FAQ

How old must my child be to start Judo?

We recommend 8 years old, but if there are sufficient coaches available, we will take kids at six years old.

When must I register my child?

The best time to register is the first Monday of any month so that they can start with a few others. However, registration is ongoing and you can register your child on any Monday or Wednesday between 6 and 7pm (Except July and August when the days switch to Tuesday and Thursday).

How old must my child be to start Judo?

We recommend 8 years old, but if there are sufficient coaches available we take kids at six years old.

When must I register my child?

The best time to register is the first Monday of any month so that they can start with a few others. However, registration is ongoing and you can register your child on any Monday or Wednesday between 6 and 7pm (Except July and August when the days switch to Tuesday and Thursday).

What will my child learn?

First and foremost they learn to fall safely (an invaluable lesson in itself). The novice Judoka also spend time on basic fitness including sit ups and push ups. While some kids may start a little slower than others, we invariably see steady progress and an accompanying growth in self-confidence. Of course, a lot of time is spent learning basic throws and grappling techniques. In Judo we practice the same moves frequently. Even black belts are still practicing moves they started to learn at age seven. There is lots of practice.

How often will my child get a new belt?

There are at present six belts in Judo before black belt.These are white, yellow, orange, green, blue and brown. In Judo a black belt is a skilled and formidable athlete against any opponent and as such will be at least sixteen years old. Typically a child that starts at seven or eight will be graded once every eighteen months or so, but this depends on a number of factors. Children learn patience and feel they have earned their belts when they get them – and they really have.

Judo is a fighting sport. Can children get hurt?

Sports injuries can happen in Judo just as they happen in soccer or lacrosse, but among children it is very unusual. Judo means the ‘gentle way’. The very purpose of Judo is to restrain an opponent with minimum risk of injury. This is then minimized further in children’s Judo through further limitations in Judo techniques. Safety is always paramount. Now, this does not mean that a child won’t bang a toe or get a wayward finger in the face, or maybe feel a bit squished when being pinned in which case a sensei (coach) assesses the situation.

Does Judo involve chokes or arm-bars?

Not until adolescence and even then it is done under careful supervision. As mentioned above, the art is to learn to restrain without causing injury.

Are there Judo competitions?

Nobody is under any pressure to compete and many Judoka do not compete at all. Remember though that Judo is an Olympic sport and there are many official competitions. For those that enjoy competing, they can start at around the age of six and continue into adolescence with a real possibility of joining the Judo BC team and even the Judo Canada team. Every year Burnaby Judo club sends Judoka to fight nationally and internationally, some as young as fourteen years of age.

Is Burnaby Judo Club a business?

No, Burnaby Judo Club is a non-profit organization and it is a community. Many kids stay in the club for years and many stay connected for life. As Burnaby Judo Club members we see each others kids grow up and close bonds form within the club and to the club itself. It is also a very open community and new members are deeply valued.

Do parents and members have to volunteer?

No, people volunteer because they feel connected to the club and feel that their children are really getting something out of it, so we don’t need to run around drumming up help. We are always delighted to have extra help, especially when organizing our tournament in December. We are also open to suggestions if parents feel they have something to offer in terms of skills or knowledge that might help us. It is worth mentioning, however, that recent research suggests that volunteering in a community actually promotes longevity; so that one hour working the concession stand, buys you an extra year or two of life.

Can parents join the club?

Some parents join as white belts at the same time as their children and train twice a week with the recreation class from 8-10pm. It is a great sport for any age and lots of fun. Even parents who lost a lot of fitness while raising small children can achieve a fitness level they may never have achieved before.

What to expect from Judoka

Judo is a sport that can not be practiced and perfected without a partner. For this reason, the values of our sport are expected to become part of the participant’s behavior both on and off the mat. The values are:

  • playing by the rules;
  • co-operating with others;
  • respecting self and others;
  • self-discipline and humility;
  • self-confidence and commitment;
  • perseverance and determination;
  • concentrating and controlling emotions

What to expect from Parents

Support your child in their effort to improve. Remember, there is a very thin line between supporting and pushing your child. Always respect the partners and opponents of your child. Without them, there is no progress, and Judo is not possible. If you like what you see in Judo programs, try it out. Most programs offer Judo to adults and often special programs are arranged where children interact on the mat with their parents. You may become a Judoka at any age. Those who practice Judo for life enjoy the social and personal connection developed with the people who share the same passion for Judo.