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What is Judo?

Discover the history and origins of the martial art known as the 'Gentle Way'

The Origins of Judo
Judo, derived from Jujitsu, was created by Professor Jigoro Kano in 1882. After mastering several styles of jujutsu, Kano developed his own system, emphasizing modern sports principles. This led to the founding of the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, which remains the international authority for Judo to this day.

Meaning and Philosophy
The term "Judo" translates to "the gentle way." Kano focused on the educational value of judo training, advocating for it as a way of life accessible and beneficial to all. He refined traditional jujitsu techniques and training methods to allow for full-force execution without causing injury, emphasizing the mental, moral, and character development alongside physical training.

The Rise to Popularity
Judo's popularity surged following a landmark victory in 1886 by the Judo team over the foremost jujitsu school in a contest hosted by the Tokyo police. This victory led to judo becoming part of the Japanese physical education system and marked the beginning of its global spread.

Judo in the Olympics
In 1964, men's Judo was incorporated into the Olympics, becoming the only eastern martial art to be an official medal sport. Women's Judo competition followed in 1992, further solidifying its status on the international sports stage.

The Practice and Principles of Judo
Judo is practiced on mats and includes throws, grappling, pins, strangles, and arm locks. It's often compared to wrestling but maintains its unique combat forms. The principles of yielding, leverage, balance, efficiency, momentum, and control are central to judo training, reflecting its roots in scientific and educational foundations.

Judo for Everyone
Judo is renowned for being a safe and enjoyable sport for children and adults alike. It offers various forms of training to cater to different interests, including competition, traditional art, self-defence, and recreational practice. The comprehensive approach to learning in Judo encompasses all these aspects, making it a well-rounded choice for physical and mental development.

Governance and Organization
Reflecting its modern origins, Judo is organized under a single international governing body, the International Judo Federation (IJF), ensuring consistent standards and practices worldwide.

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