Judo is sport and a martial art. The word "Judo" translates roughly as the "way of gentleness". "Ju" representing "gentleness" or "giving way" and "do" representing "way". Judo is different from many martial arts because it does not employ strikes as a major means of defense and attack. It is centered on the application of chokes, arm locks, throws and holds. Judo's main concepts are "maximum efficiency" and "mutual welfare and benefit".

Judo is derived from a martial art called Jujitsu. Jujitsu was an art frequently used by the Samurai. Other martial arts involving strikes were not effective in disabling the enemy during combat, because normal strikes would not be able to penetrate the strong armor the samurai wore. Although the armor was impervious to normal strikes, the armor did not offer protection to the weak and vulnerable joints. For this reason, Jujitsu uses different types of arm, wrist, knee, and leg locks, as well as throws and strikes aimed at those joints. Professor Kano studied Jujitsu for a very long time before he created Judo. Although Jujitsu was a very efficient and effective art, Professor Kano was concerned with physical education. He wanted an art that could be practiced with speed and safety, but still provide a good workout. Therefore, he removed the dangerous techniques like certain joint locks and established a series of rules.

Judo was officially created in 1882 with the founding of the Kodokan ("school for studying the way") by Professor Jigoro Kano. What began as a small dojo with only 12 mats, has grown into an enormous institute with 2 large buildings, 7 and 8 stories high. Not only has Judo's popularity grown fast in Japan, but also worldwide. The popularity of Judo grew to such an extent that in 1964, Judo became an official Olympic event. Today, Judo continues to be extremely popular in almost every country around the world.


Brown, Charlie. Judo Instructor, 4th Dan. Personal Interview.

Judo Information Site Website. http://judoinfo.com/

Kano Jigoro. Kodokan Judo. Kodansha International Ltd. Tokyo, Japan.1994

Kodokan Judo Institute Website. http://www.kodokan.org/

Van Patten, Bob. Judo Instructor, 5th Dan. Personal Interview.