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What is Judo? Printable View Send to a friend
Written by Nicky Adler   

What is Judo?

Judo was developed by Dr Jigaro Kano who was a Japanese educator and martial artist.  Due to the fact that Dr Kano was an educator, it made perfect sense that when he modified Jujitsu to create Judo, he had in mind to make it accessible for children as well. Judo was developed during the Meiji period when Jujitsu schools were in danger of closing during the rush to westernize the country.

Judo is a form of hand-to-hand combat used when weapons are lost leaving only the hands to defend oneself. It is a "gentler" form of Jujitsu, therefore good for children and at the time was more acceptable to the western influences that were penetrating Japanese culture at the time.

 Dr Kano wanted to achieve two things when he was working on the development of Judo.  He wanted Judo to be practiced without hurting the opponent.  It was difficult to practice Jujitsu due to the very real danger of harming your opponent.  He also wanted to work with strength in a maximally efficient way, so that even a small student would be able to topple someone much larger than him/herself.  

Judo was originally called Kodokan Judo and Dr Kano was the first to introduce the belt system which is so widely used today.  It was first taught at a shrine in 1882 and has travelled all the way from Japan into western hearts and further still into the Olympics becoming a certified Olympic event in 1964.

Judo has been revised over the years and has acquired new techniques while maintaining the old ones as well. At one point, Dr Kano sent some of his more skilled students to learn with masters Morihei Ueshiba and Gichin Fuankoshi, which is why you can see influences of Aikido and Shotokan karate in Judo today.  

Judo though, differs from other martial arts in that it is less organized with less routines or kanas. Dr Kano felt that Judo needed one component that Jujitsu didn't and that was spirituality which was there to enable students to overcome fears and insecurities coming from within as well as feelings of anger and hatred thus creating a well-rounded person.

Judo also remains a reliable and effective form of combat. So much so that it is standard in some police forces.  Judo also does well in international competition.  You can use Judo to not only defend oneself but it is also a great workout and compliments some forms of meditation.

So for the most part,  for now we can say that Judo is not only a good sport to try to keep fit but it also trains your mind as well, keeping you strong and powerful in body and mind allowing you to overpower your opponent more easily.




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