What Is Judo?
Judo is derived from Jujitsu. It was created by Professor Jigoro Kano in 1882. Mastering several styles of jujutsu he began to develop his own system based on modern sports principles. 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 way". Kano emphasised the larger educational value of training in attack and defence so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from. He eliminated some of the traditional jujitsu techniques and changed training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full-force to create a decisive victory without injury.
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 jujitsu 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 became a part of the Olympics, the only eastern martial art that is an official medal sport. In 1992 Judo competition for women was added to the Olympics. Judo is practiced on mats and consists primarily of throws, grappling, which includes pins, strangles and arm locks. 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 would be a good choice for most children because it is safe and fun. 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 of Judo. Other students train for self-defence, and yet other students do Judo for fun. Black belts are expected to learn all of these aspects of Judo. Because Judo originated in modern times it is organized like other major sports with one international governing body, the International Judo Federation (IJF).
The Dojo is a place for serious Judo study. Although it can be, and usually is, fun it should be treated with respect by all Judo students. All students who enter the Dojo should have the same respect for each other that they have for the Dojo. Although this page may seem to you to be just a page of rules and regulations we have tried where possible to make the reading of them fun too.
The dojo is a place for serious study, not a social gathering. Our dojo is coeducational (that means girls and boys!, and men and women) and you are expected to act like, and to be treated like adults at all times during your study of judo in the dojo. Personal safety and the safety of all judo students is the primary concern to which the instructors and students must adhere. Failure to practice in a safe manner will result in a reprimand from the instructors. Subsequent reprimands may result in your dismissal from the judo club. This is not something we like to do or would do lightly so - behave yourselves and act sensibly and safely!
Sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the dojo. Any person who believes to have been harassed should speak to a sensei.
All students and club members, regardless of their rank must follow the instruction of the designated instructor for the class being taught. If you do not wish to do so, you may ask the instructor for permission to leave the class.
The Dojo is a place of respect. Foul language and unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. Whether in the Dojo, in promotional examinations, in Kata competition, or in Shiai, never blame a partner for not making you "look good enough", or sacrifice technique for the sake of "beating" your opponent. Such behaviour is not consistent with the basic philosophy of Judo.
Jigora Kano designed judo as a way to develop harmoniously the intellectual, moral and physical aspects of the education of young people. Please don't spoil the ideals that he has set forth.
Your attendance in class is a clear demonstration of your interest in learning and practicing judo. You are here because you want to be. Regular attendance means you will learn more about judo and your skills will develop at steady pace.
Your instructor and fellow judoka take the effort to be there on time to instruct you; there is no reason for them to have to wait for you. Promptness is an important quality that you should strive for. You should be at the Dojo 15 to 30 minutes prior to class ready to begin loosening up for the workout. Being late for class shows disrespect for your instructor, your fellow students and yourself. If you must arrive late for any reason:
1.warm up on the side lines and when ready,
2.face the class and raise your hand,
3.wait for the class instructor to acknowledge you and grant you permission to join the class,
4.apologise to all for being late.
Judo is a contact sport. Therefore, you should come to practice with a clean mind and body. In the interest of hygiene and mutual respect for your fellow players, you should be in a clean and odour-free body (preferably your own) and Judo uniform (or gi"). Your fingernails and toenails should be trimmed to prevent injury to you or your partner. A scratch from a dirty fingernail or toenail can easily become infected.
Rings, watches, bracelets, and earrings should be removed before stepping on the mat. Women should remove hairpins and clips which could injure an eye. Any such object can cut your workout partner or become entangled in a gi and cause injury to yourself.
Try not to indulge in idle conversation while practicing judo. You should come to the dojo to practice Judo, not to talk to your friends. When the instructor is talking he/she should have your undivided attention. If you have a question, ask one of the instructors, not the person next to you. Talking is discouraged during randori or kata. Remember, a controlled mind is necessary in order to control the body.
Your Judo Gi
Putting on your judogi is simple. Just follow these instructions.
The trousers should be worn with the two "belt loops" at the top facing forward. Notice the extra fabric at the knee. It should also be in front. Take the strings and pull them tight to make the trouser waist snug to your hips. Put each end of the string through the loop on its side and tie a bow in the middle.
The top should be worn with the left side of the jacket overlapping the right side. The other way is the way they dress the dead!
Find the middle part of the belt and place it just below your navel (that's your belly button). Now wrap both ends of the belt behind you and around to the other side. Now you should have one end in each hand back in front of you. What you will do now is make a square knot with the ends of the belt using the following routine - left over right and under everything, then right over left.
Here are the details of the knot:
Take the right side and place it over your navel, on top of the belt already there. Take the end in your left hand and place it over both pieces of belt on your navel, then wrap it behind them from the bottom and pull it out to your right side. Now take the two ends of the belt in your hands again. The end that started on your right will now be in your left hand, the end that started on your left will be in your right hand. Now make on final loop by taking the right side and looping it over the left and pull both ends tight. (Now ask your instructor to untie you and show you how to do it).
Being a vigorous physical sport, judo will make you perspire freely (that's sweat) and feel hot. It is a poor showing of Judo manners to remove the top of your judogi to cool off. Whether actively engaged in practice or not, you must wear your gi properly, not disarranged to help you cool off. ':-o
One of the first things that you should learn is the proper bow and when to use it. The bow is the oriental equivalent of the western custom of shaking hands. In bowing you are showing respect for the sport, the instructors, other judoka and yourself. You should bow when you step on or off the mat, and at the beginning and end of each period of instruction. It is always used when starting and finishing practice.
Leaving the Mat
Once you bow onto the mat for practice you are not to leave without the permission of the instructor. This includes trips to get a drink. You will become thirsty during practice and the instructor may give you a break to get a drink. You should not go to get a drink at any other time without his/her expressed permission.
When lining up, arrange yourselves in order of descending rank. These lines should be as straight as possible. When the instructor or senior student commands "Rei!" please bow. When bowing to your partner upon beginning or ending individual practice the higher ranked player should be on the side of the Joseki.
Another thing you learn early in your Judo instruction is the proper way of sitting. There are two correct positions. The cross-legged Indian style (Anza) is used most often by Westerners. Your hands should rest comfortably in your lap. Sitting on your heels (Seiza position) requires greater flexibility of the legs.
While sitting on the edge of the mat you should never sit down with your legs positioned straight away from your body. Someone might accidentally fall on them and hurt you or themselves. If you are sitting in the proper position you will be able to move quickly and prevent injury to yourself and others. When you are on the edge of the mat you should be paying strict attention to what is happening on the mat. Watching is one of the best ways to learn Judo and avoid getting hurt.
One of the most important reasons for Dojo etiquette is that it provides for the safe practice of everyone. Safety precautions are never regretted. You will soon learn that everything done in the dojo is based upon the principle of Mutual Welfare And Benefit.