AYD Judo: Heart & Energy
What if a group of city school students could learn the Olympic sport of judo, practice it to proficiency, compete in local and national tournaments and, most important, apply judo’s self-control concepts to their daily lives?
In our experience, they’d perform and behave better in school, with improved citizenship marks, fewer behavior referrals, increased school attendance and better grades. Teachers, parents and the boys themselves would note their greater self-control on standardized surveys. About two-thirds of them would continue to practice judo year-round and compete in regular regional, national and international tournaments.
Since 1997, nearly 500 Pittsburgh Public School students have participated in AYD Judo, including more 275 students during five years of the district’s Summer Dreamers Academy day camps. Students in AYD Judo’s school-year program practice two or three times each week, compete in dozens of tournaments and demonstrate remarkable improvement in physical fitness and school behavior. Beginning in 2009, AYD has partnered with Pittsburgh Public Schools to teach judo on-site in the city schools.
This fall, AYD Judo is reaching more than 50 Pittsburgh Public School students at our sites at Morrow PreK-8 and Schiller 6-8, plus an additional 40 students in satellite programs at Propel Schools’ Homestead and Braddock Hills campuses.
AYD Judo is led in partnership with Trafford Judo Club and is affiliated nationally with the United States Judo Federation.
AYD Judo is supported by a grant from the Heinz Endowments and program support from the Eden Hall Foundation and The Grable Foundation.