Judo for Children’s goal is to include judo in school curriculum to offer the possibility to children to discover the activity and to learn its human values.
Judo for Children fights against any kind of discrimination and segregation. It promotes apowerful educational activity that helps to built the mind and body of the younger generations. It instils the judo values such as respect, honor, friendship, self control, modesty, politeness... and give them skills for life. JFC is active in countries all over the world, especially in sectors where social disorders destroyed the social network and where values have been lost. But it can also be active in more prosperous area, where physical inactivity is an issue.
If addressing the lack of activity issue is not necessarily easy, it is the most obvious. By practicing judo, children discover or re-discover the benefit of doing sport. The judo values which areinscribed in the DNA of the sport help to address other issues that are more socially related. It is for instance impossible to practice judo if you don't respect your partner. The bow is a symbol of that. What the children learn on the mat, that are able to reproduce it outside of the dojo.
The whole concept of Judo for Children was invented based on strong educational and pedagogical approaches. The goal is not to produce champions but to educate the youth and to give them values and skills for life. The fact that the education was put as the main goal is very innovative. An other innovation comes from the fact that the network of judoka around the world allows to gather together ideas. The concept is also very flexible and adapts to all kinds ofthe situations. Partnerships are signed between the sports institution as well as with the ministries of education.
JFC projects are now running allover the world. Over the past ten years, successful projects weredeveloped in Georgia, Dominican Rep. Hungary, Italy, Azerbaijan, Palestine, Senegal, Mexico, Tunisia, Iran, Romania, Madagascar...All the activities concern thousands of children throughout the globe.
The first program was launched in 2005 in the Netherlands. It started with approximately 1 school and a few dozens of children. Today, 35000 children in 400 schools are doing the activities every year. There is no exclusion at all of any kind. It would be against the spirit of judo.
Throughout the program, the children learn the basics of judo. The first important skill for lifethey discover is to learn how to fall down. They also learn the respect (bow) of the place, thepartners, the teacher and the respect for themselves. They learn all those elements throughout games and activities that leads to judo.
In terms of behavior, all testimonies are similar: children are more calm, more patient and morerespectful of others. This statement is made either by the school teachers and/or the parents. Attention during other lessons at schools improves after several week of Judo for Children program.
The JFC program has a indirect impact on the relatives of the children involved. Brothers and sisters, friends... are exposed to positive comments and many of them also join judo.
The impact on the entourage is important. Teachers and parents are the first concerned and they are the first to measure the change before and after the program.
The impact is also positive from a media point of view. Local media are following the JFC programs, reporting about them, with a particular attention when champions are involved.
Today judo is spreading rapidly throughout the country and more and more people consider judo as the best educational activity for children
Children are happy to be involved in judo activities. More and more schools are putting equipments at the disposal of the judo teachers in order to make sure that judo is practiced inthe best possible conditions.
As an IJF program, the organization puts a lot of efforts into it by providing equipments (tatamis,judogis) and expertise. When a new program is set up, the IJF supports its development from anadministrative point of view (building of the project, communication...).