By Liliana Shymanska, Corporate Communications Officer at the British Science Association


Today (October 28) is World Judo Day.

Whilst we all know that exercising in any form is good for us, the prospect of attending a Judo class, 对我们很多人来说, may seem out of the box 和 can be a bit daunting.

在今年的 British Science Festival, sports 和 exercise scientist 和 certified Judo coach 卡特里娜麦当劳 (Anglia Ruskin University) led a fun-filled, practical Judo class – with a twist.

She revealed some of the 令人惊讶的 health benefits you can reap from this Martial Art 和 why we should all, regardless of experience, consider giving it a go…

Learning about judo 文化

One of the differences Judo offers from other physical activities is the built-in aspect of discipline 和 respect.

Katrina kicked off the British Science Festival class with a Judo bow 和 explained its significance as a sign of respect 和 gratitude.

的 group practised the bow 和 learned the following 日本ese words, fundamental to the practice:

  • 弓“丽”
  • 去“Hajime”
  • 停止“无光”


Katrina then introduced the group to “Ukemi”. This is a 日本ese word that means ‘safe falling’ 和 is the first thing you learn in Judo.

Katrina explained that, 尤其是随着年龄的增长, a simple stumble can very quickly turn into a dangerous disaster.

While many of us learn precautionary actions when exposed to risks, such as swimming in case we end up in deep waters, or medication to take in case we fall ill, almost nobody learns how to correctly break their fall, despite the inevitability of it happening.

“In Judo, the very first lesson we teach is how to fall because it’s so important”. Katrina explained that Judo “breakfalls” can be practised by tucking in your chin to protect your head from impact with the floor, 和 also to create the largest surface area possible when falling, to reduce the pressure on a single joint or area.

Ukemi is taught as part of the school curriculum in 日本, 随着时间的推移, the practice becomes instinctive – able to be implemented by anyone at any age.

So, what’s all the fuss about ‘safe falling’?

Unfortunately, falls can be pretty serious. After road injuries, they’re the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths worldwide, with an estimate of 646,000 deaths annually.

Despite falls estimated to cost the NHS over £2.每年30亿, they are overlooked when it comes to preventative health in the UK.

欧洲柔道联盟 is currently working with universities globally to assess how techniques such as ukemi can be adapted 和 taught to the wider population to reduce injuries 和 fatalities. Ukemi-inspired programmes, such as a 10-week course in 瑞典 have demonstrated successful initiatives of this kind too.


In addition to the impressive list of physical 和 disciplinary benefits, there are some great advantages for the mind too, 比如消除应力.

Katrina mentioned that although any form of exercise is scientifically shown to relieve stress, being able to exercise with a supportive community can be equally as beneficial. 的 strong social component of Judo from putting trust into one another, to learning from each other 和 creating a sense of connectedness are just some of the ways Judo can reduce stress.


的 art of Judo is reflected in the traditional 日本ese saying, “seven times down, eight times up.” Even if Judo isn’t for you, this can be a valuable take-home for us all.  

Find out more about British Science Festival 2022