Judo (柔道, jūdō?), meaning "gentle way", is a modern Japanese martial art (gendai budō) and combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking the elbow or by applying a choke. Strikes and thrusts (by hands and feet) - as well as weapons defences - are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice (randori).
Ultimately, the philosophy and subsequent pedagogy developed for judo became the model for almost all modern Japanese martial arts that developed from "traditional" schools (koryū).
Practitioners of judo are called jūdōka.
The Science Of Judo
Judo is a science, Judo is a study in physics, anatomy, kinesiology, and ergonomic. A practitioner of Judo will study motion.
Judo, in a sports contest, is an art as it recognizes an individual's interpretation and free expression of how techniques are applied.
Method of Self-Defense
Judo was derived from the Japanese art of Ju Jitsu. Ju Jitsu was a method of unarmed self-defense against an armed attacker.
A "Way Of Life"
Discipline and respect are themes that are constantly interwoven into the study of the art. It is a life time study that is practiced by young and old; rich and poor. It shows no social or economic barriers.
An Olympic Sport
Judo was added to the Olympic games during the Tokyo Olympics of 1964. It is a sport practiced by more than 170 countries around the world.
The first judo school was started in Tokyo, Japan, in 1882. Its founder, Dr. Jigoro Kano [1860-1938], combined several jujutsu styles to create a new art that was equal parts physical education, self-defense, and competitive sport. Judo introduced many new ideas to the martial arts world, including the traditional gi uniform and the colored-belt system.
The most important idea in judo is JU, which, loosely translated, means "flexibility". Students must learn the right time to yield and the right time to stand firm as they work toward getting their opponents off balance. Practice takes place on mats, where students concentrate on mastering throws and ground grappling. Common techniques include pins, joint locks, and choke holds. Appropriate conduct, including respect and courtesy is expected of the student not only in the dojo but in daily life as well.
Did You Know
In 1964, judo became the first Asian martial art to be designated as an Olympic event.
"Judo" Gene Lebell President Teddy Roosevelt Actor James Cagney
An art of self-defense founded in Japan by Jigoro Kano and a worldwide sport. Judo received Olympic recognition in 1964 and is governed by the International Judo Federation. which regulates judo activities throughout the world.
Like jujitsu, its forerunner, judo is a method of turning an opponent's strength against him, thereby defeating him in an efficient manner. Jujutsu was practiced in Japan for hundreds of years, but with the advent of modern warfare and the diminished need for hand-to-hand combat, jujutsu declined.
In 1882, Jigoro Kano, a student of jujutsu, formulated a new system of barehanded fighting called judo (gentle way). Although it comprises many of the effective throwing, strangling and joint-locking techniques of jujutsu, the development of guiding principles and strict rules regulating the use of these techniques distinguishes judo the sport from jujutsu the combative art. It is this emphasis on the manner in which techniques are applied that makes judo a popular activity and an international sport.
The two principles upon which Kano based his new art were seiryoku zenyo (maximum efficiency with minimum effort) and juta kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit). The former occurs when one can skillfully defeat a stronger opponent by yielding to his attack while maintaining his own balance, thus throwing him off balance so he becomes vulnerable to one's counterattack. In juta kyoei, Kano advocated that judo's purpose was not to win a contest, but to perfect one's mind and body for the mutual benefit and welfare of all mankind.