About Judo

Did You Know?

  • Practice in judo builds self esteem and self confidence, as  well as coordination, balance, strength, stamina, and general fitness.  Judo techniques are a formidable (hopefully  never to be used) form of self defense. 
  • Judo is for girls & women, too.  It is a perfect Title-IX compliant sport,  where competitors of similar skill level can practice together, regardless of  gender, and with equal opportunity for achievement to the highest level  (Olympic & World medals). 
  • Judo is the safest contact sport for children under 13  (study by the American   College of Sports  Medicine). 
  • Judo is an Olympic sport (first introduced in the Tokyo  Games 1964). 
  • The word Judo in Japanese means, “The gentle way”.  As a martial art, it was derived in the  1880’s from Ju Jitsu by removing the violent striking (punching, kicking)  techniques. 
  • Judo is the most widely practiced martial art worldwide. 
  • Judo is the second most practiced sport worldwide, second  only to soccer. 
  • Judo is the second most participated sport (# of countries)  in the Olympic Games, second only to Track & Field. 

History of Judo

Judo evolved out of the fighting system of feudal Japan. Founded in 1882, Judo is a refinement of the   ancient martial art of Ju Jitsu. Judo founder Dr. Jigoro Kano, at the time President of the University of   Education, Tokyo, studied the ancient forms and integrated what he considered   to be the best of their techniques into what is now the modern sport of Judo. He worked to prove that a gentle fighting system (without the violent techniques) was every bit as effective as traditional forms. Furthermore, he developed training and fitness regimens to increase a judoka's performance.

Judo entered many countries from 1902 to the 1930's. In the United States judo   gained an early foothold because of the interest shown by President Theodore   Roosevelt. As an expression of goodwill Kano sent Yoshiaki Yamashita, a high   ranking member of the Kodokan, to America in 1902 to be his personal instructor.   Roosevelt trained regularly ,  and in due course a room was set aside   at the White House for judo purposes. It was thirty-odd years, however, before   an American reached dan grade in the USA itself. Clubs were set up in Seattle in   1903 and Los Angeles in 1915.

The first World Championships in Judo were held in Tokyo in 1956, and again in 1958. The first World Championships to be held outside Japan were in Paris in 1961. The first Olympic event for Judo was as an exhibition sport in the Tokyo games of 1964, which was also the first introduction of weight classes for a world-level event. The first medal event for Judo was the Munich games of 1972.

World Championships for women in Judo were introduced in 1981 in New York. Women's Judo entered the Olympics in the Barcelona games of 1992. Currently, both women and men have the same number of weight classes in both the World Championships and the Olympics, as well as equal competition opportunity in the many world cup events annually.

Judo is an ideal sport for all ages, males or females and attracts  many   disability groups. Confidence and self-esteem are enhanced as a player   progresses through the ranks and the very nature of the grading system ensures   that the next goal is always realistic and achievable with effort. The grading   system also ensures that regardless of their skill level all Judo players can   actively compete with players of similar ability and hence they have a   reasonable chance of emerging victorious.