About Judo

Professor Jigoro Kano, who was born in Japan on October 28, 1860 and who died, May 4, 1938 after a lifetime of promoting it, created judo. 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 or yielding way. 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 finally became a part of the Olympics, the first Asian martial art as an official medal sport. In 1992 Judo competition for women was added to the Olympics.
Judo consists primarily of nage-waza (throws), along with katame-waza (grappling), which includes osaekomi-waza (pins), shime-waza (chokes), and kansetsu-waza (joint locks). Additional techniques, including atemi-waza (striking), various joint locks, self defense and weapons are found in the Judo katas. Judo is generally compared to wrestling, but it retains its unique combat forms. 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 is a good choice for most children to learn because it is safe and fun, and because it emphasizes education and proper development of the body, mind, and character.
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 practice Judo for fun and recreation. Black belts are expected to learn all aspects of Judo.