It almost seems obvious: judo is suitable and particularly recommended for children. Answering the question 'why?' is not trivial though and would require pages and pages of explanation. However, there are aspects that are easy to understand.

Clearly, any physical activity is good, no matter what it is. As the world speeds up and it is possible to move faster and faster from one end of the planet to the other, a sedentary life has taken precedence over physical activity. Although the benefits of sport are universally recognised and validated by the medical and scientific world, our young people are less and less active. Judo is a sport suitable for everyone, regardless of physical and mental abilities. It allows a harmonious development of body and mind gradually.

Joining a judo club or practising at school as part of a 'Judo in Schools' programme, as there are so many around the world, means having the opportunity to learn skills for life. The first and probably the most visible is learning to fall. While this may seem trivial at first glance, it is not. Learning to fall without hurting yourself is something that will be useful throughout life. More lightly, doing judo means having the right to do 'forbidden' things, like grabbing and pulling on your partners' clothes, making them fall; it's having the opportunity to roll around and crawl on the ground while respecting the rules of sport, of course.

Supervising children under the responsibility of qualified and competent teachers creates the necessary conditions to break down the physical and mental barriers that society sometimes imposes on us. Judo is practised hand-to-hand, within a restricted perimeter, which allows distances to be broken and the notion of the 'other' to be integrated. While judo is by nature a combat sport, it actually allows you to make lifelong friends who will always be by your side.

Judo has its origins in Japan, its practice allows us to identify the contours of a rich and exciting culture. By learning the traditions and their origins, children open up to a culture other than their own and above all, by meeting other practitioners, they discover even more cultures. They learn a universal language, that of the sport, and integrate the notion of difference, but above all a respect for it.

All judo teachers will tell you: practising judo on a tatami helps strengthen self-confidence and concentration. How many champions or judoka in general today will say, "I was shy and judo allowed me to overcome this obstacle toward a fulfilled life,” or “I was hyperactive and judo offered me the possibility of channelling my energy." If judoka and their teachers can say it, teachers at school and parents can see it. With an improvement in concentration, academic results also have a positive impact.

This aspect is closely linked to the search for excellence which is part of the journey of every judoka, whatever their level. We always try to improve and do better than the day before.

When you start practising at a young age, you don't yet have the ability to understand all of this but you learn by doing and this school is very effective. Gradually, we can develop new skills and truly integrate the famous moral code of judo. Setting foot in a dojo means at least having the guarantee that we will be able to have fun, while learning all these notions, which will make us better citizens, as dreamed of by Jigoro Kano Shihan, the founder of judo. We can therefore imagine dedicating our life to sport, through the multiple lives of a judoka.

So yes, it is strongly recommended for our children to taste, if only for one day, the magic of judo because well beyond the practice itself, it conveys what allows us to live better together.

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