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Tips for the teacher

With IJF Judo in Schools we will have to deal with children that would not choose to practice judo themselves. The school or municipality made the choice for them, it’s a mandatory sport. For this group the way you teach is very important - especially the introduction of IJF Judo in Schools itself (Lesson 0) and the first judo lesson at school will make the difference.

Engaging introduction

In the judo lesson the introduction itself is very important. If you can then ‘catch’ the judoka and get them interested it will help enormously to kickstart the program and have a good atmosphere. You will need a strong introduction that will make it easy for everybody to participate with pleasure and safety using actions and challenges.

You constantly have to search for ‘the game’.” Ask yourself: With what can you challenge and interest a judoka?

Ensure a safe environment in which everyone is respected, and where everyone helps each other to become ‘better’ than yesterday:

Don’t strive to be better than someone else, aim to become a better you than you were yesterday.

Use bowing as a confirmation of these intentions.

Through greeting, you agree to make each other stronger and you will take care of each other.

In your lessons, emphasize that there is space to learn to cope with emotions such as disappointment, anger, hurt, pain, winning, losing, stress, or fear. That unwelcome behaviour regarding these topics is not accepted either on or off the mat. After all you are there to support and reinforce each other.

Key pointers for a teacher

There are some key points to consider that you will use in every game or exercise:

  • Repeat safety instructions for every game/exercise.
  • Do not focus on victory or defeat.
  • Pay special attention when there is a lot of movement on the tatami; you should exercise control over the group so as to avoid collisions or excessive movement.
  • Games/exercises are classified into three categories: group play, team play, individual play.
  • Give clear direction to the children so that they can concentrate on one task only.

Choosing buddies

Choosing buddies can be hard for children. They will prefer to choose their friends and as a teacher, it can be difficult to deal with that. There are different ways to solve this and to make it fun and easy to understand for children. Next to the example below, you can find more on our platform.

An example: In the beginning, you will choose the pairs from roughly the same height and weight. After you did this, when they are facing each other, emphasise that they have the same height. After this, you can use this as a reference during

the lesson. With this, you guide the children to always make the right choice and to always make the exercise safe and balanced.


It’s always important to evaluate what you are doing during the program and the lessons. It will give you feedback about whether the children understand and are able to do the exercise properly, and if they are ready for the next step in the program. E.g. If the children don’t yet know how to do ukemi then you cannot teach them a throwing technique.

When you start a program it’s important to do a ‘zero measurement’. You need to know the starting point of the children. After that, every time that you evaluate you will see the progress and it can guide you through the program. There are different kind of evaluations: for example after an exercise, after a lesson and after a program. They will all help you to improve and adjust the program and therefore help the children to reach their goals.

Example of evaluation after an exercise : After the children practiced a technique, you put the children in one line. Then you invite two children to come to the middle and show the technique. You can ask the other children to give their opinion: ‘What was right or wrong?’ It will tell you if they understood the exercise, if they need more time to practice or if you may need to adjust the exercise.

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