Objective Action

The initiative "Learning How to Fall, to Stand up, and Demand" ensures the equal participation of socially vulnerable groups in the teaching of Judo. Judo is a comprehensive training system founded by a Japanese teacher, Dr Jigoro kano has significant benefits for the mind and body. The Judo training system in order to be accessible to all requires universal design. The aim of the initiative is to design an Inclusive Judo Educational Program in basic Judo Techniques that includes equal people with mental or autistic spectrum disorders. As Judo training is based solely on the partnership of two athletes, the "Learning How to Fall, to Stand up, and Demand"  initiative has introduced an important innovation to achieve the best outcomes on the partnership: during Judo training, athletes with autism spectrum disorder or mental disorders are being training members of Addiction Therapeutic Programs which they teach while at the same time being taught. The action "Learning How to Fall, to Stand up, and Demand" by the educational material and the teaching methodology it proposes opens a way of joint exercise and action, including socially vulnerable groups that learn how to claim their autonomous participation in sports and social life. 



Target Audience

The program is aimed at people with mental or autism spectrum disorders, children and/or adolescents, and members of Therapeutic rehabilitation programs. They are taught Judo or no previous experience during the treatment course and nominated by their programs to engage in the sport. Judo teachers and special educators have the supervision and responsibility of teaching. Judoka practitioners participate in inclusive training and competitions on an equal footing with typical athletes.



The program started in September 2018 and continues to this day.



The idea of ​​the action was implemented in the "Tokei Maru, School for All" , the research and action area of ​​the Scientific Association, Include. Include is an open interdisciplinary community. In partnership with families of vulnerable and non-social groups, it fights discrimination and seeks to highlight the benefits of inclusive society through scientific research and social action. In the interdisciplinary and intercultural community of Include, a variety of ideas are constantly cross-referenced, tested and reshaped to provide valuable social assistance. At this crossroads of actions, people and ideas, Include chose to leverage Judo and study its effects on educating vulnerable groups. Unique innovation, the active contribution of members of dry treatment programs in the education of children with mental and autistic spectrum disorders.

The action was implemented in the framework of the Program for strengthening innovative social initiatives and capacity building of civil society organizations, “POINTS SUPPORT ". The 'POINTS SUPPORT "is funded by the Public Benefit Foundation John S. Latsis, the Honor Benefit Foundation, the Charity Organization Hellenic Hope, the Captain BASIL and Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation A. C. Leventis and Bodossaki Foundation.



Impact on Society

The results are positive for all participants. So far, 17 children on the spectrum, 15 members of therapeutic programs and more than 60 typical athletes of all ages are involved in inclusive workouts and races supporting the efforts of vulnerable groups. positive are the results for families of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, members of therapeutic programs and standard athletes practise vulnerable groups. 

Improvement of qualitative and quantitative indicators was observed after the implementation of the program. The indicator of participation of persons with developmental disabilities increased from 1.5 (incl participation with full support) to 4.5 (autonomous participation) in the process of performing the techniques and positive interaction with the athletes just after 26 lessons for 10 months. In the competition context, people with developmental disorders after the end of their training performed the techniques without the support of the educational material, which was made specifically for their training and without the support of their teachers, in front of a large crowd in the stands.

The participation of individuals from vulnerable groups in the Inclusive Judo Basic Techniques Training Program contributed significantly to the improvement of children's psychomotor and psychosocial skills. The children on the autism spectrum who participated learned to follow the principles of Judo teaching developed positive interactions with their teachers and, ultimately, with their fellow athletes. To the positive surprise of all those present on the field, they also acquired the skills to participate in matches in which they coped. Parents point out positive changes in the daily life of children, regarding the sequence of rules and the interactions in the family and wider social context. These positive changes, in fact, as the parents note, were recognized by the wider family and social environment of the children and contributed to the improvement of their self-image and self-worth. The participation of the children in such a demanding sport, the white uniform, judogi, the applause they learned to gain from their active participation in the games, helped them to gain their place in the family and the social environment.

The program's positive effect is on the therapeutic course of the members of the treatment programs and their reintegration, as, as they note, they feel important next to the children and their families and are mobilized when they feel that they can help them learn the techniques of Judo. Feelings of solidarity develop between members and strong bonds between participants fighting for themselves and their fellow human beings.


Initiative Location

The initiative "Learning How to Fall, to Stand up, and Demand"  is implemented in "Tokei Maru, the school for all" of Include in Triandria, Thessaloniki and in the International Matsuura Dojo at the Iraklis Judo Club. "Tokei Maru, the school for all" is housed in a space provided by the Municipality of Thessaloniki and operates with specialized volunteers, members of include. It is equipped by donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation after a request submitted by members of the association in 2015. tatami mats were donated to include by Judo for All in England and Master Sampson Sampson.



Working with Organization

Include collaborates with sports clubs, the Iraklis in Thessaloniki and the PAS EXCELLENT in Athens as well as with Therapeutic Programs in the respective cities. Internationally, Include collaborates with the International Special Needs Judo Union and participates in online training during quarantine with his athletes. It is a sister club with Judo for all of England and the Dojo Matsuura of Japan while at the scientific level collaborates with the University of Florida United States 



Workers Participation

The scientific responsibility of the project is under Andromachi Nanou, Special pedagogue, PhD, 1o Dan Judo, WJF. The Judo Master Maistrellis Avgerinos is in charge of the implementation, Physical Educator of ΚΕ.ΘΕ.Α. and vulnerable groups, 5th Dan, WJF. The design of the educational material is by the artists and special pedagogue, Med, Antonia Karapantazi and the external evaluation of the program by the Associate Professor of ASPAITE, Andreas Oikonomou. All the program contributors, special pedagogues, judo teachers, athletes and treatment program members support the program as volunteers.



Benefits for Οrganization

The program has very significant benefits for the members of the association Include but also for the organization. The Judo Inclusive programme completes the list of inclusive practices that Include association has already developed in other areas of non-formal education, such as educational robotics, ( 5147), in making and self-awareness (

As the Summary Program in Basic Judo Techniques is unique in the world, the initiative gives Include association international exposure and recognition.

The financing of the program from the "SUPPORT POINTS" and its successful completion with the publication of the book "I am learning to fall, to get up, to claim" of the publications GRAPHIMA by the writing team Andromachi Nanou, Andromachi Giatrakou and Avgerinos Maistrelis in English with open access to all, helped Include increase its credibility, recognition and international reach, and promote its scientific and social goals of promoting inclusive practices so that ¨no one left behind”


Connection with Global Goals

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