Kids Class

Introduction to Judo Ages 5 - 12


The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, “Ju”, which means “gentle” and “Do”, which means “the way”. Judo, therefore, literally means “the way of gentleness”.


A question parents often have when they send their kids to judo class is: “Is my child going to use this to hurt others?” Although this is a legitimate concern, it is always addressed early by instructors who remind students that the techniques they learn in the dojo stay in the dojo and should not be used to intimidate people. As children learn the ropes, they will learn to respect their newfound strength and techniques.


In Judo, each child’s success is based on his or her own individual qualities. Knowing that their own ambition and hard work will drive them to succeed, they will be motivated to follow their dreams. Also, judo is one of the few sports that individuals can only improve through the positive interaction and training with others.


Judo is a rigorous and demanding physical activity. The practice of judo techniques helps people develop basic and fundamental physical fitness in a number of ways, such as the development of strength, flexibility, agility, speed, dynamic and static balance, explosive power, and endurance. The practice of active attack and defense helps develop reaction time, coordination, and overall physical self-confidence.


Many parents consider martial arts for their sons, not nearly as many would consider it for their daughters. However, judo is one of the few sports where both boys and girls can play together. In fact, female judo players in the United States tend to have greater competitive success internationally than their male counterparts.


There is constant repetition in drills and practices with emphasis on details and rhythm. Moves are practiced and repeated. This instruction instills the benefits of frequent practice, and the patience in self- development to achieve a goal. Through this process, children are taught to respect one another, their opponents and colleagues, and how to play games fair and square.


Judo students also learn valuable social skills, and build long-lasting and meaningful relationships with others. The camaraderie and bonding that occurs among partners who have shared the rigors of physically difficult and mentally demanding training are deep, often providing the basis for relationships that last a lifetime. Through judo, people are able to develop friendships and integrate socially almost anywhere.


  • Judo is the safest contact sport for children under the age of 13 (The American College of Sports Medicine)
  • Judo is the best training sport for children from 5 - 12 years of age (World Health Organization)
  • Judo is the best initial sport to train children and young people from 4 to 21 years of age (UNESCO 2017)
  • Judo is a physical exercise with the second highest calorie consumption: 363 calories for 30 minutes; second only to rowing (World Health Organization)
  • Judo is the most widely practiced combat sport in the world
  • Judo is the second most popular sport of any sport in the world


To attend these classes, students must meet the following requirements


Students must be at least 5-years-old to attend the kids class. A parent or guardian can choose to be on the mat with younger students if needed.

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USA Judo Membership

This is only required if the student wishes to compete in tournaments and for promotions to Shodan (black belt).

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Sign up and join us for a free first class at the YMCA Downtown location.

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