In 1882, Dr Jigoro Kano (The Father of Judo) studied ancient forms of self-defence and chose the best of these forms to create a sport which is known as Kodokan Judo. The term Kodokan means “a place to study the way” and the term Judo means “the gentle way”.
Judo is a dynamic combat sport that demands both physical prowess and great mental discipline. From a standing position, judo involves techniques that allow you to lift and throw your opponents onto their backs. On the ground, it includes techniques that allow you to pin your opponents down to the ground, control them, and apply various chokeholds or joint locks until submission.
Judo originated in Japan as a result of the various martial arts developed and used by the samurai and feudal warrior class over hundreds of years. Although many of the techniques of judo originated from arts that were designed to hurt, maim, or kill opponents in actual field battles, the techniques of judo were modified so that judo students can practise and apply these techniques safely and without hurting opponents:
- Judo does not involve kicking, punching, or striking techniques of any kind.
- Judo does not involve the application of pressure against the joints to throw an opponent.
- Judo involves no equipment or weapons of any sort.
Instead, judo simply involves two individuals who, by gripping the judo uniform (judogi), use the forces of balance, power, and movement to attempt to subdue each other. In its simplicity, however, lies its complexity, and mastery of even the most basic of judo techniques often takes considerable time, effort, and energy, involving rigorous physical and mental training.
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