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Judo First

I am often asked at what age a child should begin Karate training. I usually recommend that children start at the age of 11 or 12. Before that, I recommend that they learn Judo.

We usually do not have the time or facilities to properly teach rolling and breakfalls in Karate class. Judo students learn these essential skills extremely well.

Judo also gives a Karate student a better appreciation of grappling techniques. In a real fight (or attack), the parties often end up on the ground where Judoka and wrestlers have the advantage.

Parents should be very careful about selecting a Judo class. They should watch the class first and make sure that it is safe. I do not think that a tournament emphasis is necessary. The emphasis should be on basic Judo skills and character development.

I practiced Judo during elementary school in Japan. It formed an excellent foundation for my subsequent martial arts training (Kenpo, Karate, Aikido, Kendo, Tai Chi, and Iaido). Many other Karate sensei that I know also began their martial arts training in Judo.

Judo, Karate and Kendo are an excellent combination.


Charles C. Goodin