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Lesson 0: Introduction to judo

The you communicate as a teacher, can contribute a lot to the succes of a program. Think about the people that need to know about your program and work as a teacher: The schoolboard and teachers, the partents and of course the children. In order to give your program a good start, it’s important to introduce yourself and judo to the school. This is what we like to call lesson 0.

Lesson 0 is meant for you, the school teacher and the children to get to know each other, and go over what the group can expect from the upcoming classes. The emphasis lies on aligning expectations, without losing sight of the values.

Be aware that from the start you have an exemplary role in the class. You can tell them about:

  • Who are you? Tell your personal judo story.
  • What are you here for? You will make the students stronger, faster, smarter, etc. And you will help them get better in the other sports they are practicing; “Because of judo you will get stronger in other sports also.”
  • What are you going to teach them next to having fun at playing games? Tell about giving compliments and other feedback and ask for thumbs (thumb method is explained in another page).

Thanks to judo teacher Dries Poelstra from the Netherlands, we can give you a few pointers to the judo teacher as to what to discuss during Lesson 0.

Pointers preparation Lesson 0 for the judo teacher

Once you have received your class schedule including dates and times for your lessons, you should start taking steps straight away to plan Lesson 0, preferably at least a week before your actual classes commence. Show up for this first class well in advance, to allow yourself time to meet the head of the school (or whoever is in charge). Indicate that you would like to see where you will teach your classes, so you can check whether:

  • The location is easy to reach for the children.
  • The location is spacious enough.
  • The location and its surroundings are safe.
  • The materials have been delivered, and are correct and complete.
  • The posters, diplomas, and flyers have been delivered.

Do you find something missing? Then please contact the Federation.

The course of Lesson 0

During Lesson 0 you will introduce yourself to the group, and share what you will do during the lessons. You can make use of the following tools and talking points:

  • Poster of the judo values.
  • History of judo and the values.
  • Mentioning one of the values, and asking for or giving examples.
  • Indicating what is important during class: taking off jewellery, having clean hands and feet, and short clipped nails.
  • Introducing the judogi and judo mat.
  • Teaching how to knot the belt.

The role of the teacher

Lesson 0 is also the perfect time to discuss with the class teacher what you expect of him/her running up to and during the judo classes. You can express how involved you would like the teacher to be. Discuss that it is the teacher’s responsibility that the students are present and changed into their gym clothing on time. Other tips we can give you (if needed):

  • If the classes are taught within the school, then have the teacher pick up the boxes with judo uniforms so the children can already change into them in the locker rooms.
  • Discuss with the teacher whether a few children could help placing the mats before the first class.
  • Ensure the children get changed in and out of their judogi in an orderly manner.

Everything you discuss and agree on during Lesson 0 will help make the subsequent classes run more smoothly, and be more fun. To conclude: do not forget that at the end of the day, you are responsible for everything that happens during judo classes. If you ever have any doubts, please contact the Federation immediately.