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    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN

    Ben Reinhardt
    Ben Reinhardt


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    Post by Ben Reinhardt Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:34 am

    GR3G4 wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    This an issue I take pretty seriously. I don't allow parents to "coach" from the sidelines if they are watching practice. None of them know any Judo anyway, plus, it confuses the kids. They are working on what I've instructed them to work on, and if they need any cues I'll give them.

    I've told quite a few parents to please be quiet (politely), then not so politely to be quiet and observe, or leave. So far, nobody has withdrawn their kids from Judo. I think it best for parents to be not present in any case, it's better for the kids to have a break from parental authority/observation. Some kids are OK with their parents there, others train better without them present.

    Parents of course have a right to watch their kids practice...a good parent will make sure the person teaching their kids is competent at teaching, not abusive, etc.. I've no problems with that, just the kibitzing I don't tolerate.

    Ben

    I agree that during practice or competition parents should not be allowed to coach from the sideline. But I also don't let the kids' parents attend practice, excpept in the first few weeks of the season (if a child joins the class later in the season, of course the parent is allowed to watch a few times to get the feeling what is going on and how we work with kids). From time to time I agree for parents to come and watch the practice, usually one or two at a time (they expressed interest in how their kids progress, maybe they want to photo or film their kid during judo practice or an out of town grandma wants to see her grandkid do judo...), and of course parents were allowed to attend all events (competitions, gradings etc.) . The parents were presented with the credentials of the instructors (licence, experience...). Also many came because we were recommended to them by people who had children in our club (the best form of advertising). In most cases there were no problems with them not being allowed to attend practices (I actually can't remember any). We also took time to explain the parents why we believe it's better if they didn't attend practices regularly.

    I worked with young children (they started judo at 4-5 years) and found that having parents in the room was disturbing the practice. An instructor has to be the main authority at the practice (I guess everyone will agree) as he/she is responsible for everything that happens during the class. When parents are present (the most important people in a child's life) the instructor can have difficulty creating this authority as the parents will be the the first people a child will look to for questions, praise, help or whatever. Also sometimes parents can't help themselves (even when they agree it's not OK) and need to shout a word to their child (sometimes encouragement, some times they feel the child is not behaving) - in these cases the child can forget about the instructor.

    (I can explain these things so much better in my language...Very Happy)

    First off, you express yourself extremely well in English, better than many native speakers for sure.

    I've noticed that the younger kids also tend to look to their parents as well, which makes keeping their attention difficult. I've found most parents to be understanding of it being better for them to not attend practices regularly, especially after they have satisfied themselves through observation that their kids are in good hands in the Judo class. The kids also get a bit of a feeling of independence, plus learn how to experience "authority" from another person, which will of course be different than parental authority/guidance. I've seen very controlling/domineering parents (and judo instructors, LOL!) whose kids can't do anything without looking to them first. Getting out from under that seems to be very helpful to them (kids, and maybe parents too).

    I've noticed that highly successful parents (in business, life in general), who are very competitive (usually but not necessarily the male half), tend to want to coach from the sidelines, which is VERY distracting. Putting extra pressure on their child to perform, and in some cases treating randori like it's a mini-shiai. The drive and competitiveness of the parent carries over into the class. However, what I want to foster in class sense of teamwork first, and then the idea that we can train hard together, even to the point of shiai like randori (when appropriate), and at the same time understand we are all benefiting despite the intensity of physical/mental/emotional activity. Appropriate action/attitude in the appropriate place is critical. I've had to talk to some parents about this, and all of them so far have been understanding.
    Stacey
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    Post by Stacey Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:28 am

    I had to deal with a relentless bully throughout my school years. While he would pick on other kids, I was his default target. Black eyes, bloody noses, split lips in elementary school, and eventually he learned to go for the gut, hit the shoulder, sit on top and spit in my face - all sorts of crap. I learned to check my bicycle over thoroughly every time I wanted to ride to make sure my wheels were inflated and attached, my brakes worked and my headset firmly attached to the front fork (nothing like finding out you can't steer while trying to actually steer). Yes, he'd pick on boys his own age, and anybody else who came across as a target, but I was special - I was his little sister. According to my parents, I instigated everything and would get into trouble for bruising his knuckles with my face. This made for a lovely childhood, let me tell you. He religiously peed in my toothbrush, if not worse.

    Here's the thing - my parents endorsed the behavior. Schools couldn't criticize because my parents couldn't hear when it came to bad things my brother did. They got sued a few times as a result of damage he did to others - broken bones, concussions. My injuries were ignored at best.

    Yes, it would have been nice if somebody had stepped in, but really, can we count on it? Bullies get motivated to hide their misdeeds. Sure, there are times when they enjoy being the center of attention with other kids encouraging them (just glad that they aren't the target of the bully that day). But, bullies are also insidious. Knocking books out of your hands without losing step, stealing homework, lunch, lunch money, dropping projects into the mud, whatever. School can be dangerous. The walk to and from school can be dangerous. But, home, too, can be the most dangerous place of all.

    Hopefully, the structure of school has changed enough that school is a safe zone, as free of bullying as anyplace can be. But, like real life, a bully can be found anywhere, including the seat next to you at the dinner table. Judo would not have helped me growing up. What helped me growing up was realizing my bully had absolutely no follow through and couldn't stand to be a part of anything that cost him consistent effort. As a result, I joined every activity I could, and he just got drunk and stoned. As a result, I went to college and he went to prison. As a result, I learned to live within a family system that was disappointed in me for becoming an attorney while at the same time celebrated every out date that my brother's had.

    Sometimes, you have to realize - people are just plain nuts. You have to live your life the way you want to, consistent with your ethics and no matter what you say or do or believe, there's always going to be somebody out there, ready, willing, and able to victimize you. And, there's always going to be loved ones out there ready, willing, and able to back the play of the bully, no matter what. It's most certainly not fair. It's definitely not fun, but it is reality.

    I hope nobody has to deal with this. But, please, do remember; many bullies do have younger siblings. They sharpen their techniques against those younger, weaker kids. There's not much out there to protect those kids.
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    GR3G4


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    Post by GR3G4 Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:02 pm

    Hanon wrote:A GENERAL POST ON THE SUBJECT OF GUESTS IN THE DOJO.

    Hi,

    This is a minefield. Teaching children today is not a risk free activity. IF a dojo has an infant section it would be my strongest advice to INSIST on a parent or guardian being present when teaching. I make this suggestion regardless of the sensei being male or female.

    The responsibility of the management and conduct of behaviour ON a tatami belongs, correctly, with the sensei. Once a parent has passed their child onto the sensei the parent must accept that the sensei is now responsible. If a parent cannot accept that then the parent is free to remove their child from your dojo.

    NEVER EVER allow a parent to even speak with their child when they enter your tatami. Once on that tatami the child MUST understand that YOU as the teacher is responsible and act on your commands accepting your discipline while growing and developing his or her own.

    Mat side teachers give the trots. I have never tolerated them. They are a danger to their children and all those on the tatami.

    It is imperative that a child has free time away from parental control just as its vital for a healthy family relationship that parents have free time away from their kids. A tatami should become a small world of its own, when we entre a tatami all external pressures and day to day functions should be left in the changing room. The tatami is a class room, a dangerous one. A sensei HAS to have 100% control of his class. that means 100% attention from those he is responsible for. If a child's mind is diverted away from the artificial 'zone' of a tatami then even for a second, that child can be a danger to themselves or peer.

    When I was teaching the tatami became the world for a small period. I knew what was going on on every millimetre of that tatami. I was responsible and responsible IN LAW. This point must be burned into every teachers mind from the word go.

    Sure Mr or Mrs Jones may try and speak with their kids. Point is the teacher then losses control of HIS environment and that is when accidents occur. Who then carries the can?

    If a parent is allowed to interfere with the lesson the teachers authority becomes eroded and the child is not free from parental control. Double wamy.

    So, if your teaching infants I suggest you insist on parents being present but have a flyer printed explaining what is written above. Most parents will respect this and thank you for your hard work with their kids.

    If you do allow parental intervention then be prepared to accept the consequences when something goes wrong.

    Though it appears so black and white please don't think I feel from a tree yesterday. I understand the practice is not always as simply as the theory, however no one forces a teacher to teach if a teacher finds difficulty with control maybe its best to practice and allow another to accept such a heavy burden?

    Mike.

    I agree, in a perfect world it would be great if all parents would attend their chidren's practice and sit there quietly while their children ignore them. But I just don't see it happening that way in real life.

    I understand your position, especially from the aspect of legal liability of the instructor/club. Of course it's great to have parents watch what's going on with their children all the time (it is their right and their duty to make sure everything is OK, that there is no abuse etc.). Now let's imagine how it would look in real life: in my club classes for small children can consist of up to 18 children - before anyone starts saying that is too much I want to say there are always at least two instructors in a class (even if there are much fewer kids enrolled - in children's classes there are always two instructors, both licenced, no matter the size of the group) and if you have 18 kids in a class more than 14 rarely attend due to illness of the children or the parents, birthday parties, kindergarten/school activities in the afternoon etc. (we started with smaller groups of 10 to 12 but found out that we can handle more children in a class - it depends on the instructor who has the final say in how many children there will be in his class, with very small children the groups can be smaller, with a bit older a little larger). So, if there are 15 kids on the mat that would make (at least) 15 parents matside. This is a large group. In my club we wouldn't even have place for all of them to attend at the same time (we have mats wall to wall). The class lasts from 45-60 minutes. While it is possible for a parent to be completely quiet for that long, it's unrealistic to expect a group this large to keep so all the time - even a few small whispers or quiet laughters among themselves will be heard and soon it's noisy enough to distract the children.

    Then the instructor will have to politely ask the parents to go away and we have the same situation as we'd have if the parents were told that they can't attend practice - no parents in the room... If the rules (no parents attending class) are clear from the beginning any bad mood that comes from parents suddenly being kicked out can be avoided.

    You also pointed out that tatami is a classroom - do the parents sit through lectures in school classrooms?
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    GR3G4


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    Post by GR3G4 Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:05 pm

    While reading through the posts I just found out that the original subject was "How and why judo benefits children". And now we are discussing bullies and parents attending classes. Wow, how did we digress! Very Happy

    (Edited for grammar)
    Quicksilver
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    Post by Quicksilver Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:54 pm

    It's funny how many theoretically ideal systems show themselves to be fundamentally flawed when applied to the reality of a situation; whether they were devised to deal with bullying or anything else. Maybe it is possible to aspire to an ideal and meet it, but I've never seen it happen and it's arguable that in reality, doing ones best to preserve oneself whilst attempting to adhere to some sort of moral ideal, for all that the end result may be far from what was hoped for, is the most anyone can do... 'human and flawed' is a cliched phrase for a reason, no?
    Judo Dad
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    Post by Judo Dad Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:39 pm

    The paper, Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem,byCatt, Margaret Rose (2006) may be of interest. Ihave been unable to uncover similar work in this area and would be glad to hear from others that know of similar work. Below is an abstract:

    Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem, by Catt, Margaret Rose (2006)
    The purpose of this study was to examine changes in children's self esteem as a result of participating in an after school judo program. The research hypothesis was that an increase in children's self esteem would occur after participating in an after-school judo program. Participants for this study were elementary aged school children enrolled in an elementary school within the Warren Township School District in Indianapolis, IN. There were two groups randomly selected for this study: a judo group and a control group (judo group, n=19 control group, n=26). The judo group participated in a 12-week program of instruction in judo, conducted after regular school hours. To measure self esteem, a questionnaire which contained the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, was administered to the study groups. Questionnaires were administered to both groups prior to the commencement of the program, and after completion of the program. The findings of this study were that the self esteem of children that participated in the judo instruction showed a decline (p = 0.10). This was in conflict with the expected outcome. The findings suggest that further investigation is needed in order to control for variables that might have had an unintended influence on the outcome, as well as expanding data collection to better explain the results. However, the findings are consistent with other studies of self esteem which show that self esteem is difficult to measure and is weakly related to external variables.
    Quicksilver
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    Post by Quicksilver Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:10 pm

    Judo Dad wrote:The paper, Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem,byCatt, Margaret Rose (2006) may be of interest. Ihave been unable to uncover similar work in this area and would be glad to hear from others that know of similar work. Below is an abstract:











    Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem, by Catt, Margaret Rose (2006)
    The purpose of this study was to examine changes in children's self esteem as a result of participating in an after school judo program. The research hypothesis was that an increase in children's self esteem would occur after participating in an after-school judo program. Participants for this study were elementary aged school children enrolled in an elementary school within the Warren Township School District in Indianapolis, IN. There were two groups randomly selected for this study: a judo group and a control group (judo group, n=19 control group, n=26). The judo group participated in a 12-week program of instruction in judo, conducted after regular school hours. To measure self esteem, a questionnaire which contained the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, was administered to the study groups. Questionnaires were administered to both groups prior to the commencement of the program, and after completion of the program. The findings of this study were that the self esteem of children that participated in the judo instruction showed a decline (p = 0.10). This was in conflict with the expected outcome. The findings suggest that further investigation is needed in order to control for variables that might have had an unintended influence on the outcome, as well as expanding data collection to better explain the results. However, the findings are consistent with other studies of self esteem which show that self esteem is difficult to measure and is weakly related to external variables.

    Do you perhaps have more information on the study? I wouldn't consider a total of thirty-five subjects to be nearly large enough, but that's just me. At the very least I'd suggest using multiple, larger groups- and at different times during the school year (allows for general emotional effects of fluctuation in workload over the year as well as of nearness to or distance from holidays etc. with probable effect if a small one on self esteem)- but particularly more subjects and more groups thereof, to get a better indication of the reliability of the results; and compare those of each individual before and after to what can be considered a healthy self esteem (as opposed to one end of low self esteem and the other of arrogance) rather than on a simply linear scale of increase or decrease which may be misleading.

    Off the top of my head, questions I'd ask include; did the control group participate in some other after school activity as opposed to nothing (otherwise it is measuring an activity compared to no activity, rather than Judo compared to other activities, which is an important distinction)? Was the influence of changing work loads over the school year, particularly combined with extra-cirricular commitments taken into account; as well as the fact that some of the participants in the study may not have enjoyed Judo at all? Were the Judo students taught by the same sensei, and was he or she aware of the study or perhaps even teaching that particular class solely for it? All of these variables and more have the potential to skew results, particularly over such a small group where the impact of a single outlier may be disproportionately huge... Or they may have already been accounted for, difficult to say, and I'm not an expert. Do you perhaps have a link to the original study and/or more information on the precise methodology thereof? This would allow for a more complete analysis of the validity of the study and the results it presents.

    By the very nature of studies in this area there's always a distinct margin of uncertainty, but it's interesting none the less.


    Regards,

    -Q


    Last edited by Quicksilver on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:28 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Rewording, clarification.)
    Judo Dad
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    Post by Judo Dad Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:45 pm

    I have a hard copy of the full, original paper, an internet search with the information I gave should get you a copy. I must agree that I found it lacking. I was rather hoping someone would know of something newer and/or better.The sample size was small, however, the paper is not a million years old and an accepted measurement tool was used so I think it merits consideration. If a way could be found, it would be good to repeat the study with a larger sample size and the other short-comings you point out properly addressed. PM me if you have any ideas.
    Cichorei Kano
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:40 am

    It is once the same as it is so often in judo: popular opinions and wishful thinking completely colliding with reality and science, which is reflective of the anti-intellectualism that has characterized judo for so long, and remains partly responsible why judo turns in circles and why so many problematic issues remain. The Kodokan has done it by the hagiographic approach to Kanô and jûdô and the IJF does it through its propaganda machine. Just recently the EJU held a multiple-day seminar about sociological impact. It was its usual exercise of patting itself on the back. For days it had speakers all lavishly and enthusiastically speaking to all the wonderful things judo supposedly is doing. From a scientific point of view it was shocking, amateuristic, incompetency of the highest level. The 'seminar' was largely characterized by an absence of scientists, and peer-reviewed critical studies, references, objective analysis. It's a propaganda machine, the same propaganda machine that is responsible for each time the IJF has changed its refereeing rules to call them as "improvement that everything is going to be better". No doubt, if the rules of year X made everything so much better, then why were they changed again and again and again. Sure, the sample size of Catt's study may be small, but believe me, her findings are completely in line with numerous studies. Unlike what we all would like to believe the impact of judo on children is ... not positive, but is overall outspokenly negative. In summary, children's judo training (as typically done in the West) generally leads to: increased antisocial behavior, lower self-esteem, increased egocentrism. This is not unique to judo but to most martial arts training in children. Why is this so ? It is a multifactorial proces, but likely it is because there is a heavy emphasis in separating winners from losers, and an emphasis on "being better than". That is also what leads to the misunderstanding. Competing of course can make you stronger and better geared for life, but people forget that there is one condition to this equation, namely ... if you are the person ... who WINS these competitions. The people who continuously lose the competition hardly are better geared for life. What does judo, the national and international federations do ? They bring success stories of the people who made in judo, those few who were winners and great champions. Where are all the stories of the losers, the people who lost again, and again, and again and dropped out, stopped judo, struggled to master anything, failed rank exam after rank exam, etc.? Even the so-called Western reinvention of judo still produces the same negative effects on the development of children. There has been since the early 1980s an emphasis in the West on introducing games in children's judo as the playing would server didactic goals. There is no doubt that in terms of motor skills that is true, but ... what one forgets is that the socio-emotional and psychological effects are the same. Why ? Because most of these plays do exactly the same, they emphasize 'competition' and "being better than". The only studies that have found a shift, and demonstrable positive effect of judo and martial arts is ... surprisingly ... when the competitive element is removed and the emphasis of the instruction becomes entirely traditional values such as respect, caring, consideration for others, realizing each others qualities, etc, and --I realize many of you will ridicule this-- kata. The problem here is that particularly in the way the judo world is constructed, this leads to not-to-the-point arguments IN THIS CONTEXT such as: "Are you claiming that children would become strong fighters by not doing competition and only doing kata, talking about philsophy and practice vanilla judo ?" That is not the context. The context is about the effects on children's socio-emotional and psychological development, not about how many people they are able to 'beat', or how many 'champions' will grow out of them. The differences is obvious as becoming a champion in judo or someone who has the ability to wipe the tatami with half of your dojo is no reflection of that person's socio-emotional an psychological health; almost on the contrary, and you would find actually a greater proportion of sociopathic behavior, egocentrism among judo (or other martial arts) champions than you would find among your average judo club population or the average population.

    The idea of an outspoken negative effect of martial arts and judo training obviously is not something that fits well into one's club or federation marketing and strategy, although it would be entirely unfair to suggest that hardworking club members and leaders who do their very best of running a club are intentionally covering up this knowledge. It is not known. The transfer of scientific knowledge in judo to the average judo community is extremely low, and this is no surprise because judo has a strong anti-intellectual sentiment. Judo has always been marketed, certainly in the West as hard practical handwork on the tatami, basically resulting in showing who is the strongest. This is still even very widespread today in the judo community: differences in opinions or discussions or arguments still escalate to a "let's settle this on the tatami and see who is right" or national coaches or performance directors in the end still often are people with little relevant knowledge but people who obtained the highest possible competitive result themselves or who despite their age could likely still wipe the mat with most of the team, basically things that in the end are completely irrelevant.

    The transfer from science into judo is worse than in almost any other sport, and national judo teams today don't train much different from how they trained in the 1970s, 40 years ago. The poor transfer of science in judo is seen in judo history and philosophy for the simple reason that most popular books are simply full of nonsense copied from each other, perhaps no surprise because the threshold to get to original or critical knowledge is very high. Becoming fluent in Japanese would only be the start. The transfer of science into judo is poor in physiology and medicine. Findings, serious concerns about potential risks that have been established in the 1990s are still not known among judo federations and top competitors, among these the devastating effects of weight-cycling, particularly in women, and many other facts. The transfer of sciences into judo is poor in terms of coaching science. Lots of judoka lift weights, but the exact impact of different things such as endurance strength, absolute strength, explosive power, still are insufficiently known even among team leaders, and when you watch the training of Olympic level athletes principles of the different types of training ideal for each component are not optimally applied. They all lift weights, but not in the proper regime to optimize each of these effects.

    The transfer of science into judo is poor in terms of linguistics, with many concepts still improperly understood in the West. Entire concepts, basic concepts are not known. On the old forum I once gave the arrangement of newaza in Kodokan judo. It was not known. People did not know it. They all knew about katame-waza, but no one was able to provide the arrangement of newaza or even the names of most basic judo in newaza outside of katame-waza. You would think that this would be basic, common knowledge, yet it isn't. Simple concepts such as bogyo, fusegi, hairi-kata, simply arrangements of entries such as oi-komi, hando, etc, are not known among the common judo population.

    The point I am trying to make is ... it should not be any surprise in the least that the frequently demonstrated negative effects of judo on children's development are not commonly known. Add to this likely anecdotal experiences all of us have, success stories where we are proud to have so and so who once was this or that, but thanks to judo grew out to become this awesome person. Absolutely. Overall effects do not deny at all that you may have achieved some great successes.

    It is not my intention to derail this thread, and nor am I going to extensively reply by quoting all the references here, partly because I have a large study in the process of publication. In that I also talk about the true history of judo as an education in Japan, several problematic which Kano incurred, how judo even at early stages was rejected because of serious concerns about the effects on children, and how Kano reinvented judo entirely having in mind overtaking the physical education in the Japanese educational system. Maybe it will help understanding how Kano's obsession equally led to many detrimental effects on judo, such as loss of martial arts aspects and others.

    Finally, there are positive developments among scientists studying judo. A recent Japanese paper pleaded for critical study of judo rather than the nonsense that has come out of Japan for so long. To this day no Kodokan publication, for example, will even mention how judo became a tool of fascism in Japan around World War II, and yet in the framework of education it is essential to also understand how things can go wrong and how Kano's ideas were manipulated. Would a book on German history be acceptable if it 'skipped' the Nazi's and prosecution of the Jews and only focus on its rich cultural history and more positive developments ? Of course not. The idea of a history book in the framework of education is precisely to illustrate who things can go wrong and how far they can go wrong. Realize that we are only two years further since it became revealed in Japan that in 20 years time over 200 children had died in judo. Before that knowledge became known, the vision there too was that judo in children was unequivocally positive.

    Illustrating the negative effects of children on judo does not have as a purpose to damage and kill off judo, but to sensitize people for the weaknesses and problems of judo, so that we can learn from it and do better. It's not too long ago since so many of us thought that judo champions were nearly invincible with amazing newaza skills, until they started participating in MMA and in BJJ. Suddenly, big judo names got their ass kicked by MMA fighters with barely any judo experience and BJJ-ers would wrap them up in newaza. It was a wake-up call. None of this though was intentionally done to damage judo, but it was the reality, a reality judoka had lost due to being locked up in their own propagandist world. Judoka should be grateful to MMA and BJJ for this wake-up call. It's still a lot better than when you had to find out those weaknesses of present day judo on the street while you yourself are threatened. Now, we can just realize by watching TV or our computer screen. Thanks to MMA and BJJ hopefully we will take the lesson and realize that judo has far more components than competitive scoring. We may realize that a position such as turtling is effective in JUDO COMPTETION as a CONTEST STRATEGY, but in the real world the MMA-er will take advantage when you take that position and beat the crap of you. Maybe now if as a judoka you find yourself on the street, you might realize that and survive by not taking that position to a real attacker not limited by IJF judo competitive rules.

    In conclusion, do not be too critical about Catt's findings. They are perfectly in line with other research. Judo instruction to children in reality isn't at all unequivocally positive, but has serious concerns. However, it is possible --if one fully grasps what those studies have shown and implement the knowledge learnt from it-- to get the best out of judo also for children and turn it into a positive exercise. For that it becomes necessary though that instructor programs finally move away from propagandist approaches and are willing to accept the caveats and weaknesses of judo, and consequently amend judo instruction to children as is common and as is the standard today. A critical approach to judo instruction in children is something entirely different from fear-mongering. Judo also is not unique or not more dangerous or negative than various other sports. Some of the concerns it shares with other sports, and therefore hopefully would not be reason for parents to decide against judo in favor of a different sport.

    P.S.: I can come back to this thread with more information such as references and further specifics only after my own research to which I referred is published, due to strict rules of the scientific publication process. So please, do not ask me at this point in time, also not per PM.
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    Post by Hanon Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:34 am

    Hi CK sensei,

    We have discussed this topic so many times before. We both know that what you write will not be popular but on times education is not about winning a popularity contest but writing on painful subjects.

    As posters will know from my work on the JF and makoto forum I have always said I would never write a book on the techniques of judo. That has been done and done by greater sensei than I could ever hope to be.

    I would dearly like to write a book about how judo affects the psyche. We both understand that some pupils of judo will not only change character for the 'better' but change character for the worse.

    The ONLY point I would like to ad and it is with great care and respect is your use of the actual term judo. Judo is an abstract so cannot in its physical form do either good nor harm. It is not the teachings, principles and ideals of judo that cause problems it is how they are taught or NOT TAUGHT AT ALL.

    How many times do we hear the terms; purist, sporting, classical, recreational, Olympic, kata only, shiai only terminology when we here our fellow judoka describe their judo or their club?

    It cannot be 'judo' that is the danger but who and how it is interpreted and taught.

    I have no facts, references nor figures for the death rate of children in China who learn any form of physical activity. Any one care to speculate? Same in the OLD Russian states. Pressure, intense pressure, was and is placed on children as young as 4 and 5 to be the best, best for the sake of the family honour and the state. Children are forced into situations that are totally unacceptable to any professional person educated in a Western system of pedagogy.

    Judo as a subject has lost its identity, it has become a buffet service where we have clients and cater for the client needs. That is only the tip of a much more dangerous ice berg.

    I write again the education and theory of kodokan judo is a sound safe practice for children. The problems start with the why and who teaches the children. Judo is no longer seen as the same activity even by two members of the same dojo?

    IF judo is taught poorly and not in accordance with the correct established educational process as laid down by its founder then undoubtedly judo will cause as many casualties as is produces children with a character that is in line with its original concepts.

    I suggest your post be pinned, its again a piece of work that is not easily to be found if found at all.

    Mike


    Last edited by Hanon on Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling grrrrr)
    Okazi
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    Post by Okazi Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:20 am

    Dear Cichorei Kano and Hanon:

    You will be relieved to find out that the judo, as it is practiced at my club, is very beneficial to the mental health of all its members. Furthermore, you both will be glad to know that I don’t recoil at the sight of myself in the mirror, because I am a good person. Moving along…

    Posted below is an excellent summary of the research out there regarding martial arts and mental health. After reading both of your posts I became upset, and desperately sought a second opinion (http://contemporarypsychotherapy.org/vol-2-no-1/martial-arts-and-mental-health/). We can all now breathe a collective sigh of relief. We western instructors are not animals and the kids are going to be alright. Have a great day!

    M


    Martial Arts and Mental Health


    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN - Page 2 Martial-arts5-560x282


    Iulius-Cezar Macarie and Ron Roberts


    Ronny Yu: “Martial arts are a spiritual challenge, not a physical one.”

    Jet Li: “When you learn something, always use the heart”

    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN - Page 2 Shotokan-261x560 In the East, systematic martial arts began some 3000 years ago – in what is now Sri Lanka – and gradually spread northwest to China, India and Korea (Corcoron & Farakas, 1983). Martial Arts Masters have transmitted from generation to generation their metaphysical teachings of what Western psychology refers to as the ‘power within’ each individual. Eastern Indian philosophies and religions transmitted this concept to schools of thought in China (Jou, 1981) where it came to be known as Chi (Qi), later entering Japan (around the 7th century), where it was named Ki, (Seitz, 1990). In the West, martial arts such as Karate, Kung Fu, Ju-Jitsu, Aikido, Tae-Kwon-Do and Judo are invariably seen as the arts of throwing, kicking and punching, and as ‘…naught but a killing present, anger past, and misery to come, in the course of one who studies these arts’ (Shaler, 1979; cited by Weiser, Kutz and Kutz, 1995). Given that popular culture has focused on the physical side of these skills – breaking bricks and bones in the guise of mass entertainment – this is not surprising. To its practitioners however, martial arts provide much more. Bruce Lee (1997) distilled this to three areas – health promotion, cultivation of mind and self-protection – while others (e.g. Wong, 1996) have considered up to five – self-defence, health and fitness, character training, mind expansion and spiritual development. That martial arts promote mental as well as physical health has come to the attention of Western scientists only in the last thirty years, with the acknowledgement that they also embody a system of moral values (e.g. respect property, be faithful and sincere, exert oneself in the perfection of character), which together can inculcate physical and mental relaxation, control of mind and body, and increases in self-confidence (Weiser et al, 1995).

    Evidence of the effectiveness of martial arts in producing affective, cognitive and behavioural benefits has come from a number of studies. Improvements in self-esteem (Fuller, 1988), a more positive response to physical challenge (Richard and Rehberg, 1986; Trulson, 1986), greater autonomy (Duthie, 1978), emotional stability and assertiveness (Konzak and Boudreau, 1984) and reductions in anxiety and depression (Cai, 2000) HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN - Page 2 Zen-in-the-garden-by-Eole-150x150have all been associated with martial arts training. Konzak and Boudreau (1984) have also drawn attention to the social benefits of such behavioural change – in particular the relationship between martial arts practice and aggression.

    Martial arts wisdom has it that after consistent practice one becomes less impulsive and aggressive towards others. The Shaolin moral code for example comprises twelve ethics, ten forbidden acts and ten obligations. Patience, insight and calmness accordingly are considered pre-requisites of good Kung Fu (Wong, 1981). In Shotokan Karate, for instance, the Dojo Kun (a code or set of rules) is part of the moral values transmitted from ancient times and has the role of reinforcing the pacifistic urge that lies at the heart of the martial arts. This reminds students of the right attitude, frame of mind and virtues to strive for within and outside the dojo or training hall. One of these rules is: ‘Respect others’ (The Dojo Kun, International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do Federation, 2009).

    Several studies point to the effectiveness of traditional martial arts in reducing aggression. Zivin et al (2001) for example paired 60 middle-school boys on problematic behaviour profiles in a treatment group and a waiting list control group. The treatment group participated in school-linked training in traditional martial arts. Schoolteachers were asked to rate the students on impulsiveness, resistance to rules, self-concept and inappropriate behaviour. After three months of training, the students within the treatment group had improved their behaviour in class and all exclusions following the onset of the study (six in all) occurred in the control group. The teachers rated the martial arts students as less impulsive and less aggressive towards other colleagues. Other studies (e.g. Nosanchuk, 1981) provide similar evidence that training in martial arts reduces aggressiveness.

    Lakes et al (2004) argue that these benefits are a consequence of enhanced self-regulation – historically known in martial arts as self-control – developing will and discipline. Willpower is considered important not only for enabling the student to continue with arduous training but also for improving personality and performance inside and outside the training arena; consistent training itself, coupled with a sincere attitude towards the moral principles of martial arts, contributes to strengthening willpower – a two-way process between the martial arts and the student involved in the process whereby ‘one exerts oneself in the perfection of character’ (Rule No. 5 from Dojo Kun, Japan Karate Association, 2009).HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN - Page 2 Zen-in-the-garden-by-Eole-150x150

    Other researchers (Cai, 2000; Weiser, 1995) have explored some of the physical as well as psychological gains emanating from martial arts training. Myeong et al (2002) examined the effects of Qi-Gung on heart-rate variability in sedentary subjects and Qi-Gung students. They found that Qi-training, an aspect of Chinese martial arts which seeks to stimulate and channel the harmonious flow of internal and external energy through the body – familiar to westerners through the art of Tai Chi – helped invigorate Qi-Gung students’ cardiovascular systems as well as their mental health.

    Research has also utilised the distinction between so-called ‘soft’ (internal) and ‘hard’ (external) schools. The difference lies in the way energy (Ki, or Qi) is propagated through the body towards a target. The ‘soft’ martial arts (e.g. Tai-Chi-Chuan) may be expressed in a slow and gentle manner, with force cultivated internally which, properly applied, may be used to deflect or redirect an attacking opponent’s energy. The ‘hard’ martial arts, when demonstrated, allow one to see the force visibly, and one can literally hear the vibration of air caused by the application of force. Knoblauch (1985) examined these two constructs to see whether they had any influence on the selection of a martial arts style. Using the California Personality Inventory (CPI) he found significant differences between participants from both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ martial arts styles. The students that practised an external style showed a more dominant and competitive personality than those who practised an internal style. Care however is needed in interpreting these results owing to the possible selection bias of the author in recruiting participants to the study. It is also important to remember that some martial arts (e.g. Shaolin Kung Fu, Goju Ryu and Shotokan Karate) have aspects that are both soft and hard.

    Despite these putative benefits, few mental health professionals have countenanced a role for martial arts in promoting mental well being – either for practitioners or clients. R.D. Laing – the radical Sixties psychiatrist better known for his challenges to biological psychiatry – is a notable exception. According to his biographer, Bob Mullan (1995), Laing saw martial arts training as indispensable for psychotherapists. Arguably the physical self-confidence that comes from training can free therapists from acting on the basis of any fear they might have of physical attack. Belief in the dangerousness of those who seek mental health services is a prominent stereotype which, if rendered inactive, would likely entail a reduction in the numbers of clients tranquilised to calm such fears. It is of interest therefore that Weiser et al (1995) have considered the psychotherapeutic aspects of martial arts practice and its value to verbal psychotherapy. They contend that the therapeutic effects of martial arts training can be compared to those of verbal psychotherapy and suggest practice of martial arts as a supplement to verbal psychotherapy. Both disciplines seek to gain an understanding of one’s character ‘with the aim of growth toward a new and stronger way of being in the world’ (Weiser et al, 1995:119). Other researchers (e.g. Richman and Rehberg, 1986) have argued that the longevity of martial arts are a testimony to their psychological worth, and have compared the role of the martial arts instructor or Master to that of a psychotherapist (see Parsons, 1984 for a discussion of the occupational similarity between psychoanalyst and martial artist). In agreement with Parsons, Nardi (1984) finds that the skills of psychotherapists and martial artists complement each other. Nardi also finds analogous principles in both: for example, the values of rinkiohen (adaptability) and mushin (no-mind) found in the Samurai code of Bushido have relevance for effective practice in psychotherapy. Likewise, Reinhardt (1985) links Aikido (a Japanese martial art) to the Feldenkrais method – an integrative therapy promoting self-knowledge through physical movement – pointing out that the two merge in therapeutic interventions such as movement therapy.

    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN - Page 2 Zen-in-the-garden-by-Eole-150x150Despite the positive picture painted by the above review, little research has been conducted into the application of martial arts as a psychotherapeutic intervention (Fuller, 1988). Madenlian’s (1979) account is one of few comparative studies to examine the effect of structured martial arts training (in Aikido) alongside conventional psychotherapies (group or family therapies) on pro-social behaviour and academic performance. The results favoured Aikido over psychotherapy. Aikido principles (centeredness, extension and blending) have also been applied by Heckler (1984) with the aim of reinstating self-awareness in distressed patients. This line of work places martial arts in line with traditional somatopsychic therapies (Fuller, 1988) such as the Alexander Technique (Alexander, 1969), structural integration (Rolf, 1977), bioenergetics (Lowen, 1975), and dance therapy (Klein, 1983), all concerned to re-establish psychological growth in distressed and non-distressed patients through appropriate physical movements. The basic principle employed by these methods is that emotional and interpersonal maladjustments are reflected in bodily sensations, and can be corrected through appropriate physical movements.

    Although traditional martial arts offer the prospect of positive psychological change to their students and produce beneficial psychotherapeutic effects when practised outside their original culture (Fuller, 1988), how much of the original teachings are correctly understood and interpreted remains an open question. There are two problems that must be faced when conducting any study about an Oriental martial art in a Western situation: understanding the arts as Oriental arts and understanding these arts in a Western context. Based on Fuller’s (1988) review, Columbus (1991) noted that research into the benefits of martial arts has been carried out using positivist methods of investigation which, he says, are less relevant when it comes to understanding Oriental styles of thinking/acting, heavily influenced as they are by Zen Buddhism and Taoism, neither of which are easily grasped from a positivist perspective. In agreement with this both Adler (2003) and Glassford (1987) argue that statistics cannot offer insights into the deep meanings of Oriental teachings and that the truth and value of these systems can only be truly realised through experience.

    HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN - Page 2 Zen-in-the-garden-by-Eole-150x150The approach to life that Eastern practices such as yoga, meditation and martial arts (Konzak & Boudreau, 1984) offer to their adherents has proved attractive to many who are dissatisfied with the consumerist and materialist values that are prevalent in the West and that generate so much unhappiness. Since the 1960s and 1970s in particular there has been a tremendous growth in these practices. The growth in popularity of martial arts would seem to indicate that, both as a discipline and as a value system, they have something to offer. What this is may be considered on the one hand to be a product of their attention to affective, cognitive and behavioural characteristics (Lakes and Hoyt, 2004), and on the other, morality, non-violence and enlightenment (Becker, 1982). In short, they offer a way of being, a journey of self-discovery to cultivate our human potential – a means to relate better to oneself, others and the wider world. As Lao Tzu remarked “by changing ourselves we change the world” (Pau, 2008).

    “The ultimate aim” (of the martial arts)… “lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants” (Gichin Funakoshi quoted in Layton (2001).

    <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify">
    <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify">
    <BLOCKQUOTE>

    </BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE>
    Iulius-Cezar Macarie has, since writing this article, become a MRes full-time student in East European studies at UCL. There he will conduct research about the effect on psycho-social factors in countries like Romania and the impact it has on the sex traffic to the UK. He is in his 10th consecutive year of training in Karate. He can be contacted at macarieic@gmail.com

    Ron Roberts is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Kingston University. He has been practicing Shaolin Kung Fu for the past 10 years and co-counselling for even longer.
    </BLOCKQUOTE>


    References:

    Adler, U. (2003) Karate and mental health: can the practice of martial arts reduce aggressive tendencies? Abstract retrieved
    October 12, 2005, from Pace University, Digital Commons Web site: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AA13080475.
    Becker, C. (1982) Philosophical perspectives on the martial arts in America Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 9, 19-29.
    Cai, X. S. (2000) Physical exercise and mental health: a content integrated approach in coping with college students’ anxiety and depression. Physical Educator, 57(2), 69-76.
    Columbus, P. J. (1991) Psychological research on the martial arts: an addendum to Fuller’s review Journal of Medical Psychology, 64(2), 127-135.
    Corcoron, J. and Farakas, E. (1983) Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People. New York: Gallery Books.
    Duthie, R. B. Hope, L. and Barker, D. G. (1978) Selected personality traits of martial artists as measured by the adjective checklist. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 47, 71-76.
    Fuller, J. R. (1988) Martial arts and psychological health. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 61, 317-328.
    Glassford, R. G. (1987) Methodological reconsiderations: the shifting paradigms. Quest, 39, 295-312.
    Heckler, R., S. (1984) The Anatomy of Change. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications
    Jou, T. H. (1981) The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan. N.J: Tai Chi Foundation.
    Klein, V. (1983) Dance Therapy. In Kaplan H. I. and Sadock, B. J. (Eds). Comprehensive Group Psychotherapy, 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins
    Knoblauch, T. M. (1985) Personality traits and motivations of men and women selecting internal and external martial arts. Dissertation Abstracts International, 45 (11-B), 3622.
    Konzak, B. and Boudreau, F. (1984) Martial arts training and mental health: An exercise in self-help. Canada’s Mental Health, 32, 2-8.
    Lakes, K. and Hoyt, W. T. (2004) Promoting self-regulation through school-based martial arts training. Applied Developmental Psychology, 25, 283-302.
    Layton, C. (2001) Kanazawa, 10th Dan: recollections of a karate living legend. Middlesex: Shoto Publishing.
    Lee, B. (1997) The Tao of Gung Fu. Boston: Tuttle Publishing.
    Lowen, A. (1975) Bioenergetics. New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan
    Madenlian, R. B. (1979) An experimental study of the effect of Aikido on the self-concept of adolescents with behavioural problems. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40 760-761.
    Mullan, B. (1995) Mad to be Normal:conversations with R.D.Laing. London: Free Association Books.
    Myeong, S. L. Hwa J. H. Byung, G. K. Hoon, R. Ho-Sub, L. Jong-Moon, K. & Hun-Taeg, C. (2002) Effects of Qi-Training on heart rate vulnerability. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 30(4), 463-47.
    Nosanchuck, T. A. (1981) The way of the warrior: the effects of traditional martial arts training on aggression. Human Relations, 34, 435-444.
    Parsons, M. (1984) Psychoanalysis as vocation and martial art. International Review of Psychoanalysis, 11(4):453-462.
    Pau, J. (2008) The Tao of Kung Fu.
    Richman, C. L. and Rehberg, H. (1986) The development of self-esteem through the martial arts. International Journal of Sports Psychology, 17(3), 234-239.
    Rolf, I. (1977) Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures. Boulder, CO: The Rolfe Institute
    Shaler, J. (1979) Elements in the way of the sword. Gestalt Journal, 2, 71-77.
    Trulson, M. E. (1986) Martial arts training: a novel ‘cure’ for juvenile delinquency. Human Relations, 39, 1131-1140.
    Weiser, M. Kutz, I. and Kutz, S. J. (1995) Psychotherapeutic aspects of martial arts. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 49, 118-127.
    Wong, K.K. (1981) Introduction to Shaolin kung fu. Dorset: Caric Press.
    Wong, K.K. (1996) The art of Shaolin kung fu. London: Vermillion.

    Zivin, G. Hassan, N. R. DePaula, G. F. Monti, D. A. Harlan, C., Hossain, K. D. and Patterson, K. (2001) An effective approach to violence prevention: traditional martial arts in middle school. Adolescence, 36, 444-459.


    Images: Shotokan and Zen in the garden by Eole
    BillC
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    Post by BillC Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:57 am

    Oooh. Time to resurrect the "martial arts myths" thread maybe ...
    Cichorei Kano
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:24 am

    Okazi wrote:Dear Cichorei Kano and Hanon:

    You will be relieved to find out that the judo, as it is practiced at my club, is very beneficial to the mental health of all its members. Furthermore, you both will be glad to know that I don’t recoil at the sight of myself in the mirror, because I am a good person. Moving along…

    Posted below is an excellent summary of the research out there regarding martial arts and mental health. After reading both of your posts I became upset, and desperately sought a second opinion (http://contemporarypsychotherapy.org/vol-2-no-1/martial-arts-and-mental-health/). We can all now breathe a collective sigh of relief. We western instructors are not animals and the kids are going to be alright. Have a great day!

    M

    Thanks for your well written and researched post. I do not disagree with what you write at all, but I am not sure you correctly understood what I was pointing out. Look very carefully though. Much of the positive effects the studies you point out put emphasis on "traditional training", which is exactly what I was saying too. Aikidô training generally puts emphasis on no-competition and on traditional values. The tai-chi training you describe is noncompetitive. It is precisely the traditional training that represents the shift and causes the positive effects.

    When the authors write "Nardi also finds analogous principles in both: for example, the values of rinkiohen (adaptability) and mushin (no-mind) found in the Samurai code of Bushido have relevance for effective practice in psychotherapy. Likewise, Reinhardt (1985) links Aikido (a Japanese martial art) to the Feldenkrais method – an integrative therapy promoting self-knowledge through physical movement – pointing out that the two merge in therapeutic interventions such as movement therapy." you point out the importance of these traditional values as well as of an educational method.

    In my post I tried to highlight the negative effects of judo on children, narrowing it down to overall competitive component contributing to that, and I made reference to when that negative element disappears and when judo (an other martial arts instruction) starts exerting positive effects. My words literally were: "The only studies that have found a shift, and demonstrable positive effect of judo and martial arts is ... surprisingly ... when the competitive element is removed and the emphasis of the instruction becomes entirely traditional values such as respect, caring, consideration for others, realizing each others qualities, etc, and --I realize many of you will ridicule this-- kata" (...)

    Your post --and I thank you for that-- takes the time and puts the energy into further exploring the positive component, namely HOW it becomes possible to teach judo and martial arts in such a way that it DOES have a most and perhaps even entirely positive effect. I do not doubt for a second as you write that in your club and in your approach judo indeed has an expressly positive effect on children, and I am sure there are many others here who too due to their large experience, caring nature, achieve such positive results.

    As I pointed out I am unable to elaborate any further at this point in time. Even publishing a selection of the references to which I referring might be perceived as a violation of the publication process, so my hands are tied for now. But what I can do is to refer to one study, for example that of Adele Diamond and Kathleen Lee that is available for free as a full paper complete with references, and discussion, and that allows you to better understand one of the main points I was raising:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3159917/

    One needs to read very carefully, espec. the section on martial arts. This study is not specifically about judo though, rather about taekwondo (as a TRADITIONAL art emphasizing values) vs. MODERN martial arts emphasizing the competitive element, at least in the way they were taught to children here. Parts such as yoga and mindfulness training help positive development. So did the martial arts training WHEN it was taught as taught that is ... traditional Tae-Kwon-Do (emphasizing qualities such as respect, humility, responsibility, perseverance, and honor as well as physical conditioning;
    focusing on self-control
    and self-defense).

    In this way that modus of teaching was contrasted with the more competitive and winning as a result seen in modern martial arts hence showing more juvenile delinquency and aggressiveness, and decreased self-esteem and social ability.

    It is THIS what I was trying to say that is also the case in/with judo depending on your approach, thus whether your approach to judo training is either traditional with emphasis on those values or modern with emphasis on competition and discarding the other lessons or making them largely traditional. I added the term kata because as you know there is unfortunately some gap between the randori approach and kata approach in much of today's judo where many do no longer understand their complementary nature. A modern competitive-orientation of judo instruction completely excludes kata as useless, whereas in a traditional judo instruction also for children it has its place ... meant here in the sense as just kata practice (not preparing for kata competition obviously because than we use that term in a modern sense rather than traditional). I am sorry that I did not succeed in making that salient point clear. The further purpose of my post thus was not to reject judo for children at all; on the contrary, but to sensitize much as Hanon alluded to that judo and judo are two. Judo indeed can be wonderful for children completely as you suggest, but that overall positive result in generally is met only if certain conditions are met (which apparently in your approach [and no doubt that of some others too] you do meet).

    The purpose of my post was that instructors should KNOW that judo for children not simply IS positive, but CAN be very positive or CAN be very negative. They need to know when either effect is achieved and what are understood to be the determinants that make those results either overly positive or negative.

    If you think about it, it is also quite logical. Judo was created as a form of education, so hopefully an education educates thus leads to positive result, which is why judo taught as education to children will generally result in very positive achievements. But, judo today is no longer or in most clubs not considered an education but a sport. In judo, the sport, the objectives are not the same as in education. One of the objectives so important in sport is winning even though we tend to claim that participating is more important than winning. If the sport teaching approach starts focusing on scouting, early talent recognition and everything that is so typical for sport, then we have also moved far away from Kanô's intention. It is the difference between those two that is also critical in what effect this judo (in different forms as Hanon pointed out) will have on children.

    Caveat: I am only talking about psycho-social and emotional effects. No doubt that either form of judo has positive effects on children when motor development is concerned or physiology, but that was not what I was talking about.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total
    Judo Dad
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    Post by Judo Dad Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:14 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:It is once the same as it is so often in judo: popular opinions and wishful thinking completely colliding with reality and science, which is reflective of the anti-intellectualism that has characterized judo for so long, and remains partly responsible why judo turns in circles and why so many problematic issues remain. The Kodokan has done it by the hagiographic approach to Kanô and jûdô and the IJF does it through its propaganda machine. Just recently the EJU held a multiple-day seminar about sociological impact. It was its usual exercise of patting itself on the back. For days it had speakers all lavishly and enthusiastically speaking to all the wonderful things judo supposedly is doing. From a scientific point of view it was shocking, amateuristic, incompetency of the highest level. The 'seminar' was largely characterized by an absence of scientists, and peer-reviewed critical studies, references, objective analysis. It's a propaganda machine, the same propaganda machine that is responsible for each time the IJF has changed its refereeing rules to call them as "improvement that everything is going to be better". No doubt, if the rules of year X made everything so much better, then why were they changed again and again and again. Sure, the sample size of Catt's study may be small, but believe me, her findings are completely in line with numerous studies. Unlike what we all would like to believe the impact of judo on children is ... not positive, but is overall outspokenly negative. In summary, children's judo training (as typically done in the West) generally leads to: increased antisocial behavior, lower self-esteem, increased egocentrism. This is not unique to judo but to most martial arts training in children. Why is this so ? It is a multifactorial proces, but likely it is because there is a heavy emphasis in separating winners from losers, and an emphasis on "being better than". That is also what leads to the misunderstanding. Competing of course can make you stronger and better geared for life, but people forget that there is one condition to this equation, namely ... if you are the person ... who WINS these competitions. The people who continuously lose the competition hardly are better geared for life. What does judo, the national and international federations do ? They bring success stories of the people who made in judo, those few who were winners and great champions. Where are all the stories of the losers, the people who lost again, and again, and again and dropped out, stopped judo, struggled to master anything, failed rank exam after rank exam, etc.? Even the so-called Western reinvention of judo still produces the same negative effects on the development of children. There has been since the early 1980s an emphasis in the West on introducing games in children's judo as the playing would server didactic goals. There is no doubt that in terms of motor skills that is true, but ... what one forgets is that the socio-emotional and psychological effects are the same. Why ? Because most of these plays do exactly the same, they emphasize 'competition' and "being better than". The only studies that have found a shift, and demonstrable positive effect of judo and martial arts is ... surprisingly ... when the competitive element is removed and the emphasis of the instruction becomes entirely traditional values such as respect, caring, consideration for others, realizing each others qualities, etc, and --I realize many of you will ridicule this-- kata. The problem here is that particularly in the way the judo world is constructed, this leads to not-to-the-point arguments IN THIS CONTEXT such as: "Are you claiming that children would become strong fighters by not doing competition and only doing kata, talking about philsophy and practice vanilla judo ?" That is not the context. The context is about the effects on children's socio-emotional and psychological development, not about how many people they are able to 'beat', or how many 'champions' will grow out of them. The differences is obvious as becoming a champion in judo or someone who has the ability to wipe the tatami with half of your dojo is no reflection of that person's socio-emotional an psychological health; almost on the contrary, and you would find actually a greater proportion of sociopathic behavior, egocentrism among judo (or other martial arts) champions than you would find among your average judo club population or the average population.

    The idea of an outspoken negative effect of martial arts and judo training obviously is not something that fits well into one's club or federation marketing and strategy, although it would be entirely unfair to suggest that hardworking club members and leaders who do their very best of running a club are intentionally covering up this knowledge. It is not known. The transfer of scientific knowledge in judo to the average judo community is extremely low, and this is no surprise because judo has a strong anti-intellectual sentiment. Judo has always been marketed, certainly in the West as hard practical handwork on the tatami, basically resulting in showing who is the strongest. This is still even very widespread today in the judo community: differences in opinions or discussions or arguments still escalate to a "let's settle this on the tatami and see who is right" or national coaches or performance directors in the end still often are people with little relevant knowledge but people who obtained the highest possible competitive result themselves or who despite their age could likely still wipe the mat with most of the team, basically things that in the end are completely irrelevant.

    The transfer from science into judo is worse than in almost any other sport, and national judo teams today don't train much different from how they trained in the 1970s, 40 years ago. The poor transfer of science in judo is seen in judo history and philosophy for the simple reason that most popular books are simply full of nonsense copied from each other, perhaps no surprise because the threshold to get to original or critical knowledge is very high. Becoming fluent in Japanese would only be the start. The transfer of science into judo is poor in physiology and medicine. Findings, serious concerns about potential risks that have been established in the 1990s are still not known among judo federations and top competitors, among these the devastating effects of weight-cycling, particularly in women, and many other facts. The transfer of sciences into judo is poor in terms of coaching science. Lots of judoka lift weights, but the exact impact of different things such as endurance strength, absolute strength, explosive power, still are insufficiently known even among team leaders, and when you watch the training of Olympic level athletes principles of the different types of training ideal for each component are not optimally applied. They all lift weights, but not in the proper regime to optimize each of these effects.

    The transfer of science into judo is poor in terms of linguistics, with many concepts still improperly understood in the West. Entire concepts, basic concepts are not known. On the old forum I once gave the arrangement of newaza in Kodokan judo. It was not known. People did not know it. They all knew about katame-waza, but no one was able to provide the arrangement of newaza or even the names of most basic judo in newaza outside of katame-waza. You would think that this would be basic, common knowledge, yet it isn't. Simple concepts such as bogyo, fusegi, hairi-kata, simply arrangements of entries such as oi-komi, hando, etc, are not known among the common judo population.

    The point I am trying to make is ... it should not be any surprise in the least that the frequently demonstrated negative effects of judo on children's development are not commonly known. Add to this likely anecdotal experiences all of us have, success stories where we are proud to have so and so who once was this or that, but thanks to judo grew out to become this awesome person. Absolutely. Overall effects do not deny at all that you may have achieved some great successes.

    It is not my intention to derail this thread, and nor am I going to extensively reply by quoting all the references here, partly because I have a large study in the process of publication. In that I also talk about the true history of judo as an education in Japan, several problematic which Kano incurred, how judo even at early stages was rejected because of serious concerns about the effects on children, and how Kano reinvented judo entirely having in mind overtaking the physical education in the Japanese educational system. Maybe it will help understanding how Kano's obsession equally led to many detrimental effects on judo, such as loss of martial arts aspects and others.

    Finally, there are positive developments among scientists studying judo. A recent Japanese paper pleaded for critical study of judo rather than the nonsense that has come out of Japan for so long. To this day no Kodokan publication, for example, will even mention how judo became a tool of fascism in Japan around World War II, and yet in the framework of education it is essential to also understand how things can go wrong and how Kano's ideas were manipulated. Would a book on German history be acceptable if it 'skipped' the Nazi's and prosecution of the Jews and only focus on its rich cultural history and more positive developments ? Of course not. The idea of a history book in the framework of education is precisely to illustrate who things can go wrong and how far they can go wrong. Realize that we are only two years further since it became revealed in Japan that in 20 years time over 200 children had died in judo. Before that knowledge became known, the vision there too was that judo in children was unequivocally positive.

    Illustrating the negative effects of children on judo does not have as a purpose to damage and kill off judo, but to sensitize people for the weaknesses and problems of judo, so that we can learn from it and do better. It's not too long ago since so many of us thought that judo champions were nearly invincible with amazing newaza skills, until they started participating in MMA and in BJJ. Suddenly, big judo names got their ass kicked by MMA fighters with barely any judo experience and BJJ-ers would wrap them up in newaza. It was a wake-up call. None of this though was intentionally done to damage judo, but it was the reality, a reality judoka had lost due to being locked up in their own propagandist world. Judoka should be grateful to MMA and BJJ for this wake-up call. It's still a lot better than when you had to find out those weaknesses of present day judo on the street while you yourself are threatened. Now, we can just realize by watching TV or our computer screen. Thanks to MMA and BJJ hopefully we will take the lesson and realize that judo has far more components than competitive scoring. We may realize that a position such as turtling is effective in JUDO COMPTETION as a CONTEST STRATEGY, but in the real world the MMA-er will take advantage when you take that position and beat the crap of you. Maybe now if as a judoka you find yourself on the street, you might realize that and survive by not taking that position to a real attacker not limited by IJF judo competitive rules.

    In conclusion, do not be too critical about Catt's findings. They are perfectly in line with other research. Judo instruction to children in reality isn't at all unequivocally positive, but has serious concerns. However, it is possible --if one fully grasps what those studies have shown and implement the knowledge learnt from it-- to get the best out of judo also for children and turn it into a positive exercise. For that it becomes necessary though that instructor programs finally move away from propagandist approaches and are willing to accept the caveats and weaknesses of judo, and consequently amend judo instruction to children as is common and as is the standard today. A critical approach to judo instruction in children is something entirely different from fear-mongering. Judo also is not unique or not more dangerous or negative than various other sports. Some of the concerns it shares with other sports, and therefore hopefully would not be reason for parents to decide against judo in favor of a different sport.

    P.S.: I can come back to this thread with more information such as references and further specifics only after my own research to which I referred is published, due to strict rules of the scientific publication process. So please, do not ask me at this point in time, also not per PM.

    Regarding the study, Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem, Catt, R. (2006). I am not critical of the findings. Catt herself concludes that further research was needed. Far from being too critical of Catt's work, I was considering conducting a research study on the effects of judo on children's self esteem in an Australian context, using a similar design with the same measurement instrument. BTW: I admire Catt's brevity.
    Cichorei Kano
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:44 am

    Judo Dad wrote:
    Regarding the study, Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem, Catt, R. (2006). I am not critical of the findings. Catt herself concludes that further research was needed. Far from being too critical of Catt's work, I was considering conducting a research study on the effects of judo on children's self esteem in an Australian context, using a similar design with the same measurement instrument. BTW: I admire Catt's brevity.

    Judo Dad,

    Thanks for the clarification. I did not read that you were too critical, but alluded to the other studies with similar findings because you had highlighted the small sample size in her study. That is a critique whether intended so or not as small sample size negatively affects statistical power. Many studies, however, unfortunately do not mention statistical power, which also is a weakness, as it is important in properly interpreting whether a significant result is also meaningful. With regard to the topic of judo and children (and we are talking specifically judo now, no martial arts in general and even less non-Japanese martial arts) that in the mean time there exist also longitudinal studies where these effects on children were measured over several years of development. The results are in line with the effects of cross-sectional design studies. If you are interested we can in some future time PM and I can allude to my study (which is not original meta-analysis and review with regard to that aspect) and some of the key references with that work. My own study is about much more than this aspect but far more about how Kanô arrived at his design of judo for children, how it developed in Japan, what the problems were, and how kata instruction in judo for children can be implemented. The idea you raise is very interesting. I don't think that any of the work I have in mind was done in Australia, so I encourage you to continue and further develop your idea. Perhaps you might find in some of the other work also useful measuring tools to employ.
    Okazi
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    Post by Okazi Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:00 am

    Hi Cichorei Kano:

    The article I cut and pasted is not my own. It was written by Iulius-Cezar Macarie and Ron Roberts.

    My thoughts: failure is a reality in Judo. Competition in Judo is a reality; reality should not be tampered with lol.

    Failure to win and failure to perform; both are experienced at every competition and during every training session. I am having incredible difficulty reconciling the fact that kids or even adults are permitted to leave any mat area with the impression that their efforts were futile. That is what prompted my post.

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    Post by Judo Dad Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:34 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Judo Dad wrote:
    Regarding the study, Effects of an after school judo program on children's self esteem, Catt, R. (2006). I am not critical of the findings. Catt herself concludes that further research was needed. Far from being too critical of Catt's work, I was considering conducting a research study on the effects of judo on children's self esteem in an Australian context, using a similar design with the same measurement instrument. BTW: I admire Catt's brevity.

    Judo Dad,

    Thanks for the clarification. I did not read that you were too critical, but alluded to the other studies with similar findings because you had highlighted the small sample size in her study. That is a critique whether intended so or not as small sample size negatively affects statistical power. Many studies, however, unfortunately do not mention statistical power, which also is a weakness, as it is important in properly interpreting whether a significant result is also meaningful. With regard to the topic of judo and children (and we are talking specifically judo now, no martial arts in general and even less non-Japanese martial arts) that in the mean time there exist also longitudinal studies where these effects on children were measured over several years of development. The results are in line with the effects of cross-sectional design studies. If you are interested we can in some future time PM and I can allude to my study (which is not original meta-analysis and review with regard to that aspect) and some of the key references with that work. My own study is about much more than this aspect but far more about how Kanô arrived at his design of judo for children, how it developed in Japan, what the problems were, and how kata instruction in judo for children can be implemented. The idea you raise is very interesting. I don't think that any of the work I have in mind was done in Australia, so I encourage you to continue and further develop your idea. Perhaps you might find in some of the other work also useful measuring tools to employ.

    Small sample size is entirely acceptable for qualatative studies however as you point out not so good for statistical power. As a Critical Realist this does not overly worry me. If there was a way to obtain a suitable sample I would like to conduct a similar, localised study. I doubt this is possible, the Australian Judoka population is, admittedly, pathetically small! I was involved with a bloke from the Vic Eductaion Dept who was trying to set up a school judo connection but unfortunately it came to naught.

    If it was possible to conduct such a study, I would probably stick with the original instrument as it is well accepted and the results from a further study may then be more readily compared. I agree my objective is narrower than yours. Many well meaning claims have been made by people promoting judo, however when I have looked into such claims I have found very little supporting evidence. The oft made claim about increasing self esteem is but one such claim and one that I would like to investigate. Full credit to Catt's for having a go. I am not surprised her findings were inconclusive. From my current perspectve quantifying the effects of Judo on the self esteem of children looks to me to be a difficult task and a null hypothesis quite probable Smile .
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:05 pm

    Okazi wrote:Hi Cichorei Kano:

    The article I cut and pasted is not my own. It was written by Iulius-Cezar Macarie and Ron Roberts.

    My thoughts: failure is a reality in Judo. Competition in Judo is a reality; reality should not be tampered with lol.

    Failure to win and failure to perform; both are experienced at every competition and during every training session. I am having incredible difficulty reconciling the fact that kids or even adults are permitted to leave any mat area with the impression that their efforts were futile. That is what prompted my post.

    I had just written a further response, but somehow it went wrong and appears to have lost in cyberspace. It was a lot of effort as it was about some painful experiences regarding competitions and my best friends. It has exhausted me too much, and I dont want to start rewriting the entire post from scratch. Sorry about that, but it seems this forum may have glitches too.
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    Post by Judo Dad Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:22 pm

    I have had replies drop out when it turns out someone else is also replying. I was given the option to review new post before contiunuing. Since then I draft in wordpad or word, then paste in reply Very Happy
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    Post by wdax Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:58 pm

    CK and Okazi raise one of the most interesting and Important questions about judo-instruction. In Germany we had several congresses and seminars about this topic, but it's 10-15 years ago. Everytime wie invited one one of the leading university professors of the field to present a lecture. One of the most impressive was given by someone who never practiced judo.

    http://judo-praxis.de/Artikel/A_Paed_bedeutung/a_paed_bedeutung.html

    I have not the time to translate everything, but the summary is:

    1. Not judo educates, but the persons, who put judo in an educational environment. (I remember very well, that wie discussed the competitive-coperative problem CK arised)

    2. Nobody can show good behaviour for someone else, so education is in the last consequence "self-education"

    Then comes a very Important point:

    "That's why I don't ask, what Judo can provoke for education, but I ask in which way Judo-practice is put in a milIeu, which supports self-education"

    One wie realized that, wie should know, that all is a question of HOW wie do it. That must be the starting point for all debates about Judo and education.


    Last edited by wdax on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:04 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling, german iPad drives me crazy when writing in english)

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