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Managing Student Behavior: Difficult Behavior in Judo Class

Judo and Managing Student Behavior

Not sure why but managing student behaviour, is not talked about in Judo circles. As martial artists, are coaches embarrassed over difficult students?

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Being able to deal with the defiant child, excitable, emotional or anxious child, are just some of the behaviours that are a critical part of coaching, however, they are surprisingly not talked about a lot in forums and blogs.

I suspect that it has something to do with judo being a martial art and it is considered to be a loss of face to admit that we all struggle with children and adults for that matter who have difficult behaviours.

We could of course just say to the child: "look you don't need to be here and I don't need to teach you so let's just part ways"; thereby only teaching students that we want. I'm sure that there are coaches that do that, but I am not one of them.

Part of my whole existence as a coach has always been the pleasure I gain from seeing a difficult student bloom into a strong but healthy spirited Judoka and human being.

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Perhaps it is self-serving but then it's not as if I am outside the spirit of Judo by doing so. Our maxim always has been: "maximum efficiency for minimum effort And mutual welfare and benefit".

I really like the appeal for calmness type of approach. You can't, of course, sacrifice safety, so you have to practice the way you speak and behave like every other skill in judo, in order to be able to deal with any arising situation quickly.


  1. Nice article on this subject. I have some of the same issues in my school.

  2. I really liked your article. Would you be willing to write a post for how you handled bad behavior for my site?

  3. Sure happy to. It may take a little time however.