The International Judo Federation runs the Judo in Schools programme to develop the mental and physical health of children through the sport.

Other goals are to improve the social-emotional development of the youngsters involved while improving safety in schools.

The IJF Judo in Schools methodology is based on the eight core values of judo: Friendship, Honour, Respect, Modesty, Politeness, Courage, Self-control and Sincerity. 

A ninth value, the catalyst of IJF Judo in Schools, is also adhered to - Fun. 

With Judo in Schools, learning is all about having fun and enjoying being together on the tatami.

It is hoped that judo can be integrated into school curriculums so that children can benefit from the sport and learn its values in order to create a more just society.

The project strives to fight against any kind of discrimination and segregation, promoting an educational activity that helps to build the mind and body of the younger generations.

Judo in Schools is active in countries all over the world, especially in sectors where social disorders destroyed the social network and where values have been lost.

Latvia officially signed up to the programme in September 2018 ©IJF
Latvia officially signed up to the programme in September 2018 ©IJF

Latvia was one country to officially sign up to the programme in September 2018, making judo a basic element of the education of youngsters.

The launch of the programme across the country took place in Riga in the presence of 8,000 children and their teachers, as well as Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, the Ministers of Sports, Education and Science, and representatives of the National Olympic Committee.

Ten schools were officially included in the programme, and step by step, the size of it will be increased.

Based on the number of classes in every single school and the fact that each class has between 24 and 30 pupils, there are already several hundred children who can benefit from the judo sessions once a week.

After the launch phase, the objective was to include judo in all of Latvia’s 775 schools.

There are now nearly 50 countries signed up to Judo for Schools in all.