Judo Martial Arts

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FocusGrappling, wrestling, ground fighting
HardnessFull contact
Country of originJapan
CreatorKanō Jigorō
Famous practitionersSee: List of judoka
ParenthoodVarious koryūJujutsu schools, principally Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū, and Kitō-ryū
Ancestor arts
  • Judo is a Japanese martial art and Olympic sport involving using holds and leverage to submit an opponent.
  • The word “judo” can be broken down into two parts: “ju” meaning “gentle,” and “do meaning “way,” which together means, “gentle way.” This judo definition represents one of the martial art’s major concepts, that gentleness controls hardness.
  • Where did judo originate?
  • Judo was founded in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano.
  • As a youth, Kano was small for his age, weak, and often bullied.
  • Because of this, he began studying jiu jitsu at age 17.
  • He devoted himself to his studies, and in just a few short years, found himself besting his instructor.
  • By that time, Kano had developed his own techniques and philosophy, and the martial art he was practicing had naturally evolved from jiu jitsu into judo.
  • Kanō Jigorō, a Japanese educator and athlete, the founder of Judo.
  • Initially, Kano did not set out to develop a new martial art but instead, sought to refine jiu jitsu.
  • However, Kano realized that his style and the fundamental concepts of what he was practicing were indeed different from jiu jitsu and as such, needed a separate name.
  • Kano viewed jiu jitsu (also commonly written as, “jujutsu” or “jujitsu”) as strictly a collection of physical techniques, whereas judo encompassed a philosophy and way of life in addition to specific martial arts techniques.
Descendant artsKosen judo, Bartitsu, Yoseikan Budō, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Sambo, ARB, CQC, Krav Maga, Kapap, Hapkido, Kūdō, MMA, modern Arnis, Luta Livre, shoot wrestling, submission wrestling, Vale Tudo
Olympic sport
  • Kano’s philosophies for judo included:.
  • Maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Mutual welfare and benefit. Softness (or gentleness) controls hardness.
Official website

Judo also has a moral code, which includes the principles of politeness, courage, sincerity, honor, modesty, respect, self-control, and friendship. A famous incident illustrating these principles occurred in 1889 while Kano was traveling aboard a ship bound for Europe. During the voyage, a foreigner made fun of Kano, so Kano threw him down with a judo technique. However, Kano also put his hand under the man’s head so he would not be hurt. The incident also highlights the fact that Kano emphasized safety. Kano took out what he felt were the elements of jiu jitsu that he felt were too dangerous to be practiced safely, such as some of jiu jitsu’s throwing techniques. Judo has what is arguably the most famous American origin story for a martial art. In 1902, Japanese master Yoshiaki Yamashita came to the US to teach martial arts. One of his students was none other than President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s enthusiasm for judo certainly helped boost its popularity. However, the 26th president was not Yamashita’s first Stateside student.

A year prior to his famous White House visit, Yamashita traveled to Seattle, Washington, to teach judo to the son of a wealthy businessman. While exact details are lost to history, Yamashita’s stop in Seattle resulted in the opening of the first judo dojo in the continental US, the Seattle Dojo, which is still operating today, over a century later. Of course, like so many martial arts, there is also a military connection between judo and the United States.

In 1952, military members were among those who formed the first governing body for judo in the US, which would eventually become the United States Judo Association. The Air Force was also among the first to organize local judo groups, with the 15th Air Force Judo Association at March Air Force Base (AFB) forming in 1956. According to the International Judo Federation (IJF), over 40 million people from over 200 countries practice judo, making it the most widely practiced martial art in the world. Judo is also one of the most widely practiced sports in the world, second only to soccer. In the beginning, judo did not have weight classes and in fact, part of what made judo different from jiu jitsu was that smaller practitioners could take down larger ones.

Judo Meaning


However, as the sport became standardized, weight classes were introduced and there are now seven weight classes for both men and women. Judo’s Olympic history began in 1909, when Kano began working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). While Kano was extremely active in the promotion of judo around the world, judo would not become an Olympic sport during his lifetime. Interestingly, judo’s inclusion as an Olympic sport was not a priority for Kano.

In 1936, Kano wrote to a fellow judo master about his feelings on judo in the Olympics saying, “If it be the desire of other member countries, I have no objection. But I do not feel inclined to take any initiative. For one thing, Judo in reality is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact, it is a means for personal cultural attainment.”. However, 26 years after Kano’s death, judo did become an Olympic sport for male competitors at the Tokyo Games in 1964, but women’s judo would not join the Olympic roster until 1992 at the Barcelona Games.

Judo has its own terminology. Practitioners are referred to as “judoka” and uniforms are called “judogi,” or simply, “gi.” The judogi is a required uniform and is extremely important because many judo techniques involve grabbing the judogi. “Kodokan” is another common judo term which means, “a school for studying the way.” Sometimes it can be a bit confusing because “Kodokan” can either refer to the temple where judo was first practiced, or it can refer to Kano’s style of judo, as different types of judo have developed over time including kosen judo, with its emphasis on ground fighting, or even modern Olympic judo, which is sometimes considered a separate style.

Judo moves are broken down into three main categories:. Throwing techniques (nage-waza). These techniques break down further into standing techniques performed with either the hand, hip, foot, or leg, and sacrifice techniques that involve falling on one’s side in order to execute the throw. Grappling techniques (katame-waza). These techniques break down into holding or pinning, strangulation, and joint locks. Striking techniques (atemi-waza). These techniques are only performed during kata (forms). Additionally, techniques called ukemi are also taught. Sometimes referred to as, “break falls,” these techniques teach judokas how to absorb attacks and fall without getting hurt.

Judo practice breaks down into two main categories: randori and kata. Randori means, “free practice.” Partners train by executing and blocking techniques with one another. Randori is sometimes referred to as, “soft sparring,” because it is not hard and fast. Rather, it is a way to safely practice fighting techniques with a partner. Kata are judo’s forms, which are a series of prearranged movements. There are approximately eight to 10 katas, nearly all of which are practiced with a partner. Kata is used as a way to practice and refine techniques, as well as to preserve moves that are no longer practiced in randori and competition.

Celebrity Judo Practitioners

Jigoro Kano and Kyuzo Mifune practicing Judo.

Like many martial arts, practicing judo is a great way to improve physical conditioning. However, it is also very effective at improving mental sharpness and problem solving. During practice and competition, you must be able to adapt and figure out ways to defend an attack or escape a hold. Not only that, but judo is also a way of life. Kano believed in mutual betterment and viewed judo as a way to improve society. When judokas and their instructors follow Kano’s tenants, everyone benefits.

Reykjavík International Games – Judo. Photo by Helgi Halldórsson. Judo’s physical conditioning and Kano’s moral code for judokas make judo an ideal martial art for both kids and adults. In addition, the emphasis on concern for others fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendship among judokas that is invaluable. Beyond that, judo offers ample opportunity for competition and advancement.

Movies featuring Judo

Judo does have a belt system, and it is possible for diligent students to quickly move up in belt rank, at least in the first year or so of training. This can help keep younger judokas motivated. However, it’s important to remember that in martial arts, it’s the journey that’s important, not the belt rank.

To learn more about judo or to find a dojo near you, visit Team USA Judo.

To learn more about the history and practice of martial arts check out the other articles in the Puncher “What is” series on Judo, Boxing, Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Sambo, MMA and more. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for our pro tips and inspirational martial arts stories and be the first to receive Puncher’s fresh content straight to your inbox by signing up for our email newsletter.

About the author: Holly Layman is a writer based in Southern California. She holds a first degree black belt in taekwondo. Judo was founded by Jigoro Kano. As a teen he was bullied at school and so eventually took up Jiu-Jitsu and later became a teacher starting the Kodokan Institute (a place for the study of the way) in 1882. His philosophical way of efficiency and in self improvement created a new art which he named Judo (Japanese meaning ‘Gentle Way’). Competitive Judo has been around since 1899 and is a very popular sport and is normally divided into weight classes.

The World Judo Championships was started in 1956 and it has been a part of the Olympics since 1964 (see Olympic Judo here). Judo’s main focus is on getting your opponent to the ground, by means of a throw or takedown to put your opponent on their back or holding them down until a submission occurs.

The original concept was to be efficient and use minimum effort, allowing you to defeat a bigger and stronger opponent. Judo has lead to many other martial arts, including BBJ and Sambo. Judo itself has many branches and styles. The main body is the International Judo Federation. A practitioner of Judo is known as an ‘Judoka’. The techniques in Judo are called waza and are categorised as nage waza – throwing techniques, katame waza – grappling techniques and even atemi waza – striking techniques.

Family Fun

These are all further sub-divided. Practitioners will usually study throws, trips, takedowns, joint locks, holds, pinning, chokes, break falls and occasionally strikes. Practise of the techniques can be done against a compliant partner, one who allows themselves to be thrown/taken down or a non-compliant partner where they resist the attack/takedown.

Like many other martial arts these techniques can be done in a kata form (pre-arrange set patterns). Heavy cotton uniform (Judogi) – normally white – sometimes blue for one opponent in competitive matches.BeltsUndergarments – especially femalesMat (Tatami). James CagneyMel CBrian JacksChuck NorrisYasmin Le BonSimon Le BonLucille BallPeter SellersGeorge HarrisGuy RitchieTheodore RooseveltVladimir Putin.

Lake Country Judo and Martial Arts was formed in 1981 and offers recreational and competitive judo and other martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Judo Equipment/Gear Used

Lake Country Judo & Martial Arts endeavors to uphold the tradition, respect and discipline of the arts, while making it super fun and safe for all ages!

  • Many students have competed in and won National and International Events, bringing home many medals and trophies.
  • One hour of martial arts burns as many calories as an hour of running, and can give you confidence in a variety of situations, self-discipline and respect for yourself and others.
  • Judo and martial arts improve your discipline, sportsmanship, confidence, power, strength, and flexibility.

All the Sensei’s here wish to remind everyone: “We are not here just to create great martial artists but to create great human beings in society.”.

We offer Kids classes for children ages 4-7 and 8-12. Our classes are open to all skill levels, and are super FUN. Our adult classes (12 & up) are based upon a proven formula. We would love to have you come in and try it out – if you’ve ever considered taking a martial arts class here’s your chance!

Come in a try a FREE Class. Come see why people are raving about Lake Country Judo & Martial Arts! In our classes, you’ll Increase your energy, fitness, discipline and concentration levels as you develop your technique. However, we are more than just a martial arts club: our classes offer a family environment where everyone becomes part of a team, and everyone helps one another!

Read the testimonials about how much FUN it is here!
Nage-waza (投げ技)
throwing techniques
Tachi-waza (立ち技)
standing techniques
Te-waza (手技)
hand techniques
Koshi-waza (腰技)
hip techniques
Ashi-waza (足技)
foot and leg techniques
Sutemi-waza (捨身技)
sacrifice techniques
Ma-sutemi-waza (真捨身技)
rear sacrifice techniques
Yoko-sutemi-waza (橫捨身技)
side sacrifice techniques

Judo Training

amazing coaches! great place for kids to meet lifelong friends and a good place to learn to become bully-proof. highly recommended!" Sensei Kathy has reinvigorated my passion for Judo! All the people at Lake country judo club are great! after taking more than 15 years away from judo I was welcomed in with open arms and only a small amount of time training together was able to secure a silver medal in my first tournament!

High level techniques and high level coaches, mixed with a high level of passion are the ingredients for success!

Lake country judo has all of the above!!! Lake Country Judo club is where it's at folks! The number of Senseis that have dedicated their time to come out and teach the younger athletes is amazing! As a parent, I appreciate the combination of fun, accountability, training and competition opportunity my son receives.

There is strong, multi generational mentorship happening at LCJC which is such an important component to raising well rounded, confident young people.
Katame-waza (固技)
grappling techniques
Osaekomi-waza (抑込技)
holding or pinning techniques
Shime-waza (絞技)
strangulation techniques
Kansetsu-waza (関節技)
Joint techniques (locks)

Judo Techniques

You only have to come once to see that this is a tight knit family who care for, support and encourage one another to reach their full potential!

Brief History and Background of Judo

Kendra Weisbrodt. "I can't say enough good things about Lake Country Judo.

Judo Class Schedule

I look forward to training every day. Every second on the mats is a blessing, laughing at the games in kids class or training with some of my best friends during adult class. I never worry about making a mistake because I know someone will help me. The team feels more like a family. We are always cracking jokes, having fun and learning something new together. I'm supported in my learning and goals on and off the mats and I have NEVER felt better going into a competition, I've got great training partners and PERFECT instruction to help get me there. The love and support at this club is unparalleled and I feel honored every day I get to be in the same room as these people. Michelle Jorgensen. Such an incredible club. Both club owners, Kathy and Chris and all coaches, and blackbelt members are passionate and motivated to teach and listen with so much care for the love and flow of Judo.


Since starting at this club, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

In such a short time this club had already become like family! Everyone is so welcoming and kind to each other . This judo club is very serious about making sure we are great training partners to each other. It’s encouraged to take it easy if you’re recovering from an injury. This is also the club you’ll want to be apart of if you’re wanting to compete and have some of the best judo talent in the Okanagan train you. Soo much heart at this club!

I couldn’t be more proud to be a member! Thank you Lake Country Judo Club!

  • From your newest yellowbelt ninja! Krissy Mulholland. Got to spend time with amazing group of people and compete in my first judo competitions last month. I have always had ton of respect for athletes that have trained judo, I would watch videos or live match’s of their beautiful throws. Extremely thankful for coaches and teammates that were there to provide words of encouragement. An help me feel prepared and confident on the mats.
  • Everyone is supportive and you can tell right away from the positive team atmosphere. I am very happy I found Sensei Kathy, Chris, Aaron and the entire Lake Country Judo team! Jake Vandermeer. Kids Class (4-7):Tuesdays/Thursdays 5:20-6:00. Junior Class (8-12):. Tuesdays/Thursdays 6:00-7:00.
  • Senior Class (12+):Tuesdays/Thursdays 7:00-8:15 Sundays 10:15-noon (Kelowna venue). *COMPETITION CLASS (10+): All the regular class times, plus an extra 2 classes:. Thursdays 8:15-9pm and Fridays 5-6pm. Judo is a Japanese Martial Art that is derived from Jūjutsu. This Martial Art utilises throws and takedowns to bring the opponent to the ground.
  • The Judo practitioner or Jūdōka would then aim to subdue or force their opponent into submission. Way of Gentleness. Joint-locks, Takedowns, Throwing. Sport, Self-defence.
  • The founder of Judo, Kanō Jigorō, was a well-educated man who possessed an excellent academic background. He was subject to wide-spread bullying at school which led him to pursue Jūjutsu.
  • After many years of searching for a Jūjutsu master, Kanō Jigorō was finally successful in training with Fukuda Hachinosuke sensei. On the passing of Fukuda Hachinosuke, Kanō Jigorō continued his training in other dojos until he founded his own Kudokan, “place for teaching the way”, to disseminate his learnings in the form of Judo through Kata and Randori.
  • Kanō Jigorō had begun to include more techniques that were composed of proven scientific principles and planned on reforming the declining art of Jūjutsu. His vision for Judo, however, was to focus his training on improving the body, mind and character of his students.
  • Randori – sparring or free practice. Kata – a set of codified self-defence techniques which are executed in a series of movements. 7 Kata are recognised by the Kodokan:.
  • Randori no Kata – Free Practice forms which comprise of Nage no Kata (Throwing forms) and Katame no Kata (Grappling forms). Kime no Kata – Old style self-defence forms.

Kodokan Goshin Justsu – Modern self-defence forms. Ju no Kata – Forms of “gentleness”. Itsutsu no Kata – The five forms.

  • Koshiki no Kata - Ancient forms. Seiryoku Zen'yō Kokumin Taiiku no Kata - Maximum-efficiency national physical education forms. The objective of Judo is to throw, unbalance or take the opponent to the ground.
  • Once taken to the ground the opponent can either be subdued through a pin or made to submit by applying a joint-lock or choke.
  • Like its predecessor Jūjutsu, Judo is meant for close quarter self-defence and applying the energy of stronger and bigger opponents against themselves. This idea is logically explained in the following situational flow between a Judoka and an opponent who is stronger:.

Brief History

  • If the stronger opponent applies maximum force to the Judoka, the Judoka will be unsuccessful in resisting the opponents attack, even when applying all his or her strength in opposition to the opponent;.

Why Judo?

Judo Basics

Instead of opposing the opponent with force, the Judoka would not resist the opponent by withdrawing his or her body and maintaining balance.

This would cause the opponent to lean forward resulting a loss of balance. The opponent would no longer be capable of exerting force in any other direction due to an unstable foundation. The Judoka would then be in an advantageous position to use the opponent’s instability to execute a throw using the momentum created by the opponent. Judo consists of throws, pins, takedowns, joint-locks and strikes. The primary techniques of the of the Martial Art can be broadly categorised into:. Nage-waza – Throwing. Ne-waza – Groundwork. A defensive technique, known as the “Body Scissors” or Guard is generally employed by the Judoka who finds themselves in a defensive position on the ground. This is done to prevent the opponent above from attacking through strikes and taking full control of the fight. Over and above these throwing and groundwork techniques, striking does feature in Judo Kata and can only be employed during active self-defence situations. An effective throw in Judo takes place in 4 phases which follow one another in quick succession:.

Kuzukshi – Placing the opponent off-balance. Tsukuri – having the body in the correct position to optimally execute the throw. Kake – execution of the throwing technique.

Kime – completion of the throw. Is there any way we can improve upon the details of this martial art? Please Contact Us to let us know. Saturday, 04 December 2021 10:47. A popular martial art and combat sport that is characterised by quick and powerful punches, dynamic footwork and stamina.

Boxing has been included as an Olympic sport since 1904. The sport boasts.. Saturday, 04 December 2021 10:45. Hapkido is a hybrid Martial Art that is characterised by its diverse set of techniques and circular movements. The Martial Art focuses on both long-range and close-range fighting techniques and its.. Wednesday, 01 December 2021 14:08. Kalaripayattu is an ancient Martial Art that originated in Kerala, India. It is thought to be the oldest Martial Art in the world and the predecessor of all Martial Arts. The Martial Art is.. Thank you for taking the time to view Suncoast Warriors Judo Team. I look forward to providing a fun and safe environment for your children to learn and enjoy the sport of Judo. Thank you for taking the time to view Suncoast Warriors Judo Team. I look forward to providing a fun and safe environment for your children to learn and enjoy the sport of Judo. Becky (Cobb) Genereux is a former elite judo athlete that has won multiple National and International judo competitions.

Judo vs. Jiu Jitsu

She has been training in judo for over 35 yrs and has been coaching since she retired from competition in 2004. Coach Becky established Suncoast Warriors Judo Team in 2015, which has already produced multiple athletes on the USA National Junior Point Roster. Ages 6 & up, under 100 lbsMon, Tues, & Thur 6:00-7:00 pm. 100 lbs +Mon, Tues, & Thur 7:00-8:00 pm. Competition JudoWed 6:00-7:00 pmSpecial Class for Competition Team (Instructor Invite Only). No Registration Fee or Contract!

Please contact Coach Becky directly with any questions at 954-599-7138. Judo, meaning the “gentle way” is a modern martial art, combat, and Olympic sport. Judo consists of throwing techniques, grappling, and submissions (submissions will only be taught to students at the appropriate level/age). It is the most practiced martial art around the world. Students will learn to execute various techniques designed to overtake a stronger opponent using the principles of balance, timing, and leverage.

The Martial Art in Practice

Each class will involve exercises to improve physical fitness, agility, and conditioning. This program will promote self-confidence, leadership, and teamwork and will emphasize fun, safety, and mutual respect at all times.

Modern Judo

Whether you are looking for self-defense, an activity that will boost self-esteem, mental and physical development, or just a fun sport for your family to enjoy, Judo is for you! Each class will be 1 hour long. Classes will begin with about 10-15 minutes of stretches and warm up exercises, followed by break falls and roll outs.

Cost of Judo Classes

Judo specific drills and techniques will be taught with some classes focusing more on stand up (throwing techniques) and other classes focusing more on mat work (grappling and submissions).

I like to end each class with a game or contest designed to focus on or highlight the techniques taught throughout that class. Judo is an Olympic sport and there are many opportunities for athletes to compete in tournaments both near and far. Although participation in tournaments will not be mandatory, I highly recommend it for my students once they reach the appropriate level.

adult classes

Competition is a great way to challenge students mentally and physically while testing their skills. It helps to teach the values of persistence, resolve, sportsmanship, and supporting ones teammates.

Weight divisions
MenUnder 60 kg (130 lb; 9.4 st)60–66 kg (132–146 lb; 9.4–10.4 st)66–73 kg (146–161 lb; 10.4–11.5 st)73–81 kg (161–179 lb; 11.5–12.8 st)81–90 kg (179–198 lb; 12.8–14.2 st)90–100 kg (200–220 lb; 14–16 st)Over 100 kg (220 lb; 16 st)
WomenUnder 48 kg (106 lb; 7.6 st)48–52 kg (106–115 lb; 7.6–8.2 st)52–57 kg (115–126 lb; 8.2–9.0 st)57–63 kg (126–139 lb; 9.0–9.9 st)63–70 kg (139–154 lb; 9.9–11.0 st)70–78 kg (154–172 lb; 11.0–12.3 st)Over 78 kg (172 lb; 12.3 st)
My focus will not be on winning, but rather on having fun and doing the best that one can do.

More on Martial Arts

I strongly believe in the importance of finding the courage to compete and the ability to win or lose gracefully, while building strong bonds within the class and experiencing the camaraderie of team support. For Standard 3 Classes Per Week. No Registration Fee or Contract. Our instructors have between 10 to 20 years of experience each including Sensei Bob, Sensei Andre, Sensei Al, Sensei Raymond, and other visiting Judo Coaches.

They take pride in guiding the students through their exercises in each level and always maintain safety as a priority. We do not ask for a contract like most martial arts schools in the area do.

Our prices are reasonable (and usually half the rate) because our priority is to create an accessible and open place to practice and grow in community. Judo: The Gentle Way-Founded in 1882 by renowned Jiu-jitsu master and educator Dr. Kano took the best techniques that did not rely on brute strength to work and took away techniques too dangerous to practice with a resisting opponent and put them in katas (forms) for advanced students to learn.

Today Judo is one of the most popular sports in the world.

The American College Of Sports Medicine reports Judo as the safest contact sport for children in the U.S.A.

There have been changes to the scoring. In January 2013, the Hantei was removed and the "Golden Score" no longer has a time limit. The match would continue until a judoka scored through a technique or if the opponent is penalised (Hansoku-make).

Kids Classes

Two types of penalties may be awarded. A shido (指導 – literally "guidance") is awarded for minor rule infringements. A shido can also be awarded for a prolonged period of non-aggression. Recent rule changes allow for the first shidos to result in only warnings. If there is a tie, then and only then, will the number of shidos (if less than three) be used to determine the winner. After three shidos are given, the victory is given to the opponent, constituting an indirect hansoku-make (反則負け – literally "foul-play defeat"), but does not result in expulsion from the tournament. Note: Prior to 2017, the 4th shido was hansoku-make. If hansoku-make is awarded for a major rule infringement, it results not just in loss of the match, but in the expulsion from the tournament of the penalized player.

Travel for Martial Arts

A number of judo practitioners have made an impact in mixed martial arts.[77][78][79] Notable judo-trained MMA fighters include Olympic medalists Hidehiko Yoshida (Gold, 1992), Naoya Ogawa (Silver, 1992), Paweł Nastula (Gold, 1996), Makoto Takimoto (Gold, 2000), Satoshi Ishii (Gold, 2008), Ronda Rousey (Bronze, 2008), and Kayla Harrison (Gold, 2012 and 2016), former Russian national judo championship Bronze medalist Fedor Emelianenko, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Don Frye, Rick Hawn, Daniel Kelly, Hector Lombard, Karo Parisyan, Ayaka Hamasaki, Antônio Silva, Oleg Taktarov, and Dong-Sik Yoon.[80][81]

Judo History

International judo camp in Artjärvi, Orimattila, Finland

Kano Jigoro's Kodokan judo is the most popular and well-known style of judo, but is not the only one. The terms judo and jujutsu were quite interchangeable in the early years, so some of these forms of judo are still known as jujutsu or jiu-jitsu either for that reason, or simply to differentiate them from mainstream judo. From Kano's original style of judo, several related forms have evolved—some now widely considered to be distinct arts:

  • Kosen judo (高專柔道): Sometimes erroneously described as a separate style of Judo, Kosen judo is a competition rules set of Kodokan judo that was popularized in the early 20th century for use in Japanese Special High Schools Championships held at Kyoto Imperial University.[82] The word "Kosen" is an acronym of Koto Senmon Gakko (高等専門学校, literally "Higher Professional School"). Kosen judo's focus on newaza has drawn comparisons with Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • Russian judo: This distinctive style of judo was influenced by the Russian martial art called Sambo. It is represented by well-known coaches such as Alexander Retuinskih and Igor Yakimov, and mixed martial arts fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Karo Parisyan and Khabib Nurmagomedov. In turn, Russian judo has influenced mainstream judo, with techniques such as the flying armbar being accepted into Kodokan judo.
  • Sambo (especially Sport Sambo): a derivative of Judo combined with wrestling techniques, and striking in case of Combat Sambo. Vasili Oshchepkov was the first European judo black belt under Kano. Oshchepkov went on to contribute his knowledge of judo as one of the three founders of Sambo, which also integrated various international and Soviet bloc wrestling styles and other combative techniques. Oshchepkov died during the political purges of 1937. In their History of Sambo, Brett Jacques and Scott Anderson wrote that in Russia "judo and SOMBO were considered to be the same thing"—albeit with a different uniform and some differences in the rules.[83]
  • Brazilian jiu jitsu developed by the Gracie family, who learnt traditional Kodokan judo from Japanese judoka, Mitsuyo Maeda in 1917.[84]
  • Freestyle Judo is a form of competitive judo practiced primarily in the United States that retains techniques that have been removed from mainstream IJF rules.[85] Freestyle Judo is currently backed by the International Freestyle Judo Alliance (IFJA). The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) officially sanctions Freestyle Judo in the United States of America.[86]
  • Filipino "Pangamot" is a form of competitive judo and mixed martial arts practice where practitioners invite opponents to use an eskrima stick in throwing, grappling, and sparring practice. The most well-known Pangamot training hall is the World Doce Pares Headquarters in Cebu City, Philippines. The head Pangamot instructor between 1955 and 2017 was Judo 8th Dan and Eskrima World Champion, Ciriaco Cañete. American Pangamot instructors include former Army Ranger, Christopher J. Petrilli, mixed martial arts coach Thomas Weissmuller, and UFC Coach, Ray Yee.

Judo also influenced other combat styles such as close-quarters combat (CQC), mixed martial arts (MMA), shoot wrestling and submission wrestling.

About Us

Kano's vision for judo was one of a martial way that could be practiced realistically. Randori (free practice) was a central part of judo pedagogy and shiai (competition) a crucial test of a judoka's understanding of judo.[87] Safety necessitated some basic innovations that shaped judo's development. Atemi waza (striking techniques) were entirely limited to kata (prearranged forms) early in judo's history. Kansetsu waza (joint manipulation techniques) were limited to techniques that focused on the elbow joint. Various throwing techniques that were judged to be too dangerous to practice safely at full force, such as all joint-locking throws from Jujutsu, were also prohibited in shiai. To maximise safety in nage waza (throwing techniques), judoka trained in ukemi (break falls) and practiced on tatami (rice straw mats).[citation needed]

Judo for Kids

The application of joint manipulation and strangulation/choking techniques is generally safe under controlled conditions typical of judo dōjō and in competition. It is usual for there to be age restrictions on the practice and application of these types of techniques, but the exact nature of these restrictions will vary from country to country and from organization to organization.[citation needed]

Judo in the US

Safety in the practice of throwing techniques depends on the skill level of both tori and uke. Inexpertly applied throws have the potential to injure both tori and uke, for instance when tori compensates for poor technique by powering through the throw. Similarly, poor ukemi can result in injury, particularly from more powerful throws that uke lacks the skill to breakfall from. For these reasons, throws are normally taught in order of difficulty for both tori and uke. This is exemplified in the Gokyo(五教, literally "five teachings"), a traditional grouping of throws arranged in order of difficulty of ukemi. Those grouped in Dai ikkyo (第一教, literally "first teaching") are relatively simple to breakfall from whereas those grouped in dai gokyo (第五教, literally "fifth teaching") are difficult to breakfall from.[citation needed]

Olympic Judo

A practitioner of judo is known as a judoka (柔道家). The modern meaning of "judoka" in English is a judo practitioner of any level of expertise,[88] but traditionally those below the rank of 4th dan were called kenkyu-sei (研究生, trainees); and only those of 4th dan or higher were called "judoka". (The suffix -ka (家), when added to a noun, means a person with expertise or special knowledge on that subject).

A judo teacher is called sensei (先生).[88] The word sensei comes from sen or saki (before) and sei (life) – i.e. one who has preceded you. In Western dōjō, it is common to call an instructor of any dan grade sensei. Traditionally, that title was reserved for instructors of 4th dan and above.[89]

class times

The judogi is made from a heavy weave to withstand the stress of throwing and grappling.

Judo practitioners traditionally wear white uniforms called 稽古着 (keikogi, keikogi) practice clothing or jūdōgi (柔道着, judogi, judo clothing)[90] sometimes abbreviated in the west as "gi". It comprises a heavy cotton kimono-like jacket called an uwagi (上衣, jacket), similar to traditional hanten (半纏, workers' jackets) fastened by an obi (帯, obi, belt), coloured to indicate rank, and cotton draw-string zubon (ズボン, trousers).[91] Early examples of keikogi had short sleeves and trouser legs and the modern long-sleeved judogi was adopted in 1906.[92]

The modern use of the blue judogi for high level competition was first suggested by Anton Geesink at the 1986 Maastricht IJF DC Meeting.[93] For competition, a blue judogi is worn by one of the two competitors for ease of distinction by judges, referees, and spectators. In Japan, both judoka use a white judogi and the traditional red obi (based on the colors of the Japanese flag) is affixed to the belt of one competitor. Outside Japan, a colored obi may also be used for convenience in minor competitions, the blue judogi only being mandatory at the regional or higher levels, depending on organization. Japanese practitioners and traditionalists tend to look down on the use of blue because judo is considered a pure sport, and replacing the pure white judogi with the impure blue is an offense.[93]

For events organized under the auspices of the International judo Federation (IJF), judogi have to bear the IJF Official Logo Mark Label. This label demonstrates that the judogi has passed a number of quality control tests to ensure it conforms to construction regulations ensuring it is not too stiff, flexible, rigid or slippery to allow the opponent to grip or to perform techniques.[94]


The international governing body for judo is the International Judo Federation (IJF), founded in 1951. Members of the IJF include the African Judo Union (AJU), the Pan-American Judo Confederation (PJC), the Judo Union of Asia (JUA), the European Judo Union (EJU) and the Oceania Judo Union (OJU), each comprising a number of national judo associations. The IJF is responsible for organising international competition and hosts the World Judo Championships and is involved in running the Olympic Judo events.[95]

Rank and grading[edit]

Two children training in judo techniques

Judo is a hierarchical art, where seniority of judoka is designated by what is known as the kyū (級, kyū) -dan (段, dan) ranking system. This system was developed by Jigoro Kano and was based on the ranking system in the board game Go.[96]

Beginning students progress through kyu grades towards dan grades.

A judoka's position within the kyu-dan ranking system is displayed by the color of their belt. Beginning students typically wear a white belt, progressing through descending kyu ranks until they are deemed to have achieved a level of competence sufficient to be a dan grade, at which point they wear the kuro obi (黒帯, black belt). The kyu-dan ranking system has since been widely adopted by modern martial arts.[97]

The ninth degree black belt kudan, and higher ranks, have no formal requirements and are decided by the president of the Kodokan, Kano Jigoro's grandson Kano Yukimitsu served as the fourth president from 1980 till 2009 and passed away as of March 2020. As an educator by profession, Kanō believed that there should be no end to an individual's learning, and therefore no limit to the number of dan ranks. As of 2011, fifteen Japanese men have been promoted to the tenth degree black belt judan by the Kodokan, one of whom is still alive;[97] the IJF and Western and Asian national federations have promoted another eleven who are not recognized (at that level of rank) by the Kodokan. On 28 July 2011, the promotion board of USA Judo awarded Keiko Fukuda the rank of 10th dan, who was the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level, albeit not a Kodokan-recognized rank.

Although dan ranks tend to be consistent between national organizations there is more variation in the kyū grades, with some countries having more kyū grades. Although initially kyū grade belt colours were uniformly white, today a variety of colours are used. The first black belts to denote a dan rank in the 1880s, initially the wide obi was used; as practitioners trained in kimono, only white and black obi were used. It was not until the early 1900s, after the introduction of the judogi, that an expanded colored belt system of awarding rank was created.[97] Written accounts from the archives of London's Budokwai judo club, founded in 1918, record the use of coloured judo belts at the 1926 9th annual Budokwai Display, and a list of ranked colored judokas appears in the Budokwai Committee Minutes of June 1927. Kawaishi visited London and the Budokwai in 1928, and was probably inspired to bring the coloured belt system to France.[98]


  • Akira Kurosawa, Sanshiro Sugata (姿三四郎, Sugata Sanshirō, a.k.a. Judo Saga), 1943.
  • Akira Kurosawa, Sanshiro Sugata Part II (續姿三四郎, Zoku Sugata Sanshirō, a.k.a. Judo Saga II), 1945.
  • Johnnie To, Throw Down (柔道龍虎榜, Yau doh lung fu bong), 2004.

See also[edit]

  • List of judo techniques, partial list of judo techniques


  1. ^Inman (2005) p. 10
  2. ^The first Olympic competition to award medals to women judoka was in 1992; in 1988, women competed as a demonstration sport. Inman (2005) p. 11
  3. ^ abc"Britannica, "Judo"".
  4. ^ abcde『日本大百科全書』電子版【柔道】(CD-ROM version of Encyclopedia Nipponica, "Judo").
  5. ^『日本大百科全書』の最初の定義文(Encyclopedia Nipponica, first phrases, definition of Judo.)「心身を鍛錬することにより、その力をもっとも有効に使用する道であると同時に、人間形成の道である。」
  6. ^ abKano (2008), p. 11
  7. ^"Kodokan Judo Institute, "What is Seiryoku-Zenyo?"".
  8. ^"Teaching of Kanō Jigorō Shihan"(PDF).
  9. ^"精力善用、自他共栄を英語で学ぶ".
  10. ^"Kodokan Judo Institute, "What is Jita-kyoei?"".
  11. ^Kano (2008) pp. 46–47
  12. ^ abKano (2008) p. 1; Hoare (2009) p. 43
  13. ^ abKano (2008) p. 2
  14. ^Hoare (2009) p. 44
  15. ^Fukuda (2004) p. 145
  16. ^Kano (2008) pp. 3–4; Hoare (2009) pp. 45–47; Fukuda (2004) pp. 145–152. Keiko Fukuda 9th Dan (born 1913) is the granddaughter of Fukuda Hachinosuke, and is the last surviving direct student of Kano: Davis, Simon, Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful - Keiko Fukuda, United States Judo Federation, archived from the original on March 8, 2011, retrieved March 12, 2011
  17. ^Kano (2008) p. 6; Hoare (2009) p. 47
  18. ^Kano (2008), pp. 9–10
  19. ^Kano (2005), p. 23
  20. ^Hoare (2009) pp. 52–53. For location of Eisho-ji temple, see:
    "Way to Eisho-Ji Temple", Kodokan, archived from the original on March 11, 2011, retrieved March 14, 2011
  21. ^Jo is the Japanese unit of area.
  22. ^Kano (2008) p. 20
  23. ^Lowry (2006) p. 49
  24. ^Kano (2005) pp. 39–40
  25. ^For Kano's opinions on the wider applicability of jita kyōei to life see for example, Kano (2008) p. 107
  26. ^Hoare (2009) p. 56
  27. ^"Judo" had been used before then, as in the case of a jujutsu school that called itself Chokushin-ryū Jūdō (直信流柔道, Sometimes rendered as Jikishin-ryū Jūdō), but its use was rare.
  28. ^Daigo (2005) p. 8
  29. ^Numerous texts exist that describe the waza of judo in detail. Daigo (2005); Inokuma and Sato (1987); Kano (1994); Mifune (2004); and Ohlenkamp (2006) are some of the better examples
  30. ^Kano (1994) pp. 45–54
  31. ^Ishikawa and Draeger (1999) p. 179
  32. ^Kano (1994) pp. 42–43; Mifune (2004) pp. 41–43
  33. ^ abKano (1994) p. 44; Mifune (2004) p. 44
  34. ^Takahashi (2005) pp. 39–43
  35. ^ abDaigo (2005) p. 10
  36. ^"All Judo Hand Techniques (Te-Waza)".
  37. ^"All Judo Hip Techniques (Koshi-Waza)".
  38. ^"All Judo Foot Techniques (Ashi-Waza)".
  39. ^For full coverage of katame waza techniques extant in current judo competition rules see Adams (1991), Kashiwazaki (1992) and Kashiwazaki (1997)
  40. ^Koizumi, Gunji. "Ne-waza (Groundwork) and Atemi-waza (blows) in Judo". Judo. Budokwai Judo Quarterly Bulletin. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  41. ^Adams (1991)
  42. ^Otaki & Draeger (1983) pp. 398–405; Kano (1982) pp. 192–203
  43. ^Daigo (2005) p. 9; Harrison (1952) pp. 162–168
  44. ^Ishikawa and Draeger (1999) p. 84
  45. ^Kano (1994) p. 142; Ishikawa and Draeger (1999) p. 84
  46. ^"What is a Kata?". umich.edu. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  47. ^For a review of the ten official Kodokan kata, see Jones and Hanon (2010)
  48. ^Kano (1994) pp. 148–159; Otaki and Draeger, pp. 73–109, 139–266
  49. ^Kano (1994) pp. 160–172; Otaki and Draeger, pp. 110–138, 267–405
  50. ^Kano (1994) pp. 173–191
  51. ^Kano (1994) pp. 192–203
  52. ^Kano (1994) pp. 204–219; Fukuda (2004) pp. 1–144
  53. ^De Crée and Jones (2009a, 2009b, 2009c)
  54. ^Kano (1994) pp. 220–223
  55. ^De Crée (2012) pp. 56–107
  56. ^Kano (1994) pp. 224–238
  57. ^Kano (1994) pp. 239–251
  58. ^De Crée and Jones (2011a, 2011b, 2011c)
  59. ^Fromm and Soames (1982) pp. 71–72, 109
  60. ^Mifune (2004) pp. 211–220
  61. ^De Crée (2015) pp. 155–174
  62. ^Itō (1970) pp. 1–111
  63. ^Cf. Jigoro Kano, Kodokan Judo, Kodansha, USA, 2013, § Tandoku-renshu.
  64. ^ abHoare (2005) pp. 4–7
  65. ^Hoare (2009) p. 109
  66. ^Niehaus, Andreas. 'If You Want to Cry, Cry on the Green Mats of Kôdôkan' in Olympism: The Global Vision, 2013, p. 102.
  67. ^"The Contribution of Judo to Education by Jigoro Kano". Judoinfo.com. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  68. ^Koizumi (1947)
  69. ^Judo is Now Olympic Event, New Japan, vol. 13, pp. 118-119.
  70. ^Black Belt Vol. 2, No. 2. Active Interest Media, Inc. Mar 1964. p. 27.
  71. ^"Judo Rules: Basic Rules of Judo". rulesofsport.com.
  72. ^ abcdefgTakahashi (2005) pp. 18–20
  73. ^"Wide consensus for the adapted rules of the next Olympic Cycle", IJF.org, December 9, 2016, retrieved June 2, 2017
  74. ^"INT. JUDO FEDERATION : IJF Referee Commission : REFEREEING RULES ALTERATIONS : TEST EVENT ON WC JUNIOR BANGKOK'08"(PDF). Judoinfo.com. Archived from the original(PDF) on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  75. ^"Evolution of Judo Contest Rules". Judoinfo.com. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  76. ^"Extended match (e.g. Golden Score Contest) | Judo Channel". Judo-ch.jp. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  77. ^"MMA Fan's Guide to Grappling: Judo". Bloody Elbow. July 15, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  78. ^Fusco, Anthony (August 20, 2012). "Judo "The Gentle Way": Why Judo Is so Underrated in MMA Today". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  79. ^Snowden, Jonathan (April 6, 2012). "The Gentle Way: Strikeforce Champion Ronda Rousey and the Birth of a Judo Star". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  80. ^Snowden, Jonathan (April 11, 2012). "The Gentle Way Part II: Olympians Ronda Rousey and Rick Hawn Adapt to MMA". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  81. ^Erickson, Matt. "Is Ronda Rousey the savior judo has been waiting for?". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  82. ^Kashiwazaki (1997) pp. 14–15
  83. ^"The History of Sombo". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  84. ^Eros, Rildo. "História do Judô". Archived from the original on 2009-02-10.
  85. ^"Judo handbook (PDF)"(PDF).
  86. ^Official website
  87. ^Kano, Jigoro. "The Contribution of Judo to Education". Judoinfo.com. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  88. ^ abInokuma and Sato (1987) p. 253
  89. ^Hill, Robert (2010). World of Martial Arts. 128 Valley Ln London, Kentucky: LuLu Publishing. pp. Chapter 8. ISBN978-0-557-01663-1.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  90. ^Inokuma and Sato (1987), p. 253; Lowry (2006), pp. 35–61
  91. ^Lowry (2006) p. 39
  92. ^Hoare (2005), p. 8
  93. ^ ab"Introduction of the Blue Judogi". International Judo Federation. Archived from the original on September 12, 2007.
  94. ^"Judogi Guidance", International Judo Federation, January 2011, archived from the original on July 20, 2011, retrieved March 11, 2011
  95. ^International Judo Federation, retrieved March 13, 2011
  96. ^"Go Ranks". Mechner. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  97. ^ abcOhlenkamp, Neil (March 25, 2007). "The Judo Rank System". JudoInfo.com. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  98. ^Callan, Mike (May 2015). "History of the Grading System". ResearchGate.com. Retrieved March 6, 2020.


  • Adams, Neil (1991), Armlocks, Judo Masterclass Techniques, London: Ippon Books
  • Cachia, Jeffrey (2009), Effective Judo, Sarasota, FL: Elite Publishing
  • Daigo, Toshiro (2005), Kodokan Judo Throwing Techniques, Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha International
  • De Crée, Carl (2015), "Kōdōkan jūdō's three orphaned forms of counter techniques – Part 3: The Katame-waza ura-no-kata ―"Forms of reversing controlling techniques"", Archives of Budo, 11: 155–174
  • De Crée, Carl (2012), The origin, inner essence, biomechanical fundamentals, and current teaching and performance anomalies of Kōdōkan jūdō's esoteric sixth kata: The Itsutsu-no-kata ―"Forms of five", Rome, Italy: University of Rome
  • De Crée, Carl; Jones, Llyr C. (2009a), "Kōdōkan Jūdō's Elusive Tenth Kata: The Gō-no-kata - "Forms of Proper Use of Force" - Part 1", Archives of Budo, 5: 55–73
  • De Crée, Carl; Jones, Llyr C. (2009b), "Kōdōkan Jūdō's Elusive Tenth Kata: The Gō-no-kata - "Forms of Proper Use of Force" - Part 2", Archives of Budo, 5: 74–82
  • De Crée, Carl; Jones, Llyr C. (2009c), "Kōdōkan Jūdō's Elusive Tenth Kata: The Gō-no-kata - "Forms of Proper Use of Force" - Part 3", Archives of Budo, 5: 83–95
  • De Crée, Carl; Jones, Llyr C. (2011a), "Kōdōkan Jūdō's Inauspicious Ninth Kata: The Joshi goshinhō - "Self-defense methods for females" - Part 1", Archives of Budo, 7: 105–123
  • De Crée, Carl; Jones, Llyr C. (2011b), "Kōdōkan Jūdō's Inauspicious Ninth Kata: The Joshi goshinhō - "Self-defense methods for females" - Part 2", Archives of Budo, 7: 125–137
  • De Crée, Carl; Jones, Llyr C. (2011c), "Kōdōkan Jūdō's Inauspicious Ninth Kata: The Joshi goshinhō - "Self-defense methods for females" - Part 3", Archives of Budo, 7: 137–139
  • Fromm, Alan; Soames, Nicolas (1982), Judo - The Gentle Way, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul
  • Fukuda, Keiko (2004), Ju-No-Kata, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books
  • Harrison, E. J. (1952), Manual of Judo, London: Foulsham
  • Hoare, Syd (2005), "Development of judo competition rules"(PDF), sydhoare.com, archived from the original(PDF) on July 1, 2019, retrieved September 16, 2012
  • Hoare, Syd (2009), A History of Judo, London: Yamagi Books
  • Inman, Roy (2005), The Judo Handbook, UK: Silverdale Books
  • Inokuma, Isao; Sato, Noboyuki (1987), Best Judo, Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha International
  • Ishikawa, Takahiko; Draeger, Donn F. (1999), Judo Training Methods, Boston, Massachusetts: Tuttle Publishing
  • Itō, Kazuo (1970), Jūdō no nage- to katame-no-ura-waza, Tōkyō: Seibunkan Shoten
  • Jones, Llyr C.; Hanon, Michael J. (2010), "The way of kata in Kodokan Judo", Journal of Asian Martial Arts, 19: 8–37
  • Kano, Jigoro (1994), Kodokan Judo, Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha
  • Kano, Jigoro (2005), Naoki, Murata (ed.), Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the founder of Judo, Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha
  • Kano, Jigoro (2008), Watson, Brian N. (ed.), Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano, Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing
  • Kashiwazaki, Katsuhiko (1992), Shimewaza, Judo Masterclass Techniques, London: Ippon Books
  • Kashiwazaki, Katsuhiko (1997), Osaekomi, Judo Masterclass Techniques, London: Ippon Books
  • Koizumi, Gunji (April 1947), "1936 Conversation with Jigoro Kano", Budokwai Bulletin
  • Law, Mark (2007), The Pyjama Game, A Journey Into Judo, London, UK: Aurum Press
  • Lowry, Dave (2006), In the dojo. A guide to the rituals and etiquette of the Japanese martial arts, Boston, MA: Weatherhill
  • Mifune, Kyuzo (2004), The Canon of Judo: Classic teachings on principles and techniques, Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha
  • Ohlenkamp, Neil (2006), Judo Unleashed: Essential Throwing & Grappling Techniques for Intermediate to Advanced Martial Artists, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill
  • Otaki, Tadao; Draeger, Donn F. (1997), Judo Formal Techniques: Complete guide to Kodokan randori no kata (reprint ed.), Clarendon, Vermont: Tuttle Publishing
  • Takahashi, Masao (2005), Mastering Judo, Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics

External links[edit]

  • International Judo Federation (IJF)—The worldwide governing body for judo
  • Kodokan Judo Institute—Headquarters of judo (Kano Jigoro's school)
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