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the gentle way

judo: what does it mean?

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


The primary principle in Judo is that resisting a more powerful opponent will result in your defeat, whilst adjusting to and evading your opponent’s attack will cause him to lose his balance, his power will be reduced, and you can control him.


This can apply whatever the relative values of power, thus making it possible for weaker opponents to control significantly stronger ones.

why judo?

physical and emotional benefits

"This is one of the many reasons why I encourage both my boys to participate in judo classes.

Whilst one is very sporty and eagerly attends my Judo classes the other one is keener on art and books and is naturally more inclined to these pursuits than Judo.

I believe that judo will benefit both boys physically and emotionally. As we all know, physical exercise is essential for children – not just for health reasons, but because it supports the further development of intelligence by means of all the perceptual-motion activities (balance, midline, lateral dominance, body scheme image, fine motor control, spatial orientation and directionality) – all of which is part and parcel of judo."

judo can help children

I know, from personal experience, that a quieter, more sensitive child can sometimes be perceived to ‘be different(and easy to pick on) and I also know (from more personal experience) that Judo can help children – not only in terms of developing the confidence to handle tricky situations with peers, but also to generally feel good about themselves, which makes for a happier childhood.

The constant mastering of new techniques, development of contact awareness and regular progressing from one grade to another is hugely beneficial in this regard.

judo and other sports

Judo will lay and enhance a much needed foundation for any other sport that children choose to participate in. 

Many judo coaches have been engaged to teach appropriate judo skills to athletes participating in rugby, soccer, etc. Whilst various physical judo skills enhance performance in sports, the non-physical judo skills also contribute to overall performance. Judo does not need to be a child’s primary sport for him/her to reap the benefits.

respect and care

Judokas of varying capabilities and different ages practice with each other, creating an environment of continuous learning with more advanced students assisting those with lesser skills.

confidence and courage

no need to win to build confidence

Judokas progress at their own pace and move onto a next grading when they are ready. There are various grading levels allowing continuous recognition of growth and a sense of achievement. Advancing in grading levels is based on the ability to demonstrate learned skills without opposition and not the ability to “win a fight”.

This is an important distinction and motivation factor for the children – as winning is not a prerequisite for recognition and a sense of achievement. This approach to grading also helps to cultivate a climate of cooperation as the opponent is positioned as someone that helps you to practice and strengthen the skills you require to proceed on your judo journey.

fun with purpose

the many physical and mental benefits of judo

Judo classes are structured such that children can join at any time and start developing their skills – each at their own pace.

The classes are fun and a variety of well-designed, purposeful games are played to improve the Judoka’s physical and mental skills.

Practising the sport of judo brings many benefits to the student, for example:

judo teaches respect

Students learn to respect others, themselves and the equipment used in class. They have the opportunity to learn what it feels like to respect their own strength and skills and gain respect from others.

judo exercises the mind

In judo, the opponent is constantly moving and the judokas have to continuously adapt their strategy to gain and stay in control. It is much like a fast paced physical chess game!

judo improves balance and coordination

Judo develops bilateral co-ordination, hand-eye coordination, upper/lower body coordination and foot-eye coordination.

fitness and strength

Judo is a great way to get fit and strong. It provides both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

energy and physical expression

Judo provides a great opportunity for children to express their energy in a safe and controlled environment.

judo improves spatial orientation and directionality

In judo, the body moves in space in all directions, leading to improved spacial orientation and segmental coordination – abilities that play a significant role in overall sport performance.

judo teaches self-discipline and builds character

Judoka’s get thrown, get up and continue to play – learning persistence, resolve and perseverance.

judo improves overall confidence

Judo is an excellent sport for building confidence. Judokas progress at their own pace and move on to the next grading when they are ready. Advancement is based upon the ability to demonstrate the skills learnt, as opposed to “winning” against an opponent. This means that everybody who learns, wins, and experiences a sense of achievement.

judo teaches how to fall safely and avoid injury

This is a very useful skill for kids in general in their day-to-day life as well as being useful when playing various sports.

judo teaches how to cooperation

Whilst judo is an individual sport, judokas need to cooperate with their opponents to help their training partners learn and exercise new techniques. They learn how important it is to work as a team to achieve a positive outcome for both parties.

purposeful fun

Judokas learn a skill set that can be used for self defence when necessary.

fiona mitsinikos


We’ve been with Yarra Judo for 3 year and our son loves all the skills he’s learnt in that time. Neel is a great teacher who I’d definitely recommend.

Isolde shepherd-piet


My son has been going to Yarra Judo for a few years now and very much enjoy the classes. The lessons are in age appropriate groups. Besides the judo techniques, children get trained on all aspects of judo, including respect, resilience and diligence.

jacqueline Nunan


Fun and inspirational judo for judoka of all ages.

weekly classes

9 am - 9.45 am
10 am - 11 am
11.15 am - 12.45 pm
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