History of


Judo as a sport was founded by Professor Jigoro Kano in 1882. It is a sport that people of all ages may participate in. It is excellent aerobic and conditioning exercise for the body, and mental discipline for the mind. Judo as practiced today is based on the traditional Jujitsu of old Japan. The techniques of Jujitsu have been refined and systemized to form what is now Kodokan Judo. In terms of Japanese, Judo means the “gentle way”. Judo uses the principle of “Maximum-Efficiency with Minimum Effort”.

Illustration of Maximum-Efficiency with Minimum Effort

Suppose that the strength of a person is represented in units. Assume further that a person standing in front of me has 10 units of strength to my 7 units. Now, if he pushes with all of his force I shall certainly be pushed back or thrown down, even if I use all my strength against his. But if, instead of opposing him, I were to give way to his strength by withdrawing one’s body just as much as he had pushed, taking care at the same time to keep one’s balance, then he would naturally lean forward and thus lose his balance. Because of his awkward position, his strength for the moment is only three units instead of ten. Meanwhile, because I have maintained my balance, I retain all seven units of strength, and therefore can defeat my opponent by using only half my strength original seven units of strength. This is a simple example of how, by giving way, a small contestant may defeat a bigger, stronger opponent.

Continued History

The sport of Judo became an Olympic sport in 1960. It is similar to Olympic Freestyle Wrestling in terms of one on one competition, body conditioning, strength and speed. However, Judo differs from wrestling in that Judo matches are 4 continuous minutes in length and may be won by one of four methods: Execution of a Throwing Technique (Nage waza), Execution of a Grappling Technique (Osae -komi waza), Execution of a Strangling Technique (Shime waza), Execution of a Joint Locking Technique (Kansetsu waza).

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