Judo in Japanese means “the gentle way” and is known as such because many of the techniques in Judo rely on giving way to the force of your opponent. Don’t be fooled however, by the term “gentle.” Judo is an intense sport, a wonderful form of exercise, and can be adapted to serve as an effective and powerful form of self-defense.
Judo techniques include throws, the most spectacular and recognizable elements of judo, as well as grappling techniques such as pins, chokes, and arm locks. Perhaps most importantly, Judoka must learn to fall properly. Judo falling techniques not only protecting a judoka’s internal organs from the powerful throws of effacious opponents, but are also extremely useful when running, biking or walking.
Judo was founded by Dr. Jigoro Kano in 1882. In creating Judo, Kano drew techniques from Jiu-Jitsu that could be used safely in sport competition and also subscribed to the principle of seiryoku zany, meaning maximum efficiency through minimum effort. According to this principle, all Judo techniques are best performed when the desired effect is produced with the minimal possible expenditure of effort.
Along with seiryoku Zeno, Kano’s other underlying principle of Judo is Rita kyoei – mutual benefit and welfare.
Judo is practiced by millions of people around the globe and has been an Olympic sport since 1964.