The History of Judo


Judo is a Japanese martial art that originated from Jujutsu. Its creator, Professor Kano, named his training school Kodokan. He created Judo with a basic principle as a main objective: to strengthen the body. This principle carries over into modern martial arts and combat styles.

Kano Jigoro Shihan

Jigoro Kano was an important figure in the history of Judo, and his contribution to the art was immense. He was the official representative of Japan at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, as well as involved in the organization of the Far Eastern Championship Games in Osaka in 1917. He was also a member of the Japanese Council of Physical Education.

As a student at Tokyo University, he was introduced to Jujutsu by his Jujutsu master, Fukuda Hachinosuke. After being repeatedly beaten by local bullies, he made a resolution to become stronger and learn the art. This led to his development of Judo. Though he was only five feet two inches tall and weighed 90 pounds, Kano’s determination and focus led him to develop judo as a form of self-defense.

Kano Jigoro Shihan’s influence

In addition to his involvement in Judo, Kano Jigoro Shihan was a highly successful educator. He spent more than a decade as the president of the Tokyo Higher Normal School before retiring in 1921. His educational philosophy combined traditional Japanese neo-Confucinism with European and American educational philosophy, including evolutionary progressivism.

He stopped wearing his keikogi after turning 60. He lived with his father-in-law, a famous Sinologist named Takezoe Shin-ichiro. After a few years, he and his wife moved to England. There, they became friends and studied Buddhism together.

Kano Shihan’s influence on other modern Japanese martial arts

In his lifetime, Kano Jigoro Shihan helped found the Kodokan Judo organization. During his youth, he studied Jujutsu and other combative arts. He developed a revised body of physical technique that transformed traditional Jujutsu principles of flexibility and power into a more effective, efficient way to use physical and mental energy.

Jigoro Kano died in 1938. Thousands of Judoka consider him their teacher and father. Today, Judo is the most popular martial art in the world.

Kano Shihan’s influence on other combat styles

While the Kano Shihan was renowned for his powerful techniques, his methods were also influenced by other styles. He developed new techniques, including the shoulder wheel, nage waza, and ate waza. The main aim of his training was to improve his own techniques and to expand upon those of the other styles.

Kano’s methods became the basis for many other fighting systems, and his work was soon replacing more aggressive styles of martial arts in Japan. He finished his work in 1920 with the revision of throws known as Gokyo no waza. In 1922, he founded the Kodokan Cultural Judo Society, an association of black belt holders.

Techniques used in judo

Judo is a grappling art, with a variety of techniques used during a match. The judoka’s main aim is to utilize his opponent’s momentum against him. He does not push back but pulls with the opponent to keep him off balance. These techniques are particularly effective against bigger and stronger opponents. Judo techniques can be simple or complex, and can be used individually or as part of a combination.

The techniques used in judo are known as waza. Kansetsu-waza, which involves locking a joint, is particularly useful in contemporary judo. In modern judo, a kansetsu-waza is used against the elbow, but it is possible to perform it with many joints. This method renders the opponent helpless. To learn the techniques, it is best to watch videos of the techniques being performed. Videos are much more effective than static photographs in a book. The University of Judo offers over 800 instructional videos that explain the various techniques.