Children can start judo as young as five years old and are considered a junior up to the age of 16 when they are classed as an adult. For the youngest children, we concentrate on the FUNdamentals of Judo, which are agility, balance and coordination. They also learn some theory, but keeping sessions fun and stimulating is the main aim of our coaching. From 8-10 years of age, we provide a bit more theory and concentrate on building up their understanding of the key concepts of Judo such as stance, movement, grips and the Judo Moral Code. Children also have the opportunity to enter competitions, either local or national. From 10 years onwards, a few children may chose the competition pathway, which requires harder, regular, training, but for most, continuing to improve their technique and understanding of Judo while progressing through the grading system is their main motivation.
Progression and motivation
Gradings to achieve a new belt are one area aspect of motivating children to progress in Judo. For under 8’s, Judo Scotland run ‘The Kai Club’ initiative which awards children stickers as they learn about fundamental aspects of Judo. Coaches work through the 12 stickers through the year and provide another tangible measure of achievement for children. Judo Scotland also run ‘Skill Scool’ events which provide the opportunity for children to train somewhere else with other children in a friendly environment with no pressure to win medals. Other areas of progression include moving up to a new class, local competitions which match up children on their ability and on occasion we have coaching sessions from famous Judo players, past and present.