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HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN54.714

    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

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    Yaburi

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    Join date: 2012-12-30
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    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Yaburi on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:59 am

    How & Why Children Benefit from Judo
    By Mark Lonsdale
    “Winning a championship is a temporary accomplishment
    – being a better person is for life”


    More important than just building a better athlete, sports should build a better person. Judo in particular develops discipline, manners, punctuality, strength, stamina, perseverance, tenacity, toughness and confidence – all character traits that are essential to success and respected by society. Society also respects a person who wins with humility and loses with grace.

    One of the unique aspects of judo training is the respect for others that is taught and required in the dojo. In time, through judo, this respect grows into a heightened level of self-confidence and discipline. For the parents of a rambunctious 6 or 8 year old, this cultivated respect and discipline can appear “heaven sent.” As a result, very rarely does one find a junior judoka who is poorly behaved or disrespectful to adults.

    While judo is a martial art, and therefore a combat sport, the fighting that children do in the dojo is actually a form of preparation for life’s many challenges. In life, as in judo, we do not always win. So doing randori, and competing within the rules, teaches children persistence, resolve and perseverance. They also learn that it is not winning that is always important, but the time and effort dedicated to the training, and finding the courage to compete, that separates the judoka from others.

    In its simplest form, character building in judo comes from the ability to be thrown on the mat, and then to get back up and keep fighting. This determination and toughness should never be under valued. The first step towards success, in any endeavour, is to learn the lesson taught by Kyuzo Mifune – “seven times down, eight times up.” Or as John Wayne would have put it, “You need to dust yourself off, Pilgrim, and get back on that horse.”

    Junior judoka also learn the lesson of responsibility, or more specifically, taking responsibility for one’s own success or failure. They learn that if they want to succeed in grading, promotion or competition, they must turn up for class, pay attention to Sensei, learn their techniques, and then apply them in randori. Failure, on the other hand, can be directly attributed to how little effort they put into their lessons and training. And since children like to have fun, they also learn how much fun it is to succeed in games, pass a belt promotion, or win in shiai. In time they learn that the medals and trophies are just the icing on the cake. It is the peer acceptance and respect in the dojo that is more important. Recognition and a pat on the back from stern-faced Sensei are more valued and last much longer than a coloured ribbon.

    There is also the self defense aspect of judo. With all the weirdoes, stalkers, crazies, and bullies out there, parents constantly worry about their children. But in judo, children gain fitness, strength, stamina, balance, agility and awareness. Randori and competition also develop a rough and tumble level of self-confidence that allows even junior judoka to identify a threat and react appropriately (provided the judo training has been supplemented with sage parental advice).

    To conclude, judo teaches many life lessons and develops strong character traits that will serve children through their difficult teen years and into adulthood. These virtues may seem to go well beyond what is practiced in the dojo, but in reality, this is exactly what Professor Jigoro Kano intended when he created Kodokan Judo. Jita-kyoei, mutual welfare and benefit, is one of the most important maxims in judo, and exemplifies the greater value of judo training. Jika no kansei, strive for perfection, is another significant motto, provided one understands that we strive for personal perfection so that we may better help others.

    “The man who is at the peak of his success and the man who has just failed
    are in exactly the same position. Each must decide what he will do next."
    - Jigoro Kano

    END

    OldeEnglishD

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by OldeEnglishD on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:53 am

    Excellent post. As the parent of a 7 year old who does Judo, I can attest that all of the below is true in my experience at the dojo. I would also add that Judo gives the children a sense of community as well. My son loves all of the judoka who train with us, he looks forward to seeing them every class. He also sees our club as something he is partially responsible for. Whether it is sogi after class or O-sogi several times a year, he never complains at helping to maintain the club.


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    Judo Dad

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Judo Dad on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:20 pm

    +1


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    GR3G4

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by GR3G4 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:32 am

    have worked as a judo teacher for small children (aged mostly 4 to 7) for over a decade and many times I had to answer questions on the subject (to children's parents, grandparents, parents' friends), so I gave the subject a lot of thought.
    When this topic is discussed the first things that have to be asked are: "Why should a child do judo and not some other sport?" and "Why would a parent choose judo as his child's activity?" So we should concentrate on what judo offers that other sports don't. I will not write about what judo practice can offer physically because all sports enhance motor skills (although I think that judo practice has a wider effect on a person's skills and abilities than many other sports).

    The first thing that stands out to a casual observer is that judo demands a lot contact with one's partner/opponent. This is good, which should be emphasized when talking to parents. While working with a partner, children learn how to cooperate and how to oppose. The cooperation part should (at least for very young children) be the more important one, as children play together in judo and make new friendships. This is important later when they begin to oppose each other (randori, "fighting games", etc.), because small children in many cases lack "feeling", lack empathy and when you "fight" your friend ("play" is actually a more appropriate word, but I'm talking about games where they oppose each other - for instance sumo, randori ne waza, etc.) you will be more mindful of him (take care of him, be careful not to hurt him or make him cry) as you would be of a stranger. This leads to better self control and better social skills - making friends and meeting new people. It can also lead to judoka being more relaxed when dealing with the opposite sex (in judo boys and girls play together and get used to being around each other) which can come handy later in life when they try to hook up with someone (with or without long-term intentions Very Happy). Judo is also special because it's an individual sport which is hard (impossible?) to practice individually - a judoka without the support of a group can rarely be successful (there may be some cases that I'm not aware of).

    Another thing that judo offers is dealing with winning and losing. While most other sports also offer this, few offer a more intense experience of it - few things are more intense than being in close contact with your opponent while trying to win. Also in judo excessive celebration of the win or mourning (is this an appropriate word?) of the loss are discouraged (or at least they should be).

    A very (maybe most) important thing about judo in relation to other sports is the rules of behavior and the role of respect (I wrote a post about small children and respect on the old forum under the same name, maybe it's still available?). Judo has very strict rules of conduct (we all know them so I won't go into detail here) that all judoka must conform to - the rules include values that most of the people in our communities find at least acceptable.

    I will stop here so the post doesn't get too long, but will be happy to get involved in any debate that might come out of it.

    Yaburi

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Yaburi on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:03 pm

    Thanks guys - good points

    genetic judoka

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by genetic judoka on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:49 pm

    in my opinion the benefit of judo for kids is simple.

    nowadays in every other aspect of their lives kids are growing up in a world where everybody gets a trophy. where the kid who shows up occasionally and just kinda goes through the motions isn't allowed to be praised any less than the kid who comes in early and stays late giving 100% effort 100% of the time. if a kid fails a test it's the teacher that gets blamed, nevermind that the kid decided to play video games instead of studying like everyone else. and if their soccer team loses, the slacker kid can feel better because the blame is divided amongst his team mates.

    the thing is, the real world (the one we have to live in as adults) isn't like that.

    in judo it's not like that either. if you get promoted it's because you earned that promotion (at least in most clubs), if you don't put in the work you don't get a reward. if the kid goofs off during regular practice they're gonna get smoked in randori. granted in randori there's no winners or losers, but in shiai, someone wins, someone loses. if you lose it's because you didn't work hard enough to win. there's no "oh well my team mates didn't play well so our team lost." unlike the school world where every kid is special, in judo your performance speaks for itself. the value of hard work isn't explained in lectures that kids can tune out from, it's demonstrated.

    people call our dojo and ask "so how long will it take for lil jimmy to get his black belt?"
    "that depends on how hard lil jimmy works, but generally he won't get it until he's at least 16."
    "well the instructor from the TKD school down the street says he can get it in a year or two."
    "are you just looking for an easy way for lil jimmy to get his black belt for bragging rights? if so you can buy a belt online for cheap, but what is it worth?"

    that last part is IMO an explanation of why judo, and not just martial arts in general, is good for kids. some of my post resembles things said in the OP, but I wanted to say it my own (less politically correct) way.


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    BillC

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by BillC on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:41 pm

    Coincidence that I stumbled on the JJAVA site link while seeking the link for this forum today. Let's not be patting ourselves on our collective backs.

    Problem is, ladies and gentlemen ... and this comment probably belongs in the yudansha section ... like many things there is a huge gap between the ideal and the practice. As far as working with children, the vast majority are woefully unprepared ... and there is no mechanism to force compliance with any training program ... even if a good one existed ... and from there no process exists to make sure that teachers adhere to any system with a basis in good educational and childcare principles. In fact, the worst cases of abuse and dishonesty are often institutionalized.

    Consider the common spectacle of the black belt, thinking himself (usually a he) prepared by virtue of that piece of cloth, who acts like he is out to run baby boot camp but accomplishes (I read this term on the old forum recently and like it) ... accomplishes little more than BWC (baby-sitting with costumes).

    So I think that question of benefit to children is an open question ... an elusive goal and not a comprehensive reality ... at least as far as a cause-and-effect relationship. Judo is a wonderful activity, don't get me wrong, and its robust, lasting principles do manage to show through. But it is often out of luck in getting a naturally good "sensei" and not because of anything to do with judo as practiced.

    Stacey

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Stacey on Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:58 pm

    I grew up swimming - very little communication, practice and meets were competitive (even if everybody in a heat got a ribbon, there was only one blue ribbon awarded, one red, one white then on to yellow, green pink - amazing how that comes back to me so readily right now).

    Judo, just like any other sport, teaches body awareness, general fitness, etc, etc, etc. What's really unique, IMHO, is that it teaches randori and shiai. In other words, it teaches how to practice and how to compete, how to help others improve so you can improve as well as when to compete to win. These are two very different mindsets, and that randori mindset is oft ignored in all other segments of society. While they may get an award just for showing up, there's also a lot of competition. There's only one high school valedictorian each year, there are limited numbers of seats at Harvard or even the community college down the road. There are only 9 starting positions on a baseball team, and 5 on a basketball team and you have to dominate the second team to maintain your "spot". Same with music - you want to be the principle musician in your segment, you need to work and stay ahead of everybody else, and if that means thrashing the number 2 seat in public, that means thrashing the number 2 seat.

    Judo is different - it teaches randori. It teaches placing yourself at risk and falling flat on your back so that you can learn. It teaches you not to fear getting thrown by the least ranked white belt, and that allowing weaker players to throw when they've "earned" it is a good thing - it improves the lower rank and improves the higher rank. In very few areas is there this concept of improving each other through this kind of mutual learning. No time is wasted (unless you want to waste it), but all partners teach all partners and that is a good thing.

    Randori is an extension of uchi komi - where you're allowing your partner to learn a technique without resistance. Randori leads to shiai, where you actually compete. Knowing where and when to compete, and that not everything is a competition is a good thing. Learning that a great learning environment can be created through mutual practice is integral, especially as we move towards more team based workplaces.


    There is no equivalent in swimming. Barring a Dad or older brother willing to work with you on off hours, you're never going to get that from baseball practice (can't hit a screwball, well screw you). I can't think of anywhere else where this type of learning is so integral to the curriculum. Sure, you get a parent or two now and again who just don't get it and yell at little Johnny during randori to bury his partner, but those parents and students generally do come around, and even that's part of the learning process.

    Let's face it, folks, getting kids active and keeping kids active is a good thing, no matter what the sport. What judo has to offer that's unique to me is the distinction between randori and shiai, and how both are beneficial to the development of the judoka.

    Hanon

    Posts: 537
    Join date: 2012-12-30

    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Hanon on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:43 pm

    BillC wrote:Coincidence that I stumbled on the JJAVA site link while seeking the link for this forum today. Let's not be patting ourselves on our collective backs.

    Problem is, ladies and gentlemen ... and this comment probably belongs in the yudansha section ... like many things there is a huge gap between the ideal and the practice. As far as working with children, the vast majority are woefully unprepared ... and there is no mechanism to force compliance with any training program ... even if a good one existed ... and from there no process exists to make sure that teachers adhere to any system with a basis in good educational and childcare principles. In fact, the worst cases of abuse and dishonesty are often institutionalized.

    Consider the common spectacle of the black belt, thinking himself (usually a he) prepared by virtue of that piece of cloth, who acts like he is out to run baby boot camp but accomplishes (I read this term on the old forum recently and like it) ... accomplishes little more than BWC (baby-sitting with costumes).

    So I think that question of benefit to children is an open question ... an elusive goal and not a comprehensive reality ... at least as far as a cause-and-effect relationship. Judo is a wonderful activity, don't get me wrong, and its robust, lasting principles do manage to show through. But it is often out of luck in getting a naturally good "sensei" and not because of anything to do with judo as practiced.

    I agree with this post. Its not always the subject but who and how its taught or teaches it. Wrongly taught judo can do as much harm as a good sensei can do good.

    Mike

    BillC

    Posts: 647
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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by BillC on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:08 pm

    Stacey wrote:

    Judo is different - it teaches randori. It teaches placing yourself at risk and falling flat on your back so that you can learn. It teaches you not to fear getting thrown by the least ranked white belt, and that allowing weaker players to throw when they've "earned" it is a good thing - it improves the lower rank and improves the higher rank. In very few areas is there this concept of improving each other through this kind of mutual learning. No time is wasted (unless you want to waste it), but all partners teach all partners and that is a good thing.

    Randori is an extension of uchi komi - where you're allowing your partner to learn a technique without resistance. Randori leads to shiai, where you actually compete. Knowing where and when to compete, and that not everything is a competition is a good thing. Learning that a great learning environment can be created through mutual practice is integral, especially as we move towards more team based workplaces.


    There is no equivalent in swimming ... etc .

    See, now there is an example of where we are going to diverge. If not disagreeing with you, I think yours is an idealized representation, not a universal practice. At least when swimming one is alone out there staring at that black line for hours and hours. Any feedback at all has to take place after the ears come out of the water ... that is until some fool comes up with a set of headphones to stick on a swimmer so coach can tell the swimmer exactly what she is doing wrong on each and every stroke down the pool.

    Judo, on the other hand, is less frequently allowed to be done mano a mano, one human being bowing to another in silence across the tatami. Nooooo ... coaches, parents, parent-coaches, parents who think they are coaches. We have whole courses and sets of rules about what coaches can yell, strong opinions about what they should be yelling, the whole bloody time. We have parents who sit at the door next to the practice mat and comment to their kids incessantly instead of leaving their kids for an hour ... it's become strange to trust leaving your kids alone to do anything ... the same at baseball, soccer, etc.

    Then there is "old school." What kind of "mutual learning" do you think goes on if "sensei" is the guy with the shinai who cracks you across the ass ... or the head ... just to "toughen the kid up." And some parents think that is great ... call it "discipline."

    In short ... all these things are externally imposed. They lead to the concept of control at best during the time the adult is present.

    Stacey

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Stacey on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:42 pm

    BillC wrote:
    Stacey wrote:

    Judo is different - it teaches randori. It teaches placing yourself at risk and falling flat on your back so that you can learn. It teaches you not to fear getting thrown by the least ranked white belt, and that allowing weaker players to throw when they've "earned" it is a good thing - it improves the lower rank and improves the higher rank. In very few areas is there this concept of improving each other through this kind of mutual learning. No time is wasted (unless you want to waste it), but all partners teach all partners and that is a good thing.

    Randori is an extension of uchi komi - where you're allowing your partner to learn a technique without resistance. Randori leads to shiai, where you actually compete. Knowing where and when to compete, and that not everything is a competition is a good thing. Learning that a great learning environment can be created through mutual practice is integral, especially as we move towards more team based workplaces.


    There is no equivalent in swimming ... etc .

    See, now there is an example of where we are going to diverge. If not disagreeing with you, I think yours is an idealized representation, not a universal practice. At least when swimming one is alone out there staring at that black line for hours and hours. Any feedback at all has to take place after the ears come out of the water ... that is until some fool comes up with a set of headphones to stick on a swimmer so coach can tell the swimmer exactly what she is doing wrong on each and every stroke down the pool.

    Judo, on the other hand, is less frequently allowed to be done mano a mano, one human being bowing to another in silence across the tatami. Nooooo ... coaches, parents, parent-coaches, parents who think they are coaches. We have whole courses and sets of rules about what coaches can yell, strong opinions about what they should be yelling, the whole bloody time. We have parents who sit at the door next to the practice mat and comment to their kids incessantly instead of leaving their kids for an hour ... it's become strange to trust leaving your kids alone to do anything ... the same at baseball, soccer, etc.

    Then there is "old school." What kind of "mutual learning" do you think goes on if "sensei" is the guy with the shinai who cracks you across the ass ... or the head ... just to "toughen the kid up." And some parents think that is great ... call it "discipline."

    In short ... all these things are externally imposed. They lead to the concept of control at best during the time the adult is present.

    Mano a mano only works at a meet. At practice, the lanes are jammed with swimmers, the faster swimmers tickling to toes of the slower swimmers until they let the faster swimmer by, coaches yelling, temperatures of the water down around 50, getting coerced into wearing 4-5 suits at a time, the top two shredded for extra resistance. Rubber bands, pull bouys, kick boards, video review, all were regularly used when I was a kid. Recording training times, distances, workouts. Over chlorinated pools - don't complain no matter how red your eyes get or green your hair becomes.

    Oh, and let's not forget no shaving until the big meet. Want to stand around on deck getting your ass chewed? Show up with clean legs because you shaved for a family member's wedding.

    The closest thing to uchi komi is start and turn practice, freezing your ass off waiting your turn to throw a flip turn against the wall and then get the commentary of your coach. Most coaches don't tell you what you're doing right, just yell what you're doing wrong.

    50 degrees, public humiliation, too much chlorine - that's all to "toughen you up" and if you have to sit through your first and second period class in a warm-up and a wet suit, well that'll teach you to swim faster.

    I know, there are factions of very vocal parents out there "supporting" their little judoka, their little swimmer. They are annoying as all get out for the vast majority of us, and we do hope they go away or learn to STFU. At some point, you may have to take the bull by the horns and educate the overly vocal parents or ban them (and risk losing their child completely) from the sidelines.

    I have no problem with parents watching practice, or putting on a judogi and participating in practice. There does need to be transparency, especially in this day and age when there's so much news about nefarious coaches out there. But there are limits as well. When a parent acts repeatedly in a way that's contrary to the learning of the class, there's a problem. I do have the right to refuse to teach when my teaching is being consistently and continually undermined by an overly vocal parent being an idiot.

    Personally, I think it sucks to be placed in that position, but it must be a lot worse for the kid - growing up with that kind of parent? A know-it-all who's judgmental instead of supportive? Somebody who so micro-manages their kids lives that the kid can't learn without the background of Mom and Dad shouting?

    Sure, there are coaches like that as well. We do our best to cull them, but they are still there, yelling, "sweep the leg". I feel bad for their students as well. Judo's tough enough on a kid without that sort of crap. So's baseball, basketball, and growing up.


    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts: 559
    Join date: 2012-12-28
    Location: Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:50 pm

    BillC wrote:
    Stacey wrote:

    Judo is different - it teaches randori. It teaches placing yourself at risk and falling flat on your back so that you can learn. It teaches you not to fear getting thrown by the least ranked white belt, and that allowing weaker players to throw when they've "earned" it is a good thing - it improves the lower rank and improves the higher rank. In very few areas is there this concept of improving each other through this kind of mutual learning. No time is wasted (unless you want to waste it), but all partners teach all partners and that is a good thing.

    Randori is an extension of uchi komi - where you're allowing your partner to learn a technique without resistance. Randori leads to shiai, where you actually compete. Knowing where and when to compete, and that not everything is a competition is a good thing. Learning that a great learning environment can be created through mutual practice is integral, especially as we move towards more team based workplaces.


    There is no equivalent in swimming ... etc .

    See, now there is an example of where we are going to diverge. If not disagreeing with you, I think yours is an idealized representation, not a universal practice. At least when swimming one is alone out there staring at that black line for hours and hours. Any feedback at all has to take place after the ears come out of the water ... that is until some fool comes up with a set of headphones to stick on a swimmer so coach can tell the swimmer exactly what she is doing wrong on each and every stroke down the pool.

    Judo, on the other hand, is less frequently allowed to be done mano a mano, one human being bowing to another in silence across the tatami. Nooooo ... coaches, parents, parent-coaches, parents who think they are coaches. We have whole courses and sets of rules about what coaches can yell, strong opinions about what they should be yelling, the whole bloody time. We have parents who sit at the door next to the practice mat and comment to their kids incessantly instead of leaving their kids for an hour ... it's become strange to trust leaving your kids alone to do anything ... the same at baseball, soccer, etc.

    Then there is "old school." What kind of "mutual learning" do you think goes on if "sensei" is the guy with the shinai who cracks you across the ass ... or the head ... just to "toughen the kid up." And some parents think that is great ... call it "discipline."

    In short ... all these things are externally imposed. They lead to the concept of control at best during the time the adult is present.

    This an issue I take pretty seriously. I don't allow parents to "coach" from the sidelines if they are watching practice. None of them know any Judo anyway, plus, it confuses the kids. They are working on what I've instructed them to work on, and if they need any cues I'll give them.

    I've told quite a few parents to please be quiet (politely), then not so politely to be quiet and observe, or leave. So far, nobody has withdrawn their kids from Judo. I think it best for parents to be not present in any case, it's better for the kids to have a break from parental authority/observation. Some kids are OK with their parents there, others train better without them present.

    Parents of course have a right to watch their kids practice...a good parent will make sure the person teaching their kids is competent at teaching, not abusive, etc.. I've no problems with that, just the kibitzing I don't tolerate.

    Ben

    JudoMum

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by JudoMum on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:37 pm

    My kid is no longer bullied at school. Judo gave him the strength and the confidence to plant the ringleader - you tend to only have to do this the once.

    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts: 559
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    Location: Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:00 am

    JudoMum wrote:My kid is no longer bullied at school. Judo gave him the strength and the confidence to plant the ringleader - you tend to only have to do this the once.

    that's great, but are you being sued and now having to pay his medical bills, if any?

    I've seen it go both ways. Kid defends himself with Judo, gets expelled from school, Dad had to pay for a broken jaw and a broken arm of the two bullies.

    Ben

    JudoMum

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    Re: HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Post by JudoMum on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:14 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    that's great, but are you being sued and now having to pay his medical bills, if any?

    I've seen it go both ways. Kid defends himself with Judo, gets expelled from school, Dad had to pay for a broken jaw and a broken arm of the two bullies.

    Ben

    ouch...

    nope - he also learned the control.... and I was very careful to explain to the school that he had not used a judo technique, but that judo had given him the strength and confidence to stand up for himself in this situation. That I of course would not condone the use of violence, but that I also would not forbid him to stand up for himself in the same situation, where witnesses had seen him leave the area where a group of bullies were having a go at him but they followed him, where he then asked them to leave him alone but they continued.

    Son has an autistic spectrum disorder which means that he has communication difficulties with his peers - he doesn't 'get' nonverbal cues and comes across as a bit 'odd'. Because he stands out, well, naturally that makes him a target. Well.. made him a target.... word gets around.

    Judo has changed him and his experience of life in so many ways... that he is no longer a target at school is just an added bonus.

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