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The role of the judo teacher

The teacher is the ambassador and face of IJF Judo in Schools. You play an important role in the physical, mental and social/emotional development of the children that participate in IJF Judo in Schools. You will equip children with ‘Skills for Life’.

We believe that you are the main key to bring the dream to life: to roll out judo in schools worldwide, with a million participants annually.

As a teacher you will propose playful exercises, but also start to teach the first techniques of judo with safety in mind. The guidelines of this document are general and will help us to define educational choices and teaching strategies. Each teacher will have to be attentive to the particular needs of each child in their lessons. It is our essential educational challenge.

A teacher must simultaneously be a(n)

  • Educator – you have impact on the development of the child and how he/she grows up to be an adult.
  • Teacher – you are a role model and a source of knowledge.
  • Entertainer/animator – you energise the group and make judo more playful.

The personality of the judo teacher

  • First of all, you are a judo teacher because you are passionate about judo. You should have a professional mindset.
  • You should be exible and able to adapt your attitude according to your audience. This is your primary quality. It means an adaptation according to the context of the environment, according to the age and the Motivation of the children.
  • The judo lesson is a live performance, given by a teacher on the tatami. The secret of success lies in your ability to express your personality, that is to be personal and original. This is called charisma.
  • You should be able to create an emotional impact on the children. It’s not about having a personality but about revealing it.
Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause and aim. The daily program of children should integrate the good correlation between learning and recreation.
Mr. Marius Vizer, IJF President

The basics

There are some fundamental aspects when it comes to teaching children judo. Most of the points were part of your education as judo teacher and judoka. For us, a teacher needs to have the following basic requirements:



  • knows the right, duties and responsibilities of the educator.
  • Observes hygiene and security in schools.
  • Knows what to do in the event of an accident.
  • Has a first aid training certificate or civic prevention and rescue level 1.
  • Knows the basics of the functioning of the structure (school).
  • Is able to make an Internal and external analysis of the structure (SWOT Analysis).
  • Knows the federal and school system of the country (organization, license, insurance, medical certificates, Declaration of Behaviour etc.).



  • is 1st Dan.
  • Knows the history and values of judo.
  • Knows the Moral code and can apply the values of judo in each lesson of the program.
  • Understands the technical program:
    • the main characteristics of children (physical, mental and social/emotional skills),
    • the main fundamental judo technical skills Tashi-waza and Ne-waza.
  • Is able to write an annual judo program and micro-cycles.
  • Has the ability to write and execute a lesson in our ‘typical lesson sheet’ and make a logically built lesson (including a warming up, technical part and back to calm).
  • Is able to analyse the different teaching situations: Adjust your program/lessons to the needs of the group (age, physical, mental and social/emotional skills and special needs).
  • Has the ability to advise and correct individual children on their technical and intellectual achievements.
  • Is able to present the activity and its purposes.
  • Ensures safety during practice at the level of the individual and the material environment.
  • Knows the rules of the dojo (E.g. hygiene and security).


Safety is one of the most important aspects that you need to consider during the judo lessons. You should always hold safety in high regard and be properly trained.

Pay attention to the details and always ensure the safety of the children in each exercise that they do. If children make mistakes that will lead to danger and/or accidents, always take the time to correct, even if it changes the course of your lesson.

Pay attention to the gender difference and the differing cultural backgrounds. Respect the decision if a child does not want to perform a particular exercise.

In our guidelines you will find advice of how to make lessons and exercises safer considering the age group.


In addition to safety, personal hygiene is also an important factor. We consider that parents and children are responsible for a few basic things:

  1. Children always enter with clean hands and feet. Of course, this applies to the entire body, but hands and feet - and a fresh smell - are particularly important.
  2. Long nails are not allowed on the mat.
  3. All jewellery has to be removed. If earrings cannot be removed because the ears have recently been pierced then we will make an exception and tape them.
  4. Do not wear any metal pins or beads in your hair. If you have long hair, wear it tied up in a ponytail, bun, or braid. Only use elastic bands that do not have any metal bits on them.
  5. Use the toilet before class begins. Only in exceptional cases are toilet breaks allowed during class.

Not every child will have their ‘own’ judogi. For reasons of hygiene, we recommend children wear a t-shirt underneath their suits. This also includes children who feel insecure about their body.

Parental/school teacher involvement

It is important to us that parents know about IJF Judo in Schools. You can inform them about the program via a letter. This enables parents to support the IJF Judo in Schools values outside of school too.

Next to that you can involve the parents for several reasons:

  • Their help in the event of an incident (toilet, accident, crisis or sickness).
  • Help them to install the tatami or to tidy up.
  • Their testimony in the case of an accusation of aggression, physical, verbal or sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse/sexual harassment

The regulations and laws of your country will be different from others. For example, it can be forbidden for the teachers to use the same changing room as the children. We strongly advise you to be aware of these rules to prevent any problems in this matter. Although cases of paedophilia are extremely rare in judo, always think of the worst possible interpretations of your actions and never leave the shadow of any possible ambiguity no matter how credible you are.

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