16.10)  Judo


Judo is a sport and a way to get in great shape, but is also very useful
for self-defense.

Origin:         Japan


Judo is derived from Jujutsu (see Jujutsu). It was created by Professor
Jigoro Kano who was born in Japan in 1860 and who died in 1938 after a
lifetime of promoting Judo. Mastering several styles of jujutsu in his
youth he began to develop his own system based on modern sports 
principles.  In 1882 he founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo where 
he began teaching and which still is the international authority for 
Judo. The name Judo was chosen because it means the "gentle way". Kano 
emphasised the larger educational value of training in attack and defense 
so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could 
participate in and benefit from. He eliminated some of the traditional 
jujutsu techniques and changed training methods so that most of the moves 
could be done with full force to create a decisive victory without injury.

The popularity of Judo increased dramatically after a famous contest 
hosted by the Tokyo police in 1886 where the Judo team defeated the most
well-known jujutsu school of the time. It then became a part of the
Japanese physical education system and began its spread around the world.
In 1964 men's Judo competition became a part of the Olympics, the only
eastern martial art that is an official medal sport. In 1992 Judo
competition for women was added to the Olympics.


Judo is practiced on mats and consists primarily of throws (nage-waza),
along with katame-waza (grappling), which includes osaekomi-waza (pins),
shime-waza (chokes), and kansetsu-waza (armbars). Additional techniques,
including atemi-waza (striking) and various joint locks are found in the
judo katas.  Judo is generally compared to wrestling but it retains its
unique combat forms.  As a daughter to Jujutsu these techniques are also
often taught in Judo classes.

Because the founder was involved in education (President of Tokyo
University) Judo training emphasizes mental, moral and character
development as much as physical training.  Most instructors stress the
principles of Judo such as the principle of yielding to overcome greater
strength or size, as well as the scientific principles of leverage,
balance, efficiency, momentum and control.

Judo would be a good choice for most children because it is safe and fun.


Judo training has many forms for different interests.  Some students
train for competition by sparring and entering the many tournaments that
are available.  Other students study the traditional art and forms (kata)
of Judo.  Other students train for self-defense, and yet other students
play Judo for fun. Black belts are expected to learn all of these aspects
of Judo.


Because Judo originated in modern times it is organized like other major
sports with one international governing body, the International Judo
Federation (IJF), and one technical authority (Kodokan).  There are 
several small splinter groups  (such as the Zen Judo Assoc.) who stress 
judo as a "do" or path, rather than a sport.

Unlike other martial arts, Judo competition rules, training methods, and
rank systems are relatively uniform throughout the world.