For whom is judo actually the right martial art? It is less brutal than other types of self-defense, but can you defend yourself with it at all and what is the maximum age? We try to find out for whom Judo is best suited.
Basic direction: Doing a lot with a little
Judo is a martial art whose successful application is intended to produce maximum effect with minimum effort. This means that the techniques used are aimed at using the movements of the opponent to bring him down with little effort. This clearly distinguishes Judo from other martial arts, where the powerful application of arm and leg techniques is trained.
This means, for example, that the energy of the opponent is used against himself:
- The momentum of the attacker is used by making him stumble
- Levers are used to amplify the energy with little force
- Throws can be used to bring the opponent down. By hitting the ground, the opponent is incapacitated or you have time to escape
Who can learn Judo?
Anyone can learn judo from a small child to a pensioner and these students are then called “judoka”. The number of clubs is large, which means that a club can be found in almost every region. Many trainers accept students as soon as they reach the age of five. Training takes place in a judo suit, the “dojo”.
Precisely because a high impact is achieved with little force, judo is suitable for slender people. Judo for women is also very popular because they naturally have less strength than men. With judo, you get so self-confidence and defensible.
Judo’s reputation today as a serious competitive sport may come in part from the fact that its essence has not been distorted by movies that condone excessive counterviolence, but is still preserved in its original form.
Requirements for Judo
In principle, anyone can learn judo, regardless of age, height and weight. Physical fitness is advantageous for the start of training, but not absolutely necessary, as it develops in the course of training. As long as you practice diligently, the extensive use of various muscle groups will ensure that your body gets in shape.
So learning judo also means going through a fitness and conditioning workout that involves the entire body and whose effectiveness is undeniable. Judo is also interesting for women, because the sport tries to achieve maximum effect with little effort.
Is there a maximum age for Judo?
There is no maximum age for judoka, by the way, also no minimum age, in judo for children there are offspring from 4 years. You can still start training if you are already of age or even older. In this case, don’t be put off by the fact that the younger ones are “more capable” than you, this is completely normal.
On the other hand, it seems that judoka who have dedicated themselves to the martial art with heart and soul never stop learning judo. The judoka Klaus Glahn, for example, was already 64 years old when he was awarded the 9th Dan in 2007 by the German Dan College (DDK).
Is Judo suitable for self-defense on the street?
To a large extent, yes. Large parts of judo instruction can be applied in a serious situation. With the leverage and throwing techniques, for example, you can throw an opponent to the ground and get to safety before the situation escalates completely. With the falling techniques, on the other hand, should you go down yourself, you will be able to avoid major fall damage and quickly get back to your feet.
However, some techniques should be refrained from in case of emergency, as the risk would be very high to cause irreparable damage. The information about which technique is suitable for use and which is not will become clear to you in the course of the training.
If you are looking for a martial art that is 100% focused on self-defense, then we wouldn’t necessarily recommend Judo either. There are other martial arts that specialize in extreme situations and defensible responses:
- The Israeli martial art Krav Maga
- Special self-defense courses
- Or self defense weapons