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Saturday, June 24, 2017


At some point in most children’s lives they will have to contend with a bully or some type of bullying. This can have a devastating effect on your child. I very often see children brought to Judo because of it. So, how does Judo help a child with coping with a bully?

Bullies target children who will be hurt physically or emotionally by them. .

Bullies pick victims that they think will be easy targets. What makes an easy target? A child who seems weak, unsure of herself, or easily scared. Judo helps stop bullying by building up the child’s confidence so that they are able to project an aura of strength and ensure that they are not perceived as easy targets.

 Although Judo is a sport there is the physical self defense aspect of doing Judo. Your child will learn skills that they ‘could’ use to defend themselves physically. Your child will, having done Judo, know how to take physical hurt better than others.

One of the very first things a beginning judo student learns is how to break their fall, should the bullying become physical in nature, your child will be best equipped to cope with it. Knowing how to fall protects the student from injury in training, in competition and for self defense purposes. If you fall badly either from being pushed down, knocked down or tripped, you could get seriously hurt.

A typical bullying tactic in school is to trip the victim as they pass by. A student of Judo will learn to do a forward rolling breakfall, gracefully rolling after the trip rather than falling. That will take the wind from the bully’s sails and more than likely earn your child some respect from the other kids for their “cool judo roll!!!"

How to break your fall in Judo

Break falling techniques are a safe method of falling that all practitioners of judo learn. An Integral part of Judo is knowing how to break your fall. Judo concentrates on throwing your partner to the mat in training, so knowing how to fall is essential especially if you want you and your partner to be able to get up again to continue to train. Knowing how to fall protects you from injury in training, in competition and for self defense purposes. If you fall badly either from being pushed down, Knocked down, tripped, thrown or slammed to the ground  in a fight you risk disabling injury.

Break falling techniques (Ukemi) allow you to hit the ground without any kind of damaging impact and recover without injury. Basically, break falling techniques spread the impact of a fall over the widest area possible allowing the person getting thrown to disperse that force over that area.  Okay physics time!!!!! Break falls work by using the laws of physics. Pressure is the key force here. Pressure (P) is defined as unit of force (F) per unit of area (A), in mathematical form: P=F/A. When you do a break fall, more of you hits the ground. So this means that a larger area makes impact. Because the force of impact is divided by the area, more area means less pressure. Less pressure means less damage.

In addition, as you learn to be more and more comfortable with falling you become more relaxed. By learning how to place your body correctly and thereby learning to relax as you fall you disperse the force thus reducing the chance of injury. The more relaxed you are also lessens the chance of being injured.

Break fall drills begin gently and from low postures. As the student progresses they are performed faster and from higher postures.


Squat low, crossing your arms in front of you, and fall backward, keeping your chin tucked in and slap the mat hard as you fall.  As you fall, slap the mat with both of your arms, striking it with the forearm and hand. It is utmost important to be relaxed and to keep your chin tucked in to prevent striking your head against the mat.


From a squatting position, raise your right arm out in front and across your body, and step out with your right foot. You will now lose your balance and naturally fall to your right side As you fall, to keep your head from hitting the mat keep your chin tucked in tightly to your chest, looking down toward your right foot. Slap the mat hard with your right forearm and hand as you land on your back and let your feet down on the mat. It is important that your feet do not touch each other when falling sideways, as the bones striking each other may cause injury.
Resume the squatting position and practice falling to the left, reversing the above directions. The sideways fall is the most important method of falling in Judo.


Step forward with your right foot, raising your right hand in front of you and curving the fingers inward. Bend forward at the waist, touching the mat lightly with both hands at the same time step forward with the right foot bending at the knee. basically executing a shoulder roll keeping your chin tucked in to avoid hitting your head on the mat. Keep your arms relaxed as you tumble, and do not straighten your arms. As you land on your back, slap the mat hard with your left hand.

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