Judo was founded in Japan in the late 1880’s by Jigoro Kano. Kano had studied several forms of Jujutsu but eventually settled on one style at an early age. He had dedicated himself and worked his way to a high ranking when the head of the school had died. The school was left in disarray as many students argued over who should take over as head instructor and many other students began to leave preferring to find another more organized school. Eventually Kano took it upon himself to rebuild the school and in doing so the Art of Judo was born. He began to dissect the various techniques of the different forms that he had studied always remembering the bickering of other participants over this technique is better than that one and so forth. Eventually he began to systematize what he felt was the best techniques from each style and omitting the ones he felt were ineffective.
Translated, Jujutsu means “The Gentle Art.” Kano changed the name of his new system to Judo “The Gentle Way,” preferring the concept of Do or Way (as in Path) to the concept of Art. It was his intention to bring back the Samurai concept of Budo to the Martial Arts, which he felt, was now missing in mainstream Jujutsu.
Kano became very much a pioneer for today’s Martial Arts. He is the first to create the colored belt ranking system that most dojo’s use today. Prior to that belts were only white and black and a system of Instructor Certificates were awarded based on proficiency and Mastery, usually no more than four certificates were available to obtain. Kano was also one of the first to teach the arts to women and children in masses as well he turned Judo into an International Sport when he petitioned and was accepted to enter Judo into the Olympic Games.
Judo consists of hip and leg throws, foot sweeps, grappling, joint locks, chokes and submission. Judo utilizes balance and momentum to execute techniques rather than brute force. All of Judo begins with the push pull theory. If the opponent pushes, I will pull. If the opponent pulls, I will push. It is an art of first feeling what the opponent wants to do and then acting accordingly.
Founder of Nikidokai
Hall of Fame Member
Trainer of World Champions