Rise of the Judoka

ju·do·ka
noun

Meaning: a person who practices or is an expert in judo.

G1 earned a double promotion and won his orange belt for Judo yesterday. It was a proud moment for us (and him, especially). We’ve never considered him to be particularly athletic so this was a pretty major achievement.

Orange Belt

It has always been difficult choosing extra-curricular activities for G1. Although I have always felt it is important to follow your child’s lead, I’ll admit I broke that rule when I told G1 he had to do Judo. Why did I enforce this one? Because I am a Mum and I know that I will never be able to completely protect my children from everything, forever, so the least I can do is make sure they can protect themselves.

But I did try to make up for enforcing this one. I told him he could choose whatever he wanted for the other CCA choice. So I picked one and he picked one, and Judo was the one I chose.

The good news was that he grew quite enthusiastic about Judo. The bad news is that earning belts is his primary motivation for continuing. For him, practice, form and skill development is nothing; it’s all about doing the necessary to attain the next level – nothing more, nothing less. Well, there’s still a chance that his outlook could change. In the meantime, at least he’s sticking to it without protest.

Why Judo?

Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength. By training you in attacks and defenses it refines your body and your soul and helps you make the spiritual essence of Judo a part of your very being. In this way you are able to perfect yourself and contribute something of value to the world. This is the final goal of Judo discipline. – Jigoro Kano

Since there are only so many hours in a day, I wanted a CCA with as much bang for my buck as I could get. Judo fits all the following criteria:

Also because my FIL, who practiced martial arts in his younger days, recommended it because he felt it was good for teaching children about balance and how to fall. I confess I was largely won over by the promise that Judo helps:

  • cultivate respect and discipline
  • teach persistence, resolve and perseverance
  • build character – getting back up to fight again no matter how many times you’ve been thrown down

Last but not least, “he who can suppress a moment’s anger may prevent many days’ sorrow” – I hope G1 will learn this through Judo.

Is it working? Erm… The jury’s still out.

The main object of Judo lies in this point. It seeks to augment human strength, morality and intellect by human means and efforts. It tends to train young people in the habits and condition conducive to the accomplishment of great undertakings. – T. Shidachi