Visit at JFF, ZJA and Response Network in Zambia

Raphaela with some of the judoka in Livingstone.

Shortly after New Year Judo for fred was contacted by Raphaela Kübler, who was a student at The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Raphaela worked on a Master’s thesis in International Affairs, where she examined three core questions:

  • How can peace education, sports for peace and development, and traditional martial arts become uniformly conceptualized?
  • Why are martial arts especially suitable as a tool for non-formal peace education?
  • Are there any differences between martial arts styles? If yes, which school or style fits best with the purpose of long-term peace education?

Her goal was to look at the pedagogy and approach to martial arts as a sport for peace in practice, and how students, parents and coaches perceive themselves and their social environment.

Judo training session in Livingstone.

In order to elucidate the core questions, the task would include a case study, where she would study a current project that used traditional martial arts as an approach to non-formal peace education.

In this regard, Raphaela had investigated whether there were any martial arts that had such projects, on which the International Judo Federation (IJF) was the only sports association that actively promoted martial arts as a tool for peace.

Raphaela therefore wanted to visit Judo for freds project in Zambia to investigate the pedagogy and approach to martial arts for peace in practice and how students, parents and coaches perceive themselves and their social environment.

On Monday, March 27, Raphaela landed in Livingstone and she stayed in Zambia for three weeks. During the stay, Raphaela followed the project in Livingstone, participated in the training and examined how these take place. In addition, Raphaela interviewed several of the key people in the project, such as JFF leader Ole Moland, Mama and Hillary, General Secretary of the Zambian Judo Association, Program Officer of the Response Network, and more.

The judokas in Livingstone. Mama in white judogi to the right, Hillary in blue judogi to the left.

The observation of the project and the interviews of the key people was to gain practical insights and an in-depth understanding of the project and then enable an analysis of the issues.

At the end of June, Raphaela completed her master’s thesis, and here she concluded, among other things, that:

  • The core of Judo’s pedagogy is based on the principles of “budo”, where the student is trained to circumvent physical violence when confronted with it. Therefore, judo is well-suited for targeted use for anyone over 7 years who are exposed to a violent environment.
  • When investigating peacekeeping concepts, the development of conflict resolution skills and conflict resolution values ​​were key overlap, and traditional martial arts (judo, karate, etc.) were better suited than modern martial arts.
  • The greater the capacity for change, the greater the possibility that the respective sports are adapted to strategic goals. Thus, when formalizing and carrying out a project, it is important to assess it in terms of the intended outcome.

JFF would like to thank Raphaela for the cooperation and we wish her good luck on her future endeavors!

Written by Oscar Gulseth

Judokas on their way home after training.

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