Judo | Fighting Styles


Judo, which means “the gentle way”, refers to a contemporary Japanese combat sport and martial art, which originated in 19th century Japan. Its most important feature would be its element of competition, where the objectives are to throw an opponent down, immobilize him, subdue him with grappling maneuvers, or force him into submission through elbow joint locks or chokes. Thrusts and strikes with the feet and hands, along with weapon defenses, are part of judo, as long as they are in forms that are pre-arranged. However, they are prohibited from free practice and judo competitions.

“Ju” means gentleness, flexibility or agility. It also implies a connection between the body and mind. “Do” means path, road or principle. Therefore, a rough translation of “judo” could be “mental and physical principles of coordination along with special types of agility”.

Using “ju” within such contexts would be an explicit reference to soft principles of martial arts, which is mainly characterized by indirect applications of force in order to defeat opponents. Even more specifically, it refers to principles of making use of the opponent’s strength and using it against him while adapting to ever-changing circumstances.

Ultimately, judo philosophies and its following pedagogies turned into models for practically every contemporary Japanese martial art that was developed from its traditional schools. People who practice judo are known as judoka. The “ka” suffix refers to a person who has special knowledge and expertise on a certain subject. When it comes to judo, however, expertise isn’t necessarily implied.

Judo happens to be a lot of things to various people. It can be a fun sport, a discipline, an art, a social or recreational activity, a means of combat or self-defense, a fitness program, or a complete way of life – if not a combination of all of this.

Judo can be a personal style but is also a school that stems from jujitsu, the well-known Japanese martial art whose essence is empty-handed combats by the Samurai. Kodokan judo stems from a system of fighting from feudal Japan. Founded by Dr. Jigoro Kano in 1882, judo happens to be a refined version of the ancient jujutsu martial art. Dr. Kano studied such ancient forms and put to use what he thought were the best tactics of it into today’s sport of judo.

Kano viewed jujutsu as a bag of tricks that was completely disconnected and wanted to unify it through the right principles. Tactics of jujutsu that solely depended on great strength were either completely discarded or simply adapted to favor the ones that were involved in redirecting the force of the opponent, setting him off balance, or using superior leverage.

Judo became a part of the Olympic Games in the year 1964 and is practiced today by millions of people all around the world. Judo practitioners do so to stay in good shape, excel within competitions and develop overall self-confidence. Most people do it just for fun.

Judo is most popular for its great tactics of throwing, though it also involves some ground grappling, special control holds, pins, choking tactics and arm locks. Judo focuses greatly on safety and complete physical activity for the ultimate kind of conditioning.

Judo is practiced on specific mats that are made for safety and comfort. What makes judo one-of-a-kind is the fact that every age group, any gender, and even disabled people can partake in practicing and learning about this sport. Judo happens to be a cheap activity that can be practiced all year round and appeals to every person from any walk of life. A lot of people who are older than 60 still enjoy this sport, as do younger girls and boys.

Judo develops one’s respect and self-discipline for oneself, as well as others. It offers the means to learn concentration, self-confidence, and skills of leadership, along with flexibility, physical coordination, and power. As an evolved form of fighting, it also develops total body control, quick reflexes and ultra fine balance. Most of all, it develops sharp reactions of the mind and body. Plus, judo training provides people with an effective system of self-defense whenever needed.

Judo may literally mean “gentle”, but its competitions happen to be highly demanding and extremely rough. Although its regulation time within Olympic matches or World Championships only stands at five minutes, participants are always left exhausted. When a tie happens, matches have to go into overtime, known as the Golden Score, and last another five minutes.

Since judo competitions do not allow punching and kicking like other martial arts do, it always looks much friendlier. Because of this, judo has become underrated as a self-defense method, even though its advanced katas do make use of defenses against punching, kicking, and armed tactics. Additionally, although throws onto soft mats may seem graceful and light, their practical applications on actual surfaces could prove to be very harmful. Even within controlled environments of matches or dojo trainings, injuries could easily happen because of concentration lapses or overzealous tactic applications.

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