Judo is derived from Jujutsu, and, created by Professor Jigoro Kano. Professor Jigoro Kano was born in Japan on October 28, 1860 and died on May 4, 1938 after lifetime of promoting Judo. He developed his own system based on modern sports principles in his youth after mastering several styles of jujutsu including Kito-Ryu and Tenjin-Shinyo Ryu. He founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo in 1882, where he taught Judo, and this institute is the international authority for Judo.

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The name Judo means the “gentle or yielding way”; and thus it was chosen. A larger educational value of training in attack and defense emphasis was put by Kano so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from. He changed training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full force to create a decisive victory without injury and also eliminated some of the traditional jujutsu techniques. In 1886 there was a famous contest held by the Tokyo police in which the Judo team defeated the most well-known jujutsu school of the time. This led to a dramatic increase in the popularity of this martial art. It then became a part of the Japanese physical education system and began to spread around the world. Dr. Kano studied the best of the techniques of the ancient martial art  jujutsu and incorporated the best of the jujutsu techniques into this martial art what is now a modern sport of Judo. This martial sport is many things to different people. It is a fun-sport, an art, a discipline, a recreational or social activity, a fitness program, a means of self-defense or combat, and a way of life. It is all of the above mentioned things and more.

Something about Judo

A dynamic and tremendous sport

It is a dynamic combat sport and tremendous demanding both physical prowess and great mental discipline. It involves techniques that allow you to lift and throw the opponents onto their backs from a standing position. On the ground techniques allow a person to pin the opponent down to ground, control the opponent, and apply various chokeholds or joint locks until the opponent submits.


Judo is basic and simple

Judo originated in Japan. It was derived from various martial arts used and developed by the samurai and feudal warrior class over hundreds of years. In fact many of the techniques used in Judo originated from arts that were designed to hurt, maim, or kill opponents in actual battle. The techniques of judo were modified so that the students of this martial art could then practice and apply these techniques safely and without hurting the opponents. Thus:

  • There is no kicking, punching, or striking techniques of any kind that are involved in this martial art
  • This martial art does not involve the application of pressure against the joints to throw an opponent
  • It also does not involve any sort of equipment or weapons

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Thus it is simple and basic; wherein it simply involves two individuals who, by gripping the uniform or the judogi, use the forces of balance, power, and movement to attempt to subdue each other.  Therefore it can be said that in its simplicity lies its complexity. The mastery of the techniques of this martial art takes considerable time, effort, and energy, involving rigorous physical and mental training.

The principle of gentleness

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters: ju which means “gentle”, and, do which means “the way”.  Thus literally it means the way of gentleness. It may not seem to be gentle to newcomers as they see bodies flying through the air and people pinned to the ground. It is this principle of gentleness or yawara (which is the same character as the ju in judo) on which all the techniques of this martial arts are based.

Rigorous and physical activity

Judo is quite rigorous and demanding physical activity. In number of ways the practice of judo techniques helps people develop basic and fundamental physical fitness. It helps in the development of strength, flexibility, agility, speed, dynamic and static balance, explosive power, and endurance. Reaction time, coordination, and overall physical self-confidence is developed due to the practice of active attack and defense. Judo students become physically bigger, stronger, and faster through their practice of this martial art.

Judo students learn the specific skills and techniques of this martial art, along with producing the tremendous gains in overall physical and athletic ability. They learn a variety of techniques in order to throw their opponents to the ground with force, speed, and control. Even though the students of this martial art are exposed to many of the types of throwing techniques, they learn and master only a handful. These handful of techniques are all that the students need to learn and be successful in contemporary judo competitions.

Through the application of pinning and submission techniques the judo students also learn the principles and the dynamic of subduing their opponents on the ground. Combined with the considerable basic physical fitness gained from judo practice, their prowess both on the ground and on their feet affords the students of this martial art with a considerable repertoire of techniques, skills, knowledge, and abilities. This repertoire allows the students of this martial art to be excellent athletes, with a sound physical base of fundamental skills, and formidable and imposing opponents in a competition.

Much more to learn

The students of this martial learn much more, beyond the development of physical prowess and athletic ability. They learn about values of perseverance, respect, loyalty, and discipline. The students of this martial art develop important social manners and etiquette along with outstanding work ethic. They learn to show courage under pressure and overcome their fears. They learn about justice and fairness through competitions and the rigors of daily practice. They learn about politeness, modesty, and many other wonderful values that contribute to their development as successful citizens of society through their experience. As such, judo facilitates the development of important moral knowledge and values, those that are important to help people to become active and contributing members of their communities, nations and the world. In this way the students of this martial art play an important role in developing societies, and creating new and better communities for the future.

Principles and Goals of Judo

Judo which means the “gentle way”, teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of judo throws and other skills. The essential ingredients for success in this martial art are skill, technique and timing rather than the use of brute strength. For example, in Judo classes, to overcome a stronger opponent, the student may learn to give way rather than use force. In dealings with others in life the principles of Judo such as “maximum efficiency” and “mutual welfare and benefit” can also be used. The ultimate goal in Judo is to develop oneself to the maximum extent possible, always striving for perfection, so that one can contribute something of value to the world.

Judo Techniques

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All judo techniques (wazas) are divided into following groups:

Throwing Techniques: Nage-Waza

Nage-waza (throwing technique) is a Japanese term for a grappling technique that involves off-balancing or lifting an opponent, and throwing them to the ground. Throws usually involve a pulling and rotating motion, the practitioner performing the throw usually stays balanced on their feet – standing techniques (tachi-waza). However regularly when performing the throw both fighters finish on the ground. Certain throwing techniques called sacrifice throws (sutemi-waza) involve putting oneself in a potentially unfavorable position, such as on the ground, in order to execute a throw.

Standing Techniques (Tachi-Waza)

Tachi-waza (Standing techniques) are performed from a standing position, which are further divided into Te-waza (Hand techniques), Ashi-waza (Foot / Leg techniques), and Koshi-waza (Hip techniques).

Hand Techniques (Te-Waza)

Te-waza (hand techniques) belongs to the Throwing techniques (Nage-waza) group, and is effectively performed using the hands / arms to throw the opponent. Hand techniques include: Tai Otoshi (Body Drop) and Ippon Seoinage (One Arm Shoulder Throw).

Foot Techniques (Ashi-Waza)

Asi-waza (foot/leg techniques) belongs to the Throwing techniques (Nage-waza) group. There are different types of leg throwing techniques (Ashi Waza). These include sweeping, reaping and hooking. Foot techniques include: Uchimata (Inner Thigh Throw) Ouchi Gari (Major Inner Reaping).

Hip Techniques (Koshi-Waza)

Koshi-waza (hip techniques) belongs to the Throwing techniques (Nage-waza) group. The main mechanism of the koshi-waza is to get the opponent off balance by pulling or body motion and perform the throw with the help of the hip (over the hip). Hip techniques include: Harai Goshi (Sweeping Hip Throw) and Tsuri Goshi (Large Hip Throw).

Sacrifice Techniques (Sutemi-Waza)

Sutemi-waza (Sacrifice Techniques) is the classification of the technique where the performer lands on the back or side to throw an opponent. The Sutemi-waza is further divided into Back Sacrifice (Ma-sutemi-waza) and Side Sacrifice (Yoko-sutemi-waza).

Back Sacrifice (Ma-Sutemi-Waza)

Ma-sutemi-waza is of the Sacrifice Techniques classification and is translated as rear sacrifice techniques. These techniques have originated from the fact that one opponent drops himself on his back (sacrifices himself) in order to execute the throw.

Grappling Techniques: Katame-Waza

Katame-waza (grappling techniques) in most cases are applied when both opponents are on the ground / mat, as opposed to Tachi-waza (standing technique). These standing techniques are applied from a standing posture. The Ne-waza is further divided into 3 types of techniques: Kansetsu-waza (joint locks), Shime-waza (choking techniques), and Osae-komi-waza (pinning techniques).

Pinning Techniques (Osaekomi-Waza)

Osaekomi-waza (Pinning techniques) is one of the groups of Katame-waza (Grappling techniques). These pin-downs represent the different types of hold down techniques which holds another one on his back.

Choking Techniques (Shime-Waza)

There are three fundamental types for chokes: compression of the neck-veins which restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, compression of the trachea, and compression of the chest and the lungs which prevents breathing.

Joint Locking Techniques (Kansetsu-Waza)

Kansetsu-waza (Joint locks) techniques include joint lock techniques against many joints of the body; whereas the contemporary judo only involves kansetsu-waza against the elbow. And one can use legs, arms, and knees, to grasp the opponent’s joint, and bend it in the reverse direction to lock the joint, thereby rendering him virtually helpless.

Judo Highlights – Paris Grand Slam 2017 Video

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