo was founded in 1882 by Dr Jigoro Kano and means the “gentle way.” It teaches people of all ages the importance of flexibility when applying technique. In judo, when performing a throw or other skill, emphasis is placed on flexibility and efficiently using your leverage and balance for every movement. To be successful in judo, it’s much more important to learn technique, timing, and skill, instead of simply using brute strength to win.
THE BENEFITS OF JUDO:
Judo has so many health benefits, both mental and physical, especially in children. “Not only does judo focus on building physical fitness, but it also improves children’s focus, develops positive attitudes about sports in general, and increases self-esteem, self-discipline, self-respect, and courtesy toward others.”
Judo is an excellent activity for young kids because it builds healthy and strong muscles early on, improves their cardio, and lowers their cholesterol. Children who participate in judo have a reduced risk of childhood obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis, even as they leave childhood and become adults. It also sets the foundation for them to become healthy and active adults who appreciate the importance of physical activity.
As a martial art, judo focuses on building self-respect, respect towards others, including opponents, and respect towards your teacher. In tun, this nurtures their trust, confidence, and judgement so they can grow as balanced and emotionally healthy young adults.
Judo is about giving children an outlet for their boundless energy while also discouraging violent behaviour, like many martial arts. Students of judo have compared discipline in judo to discipline in the military because it teaches you to respect those around you, pay attention to detail, and learn how to present yourself.
Children’s concentration has increased exponentially after they start practising judo because they get used to following very detailed and specific instructions from their teachers, paired with focusing deeply on their techniques of movements. Studies have shown that children who are hyperactive or who suffer from attention deficit disorders benefit immensely from the disciplined environment of judo.
Kids who have attention problems will take judo classes and the difference in their focus is night and day. They feel like they really want to learn and they’re really engaged, which pushes them to focus more. That can even be seen as therapeutic and helpful as they grow older and need to concentrate at school or work.
Judo, like many other martial arts, combines physical activity, self-defence skills, and discipline. Judo is an excellent sport for children to learn for many different reasons, including to make children more physically healthy, mentally well, and build confidence, self-esteem, and respect for others.
Judo is one of the most practised sports in the world and becoming increasingly popular in Britain.