Registered Club No:8212     Tel : 07976 572203




About Judo
Professor Jigoro Kano founded judo in Japan at the end of the 19th century. Judo has evolved from being a martial art into one of the world's most popular sports. Since the 1964 Olympic Games Judo has progressed rapidly and is a popular contest sport. However Judo is more than just a sport, it is an effective educational system in both physical and moral spheres.


Judo training is an ideal form of physical exercise and provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, which improves stamina, general health and overall fitness.


Physical strength is also improved, as is flexibility. Physical co-ordination improves dramatically from participation in Judo and reflexes are also developed together with mental reaction time.


The moral benefits of Judo are a direct result of the transition from martial art to what Kano termed "Do" or "way of life". Kano added a strict code of ethics and a humanitarian philosophy to his system. His Judo instructors and students were expected to be outstanding examples of good character and honest conduct. Contest outside of the training hall or behavior that brought shame to the school would lead to suspension or even expulsion. Kano's ultimate concern for the well-being of both the individual and the community is reflected in his teaching methods and one of Judo's guiding principles is "mutual benefit and prosperity".


He believed that the diligent practice of Judo should lead to the realization that one could not progress at the expense of others; only mutual prosperity offered the key to any real progress in human life.

These principles still underpin the sport today and this can be seen from the respect shown between rival exponents.


Judo is an ideal sport for all ages, sizes and shapes, males or females,and even people that aren't as genetically gifted as others. It is an all year round activity and relatively inexpensive. Confidence and selfesteem increase as a player progresses through the ranks and the nature of the grading system that the next goal is always realistic and achievable with effort. The grading system also ensures that regardless of their skill level all Judo players can actively compete with players of similar ability.


Because of the potentially dangerous nature of the sport, strict discipline is essential and great emphasis is placed on safety, hygiene and etiquette. Safety is controlled by the contest rules, which are constantly updated to exclude harmful actions – this allows Judo to be practiced in a spirited manner without undue risk of harm or injury. Cleanliness is essential due to the close physical contact between players and Judo etiquette instills respect, modesty, politeness and general social skills on all participants.


Contest Judo is derived from techniques that were traditionally used in Japan to kill or severely injure opponents on the battlefield – these techniques have been refined and modified and contest rules have been applied to make them safe. Punching and kicking is not allowed, the object of the contest being to throw the opponent largely onto their back with considerable force and speed – this scores "Ippon" and ends the contest.


Players are taught to fall in such a manner that they land safely, great emphasis is placed on mastering the several methods of breakfalling since this gives players the confidence to participate fully. It is also possible to score Ippon by pinning the opponent to the mat for a period of twenty-five seconds. In addition to the sought after Ippon, smaller scores are given for less successful throws and hold-downs broken before the twenty-five second limit.


There are even benefits in defeat as the judo lays great emphasis on discipline and self-control – it is rare indeed to see a player ungracious in defeat at any level from Club training to International competition. A handshake almost always follows the traditional courteous rei (bow) at the end of a contest and the defeated player, though perhaps disappointed with the result, remains respectful of the winner.


Judo has also been seen to actively reduce bullying, bullies flourish most in uncontrolled environments and the discipline of the Dojo (training hall), removes the bully from their position of power. At the same time they themselves learn discipline and self control, quite often whilst losing to players who were previously a victim of their bullying, this gives them a new perspective and a newfound respect for such players.


A useful spin off from Judo training is that by its nature Judo is an ideal form of self-defence however it must be remembered that no system can ever be regarded the complete self-defence. Judo players often find that physical intervention is never needed since they are not easily intimidated and assailants frequently back down when they observe the confident, calm nature of their target. Because of its close contact Judo helps to develop a keen awareness of danger, however should the

worst come to the worst and a Judoka be forced to physically defend their self it offers better self-defence training at close quarters than any other sport.


Jigoro Kano said: "Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength. By training you in attacks and defenses it refines your body and your soul and helps you make the spiritual essence of judo a part of your very being. In this way you are able to perfect yourself and contribute something of value to the world. This is final goal of judo discipline."