Judo to teach social skills

At the school my children go to one of the local judo schools come in to give lessons. And I think they do the same in a number of schools in the area. With the emphasis on teaching the children social skills. Judo has at its core the idea of respect for each other and I think it’s a great idea to bring that into schools to help against bullying. And in developing the self-confidence of everyone in the class.

Within each lesson they do some basic judo, and have to swap partners so that they work with different people. This encourages them to all take part and to work with children that they might not normally play with. Working physically with a range of children helps you learn how to look after yourself, and others. And especially in the Netherlands, where sports are not normally done in schooltime. (Most primary schools have no lessons on Wednesday afternoons so that the children can go and do the sport of their choice.)

My two love it, and are really enthusiastic when it’s time for their judo lesson at school, though I think the other littlies in starry girl’s class struggle a bit. Though I think that’s partly the unfamiliarity of it and their concentration skills. But over time, as they go through the school, I’m sure that they will learn how it works and enjoy it too.


  1. What a great idea for the schools to promote this, especially for the very shy and the girls–two groups, obviously sometimes overlapping, who are often dominated, if not outright bullied, by “alpha” boys. It’s also, I think/hope, a good way to help those who would bully to 1)work off aggression in a safe and supervised atmosphere, and 2)gain some understanding and respect for others, and possibly themselves. I think much bullying comes from the bully feeling deep uncertainty about his (her) place in things and self-worth.

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