Goals and methods of Judo coaching

Self-defense and Judo coaching ultimate goal is to make student able to apply the learned martial arts, self-defense, and sport skills in real-life situations. This is not equal to a teaching of martial arts and Judo, but complementary to it.

Coaching starts with creation of individual technical arsenal from the first days of a new student in dojo as instructor evaluates his individual strengths and weaknesses and developing individualized training plan. Such training plan is a cornerstone of coaching – not every student will become an expert in the Art (witch is the goal of teaching), but every student should be able to apply his learned skills when he need to resort to it. After all it’s what he came to you (as instructor) and what you promised him when you took him in.

I hear you saying: “Wake-up dreamer, it’s a Real World: we have many students and we just can’t individually coach every newcomer – we barely have time for our best students”.

The other common argument will be that student has to learn the basics of the Art first before any individualization will take place.

I have nothing to say about first argument. Well, I’m not talking about “mass-production” and if you are in such business you’ll make your chooses. The only word of caution: if you will work one-size-fits-all way your best students or will be not good enough or will leave as soon as opportunity presents itself.

The second argument has more weight: we’re talking about Art of Judo (or any other style), should we first educate our students in the full richness of the Art so they can make informed chooses?

Well, the study of the Art is a life-long journey. On this way it will be ups and downs. In order to hold it on the student needs to have feeling of accomplishment. You have two ways to create this feeling: by regular promotion (from white belt to black belt on fixed schedule with all the colored patches in-between) or by delivering the real value – hard earned truly functional combat skills.

As for methods of Judo coaching, it’s a truly creative activity and each student should be coached in his own way as every one of us has unique qualities that good coach should see, understand, and use.

Kung-Fu Panda” animation (from DreamWorks) is a good (and fanny) way to get sense what coaching in martial arts is (this trailer has some short parts of it – sometimes good stuff comes in strange packages).



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