Judo History

Judo, "the gentle way", is a perfect example of skill over brute strength as it teaches you how to use your opponents weight against them.  So although a woman may feel intimidated by a taller male opponent, though the skilful application of close-quarter throws, strangles and holds she can overpower him.  It's easy to see why this discipline produces self-confidence and is a great way of letting off steam.

It also makes sense that judo was invented to combat bullying at school.  In 1882 in Japan, Jigoro Kano founded a judo academy after years of studying other martial arts to discover the most efficient way of deterring his playground enemies.  Initially judo was pooh-poohed by other martial artists until, in 1886, Tokyo's police force held a martial arts tournament and judo techniques came out on top.  Recently, judo has been the most widely practiced of martial arts outside China, so a "kai" or judo club is usually easy to find locally.

Essentially, the judo student, or "judoka", learns three groups of techniques - standing, ground and vital-point techniques (known as "tachi waza", "katane waza" and "atemi waza").  Training mostly comprises sparring with a partner.  Judo is now respected throughout the world and is an official Olympic sport with strict rules and regulations so that all participants safety is paramount whilst still a thoroughly  enjoyable recreational activity.

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