Just for Kids

Judo & Jujutsu for JuniorsKenji class


Kids under 7      Kids 6-12     Teens

Why Judo?

The first and foremost focus of Shinzenkan is to teach traditional Japanese martial arts to those adults and teens looking for the means to defend themselves in a dangerous world.  While this remains our primary mission, one cannot ignore the fact that today’s young people often face mental and physical distractions that can seem overwhelming at times.   Look at the prevalence of bullying in the news today.  These constant distractions at an early age can lead to many problems in their teenage years and beyond such as an inability to focus, trouble becoming self-reliant, or difficulty creating goals.  It can also instill them with poor dietary habits and weak physical health brought on by lack of exercise.

While our youth program is based in the same Yamagawa jujutsu that makes up our adult program.  The kids focus on the judo that comes from jujutsu without the more dangerous and damaging joint locks and chokes.  Striking is taught only after students demonstrate the maturity to use the knowledge and skills appropriately.


Benefits of Judo – Physical and Mental

Judo provides much needed basic conditioning and physical fitness.  Along with improvements in aerobic capacity, strength and flexibility, Judo is an excellent way to improve balance, coordination, agility, speed, and power.  Improved balance results in better posture which aids health and appearance. Balance, coordination and agility can help avoid accident & injuries as well as increase a child’s self confidence and control over their life.

Judo is a great builder of a child’s self-confidence. Self-confidence comes from trying new things and being a success.  Our program is designed to help students succeed.  They learn to set goals, stay focused on them, and stick with it.  Instructors will help them, but they know they are doing the work and their confidence soars when they reach their goal!  They learn to rely on their own abilities, but they also know they didn’t get there alone.  Someone was there to help and guide them.

Judo is at all times both an individual pursuit and one that requires working well with others.  The study of Judo requires a partner. To this end, students must learn to work together and maintain their self-control and take care of their partners.

This helps teach students to think of the consequences of their actions before they act. It also teaches them that the smallest act, good or bad, on their part can influence both themselves and others.

Judo requires a sharp mind to work in conjunction with a strong body.  Students learn to be aware of what is happening around them, notice details, and react confidently.  We demonstrate respect for others and positive values and expect students to do the same.

Skills learned in the dojo carry over into everyday life with students showing more focus at school and respect for parents, teachers, and others.


Our program stresses the importance of academic success and positive behavior both at school and at home. Students learn that the ancient values of respect and honor are still valid today.

What is Judo?

Judo was founded as a martial art in 1882 by Dr. Jigaro Kano, then President of the University of Education in Tokyo.  Dr. Kano developed the techniques of Judo from a lifetime of training in the old combative arts of Jujutsu. He removed the more dangerous aspects of jujutsu training while retaining the core techniques of off-balancing, throwing, joint locking, choking, pinning, and restraining an opponent  His goal was to create a martial art that would keep alive and honor Japan’s historical martial culture but at the same time provide a means of encouraging positive growth in all areas of a person’s life.

Although the roots of Judo stem from a violent past, today it’s one of the most popular sports in the world, second only to soccer, and has the best safety record of almost any physical activity you can name.  Judo is at once a sport, an art, a means of physical fitness, a discipline, and for some, a way of life.  In 1964, it became the first martial art to be sanctioned as an Olympic sport.  Today, the numbers of those studying Judo worldwide are in the millions.

Dr. Kano stated the philosophy of Judo in the form of two principles: Maximum Efficiency, and Mutual Welfare and Benefit. This means that students learn to help each other as they seek to perfect their techniques using the most efficient use of energy.  It is the principle of doing the right things at the right time.  Dr. Kano felt that healthy social attitudes, as well as a sound mind and body, could be developed through proper Judo training as well.

Our goal is to help students become the best that they can be – in all ways.  Dr. Kano expressed it best:

“The aim of Judo is to utilize physical and mental strength most effectively. Its training is to understand the true meaning of life through the mental and physical training of attack and defense. You must develop yourself as a person and become a useful citizen to society.”


Check out our classes for your future Olympian and then check out the current Olympians:  2016 USA Judo Team!

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