“Gentle way” is the literal translation of an East Asian martial art form known as Judo. This “grappling” form of combat is said to have originated from Japan, and was developed by an athlete named Kano Jigoro. Furthermore, Judo was initially categorized as “modern martial art” that gradually evolved into an Olympic sport. In addition, the philosophy of this form of combat actually became the framework for many other martial art styles. An individual who practices the art of Judo is known as “Judoka”.
a. History/origin of Judo:
According to the cultural history of Japan, it was an athlete born into a wealthy family named Kano Jigoro who created this form of combat. Apparently, it was during the 1868 Meji Restoration era that Kano was looking for a master who could teach him jujutsu. Unfortunately, it was during this period that no one was willing to teach jujutsu since it had become unfashionable in a Japanese society that had increasingly become westernized. After years of struggle he was eventually referred to Fukuda Hachinosuke, a teacher belonging to jujutsu school known as “Tenjin Shin’yō-ryū”. Furthermore, he then decided to continue his training in yet another jujutsu school that was led by a master named Iso Masatomo. It was after Iso’s death that Kano then studied in a school led by Iikubo Tsunetoshi. It was thus combining the knowledge he acquired from jujutsu masters such as Fukuda, Iso, and Iikubo that he created “Judo” as a “grappling” form of combat.
b. Weapon used in the judo:
The “hands and feet” of the fighter is mainly used as a weapon in this combat form.
c. Technique involved in the Judo and training availability:
In terms of technique, Judo comprises of three types, and they are as follows:
- Katame-waza: Basically comprises of “grappling” technique. In addition, this technique basically involves the fighter attempting to “pin” down an opponent to the ground. Furthermore, this technique is also used by the fighter to cause pain to the opponent by manipulating the joints.
- Atemi-waza: Basically involves techniques that help the fighter strike at the vital points of the opponent’s body.
- Nage waza: Essentially involves throwing technique. It involves a fighter attempting to “throw or trip” an opponent on the ground. This technique is further divided into three parts. They are as follows:
- Kuzushi: Is what is called the initial balance break.
- Tsukuri: This part involves the fighter fitting in an opponent into a throw.
- Kake: This is the last part and involves executing the throwing of the opponent on to the ground.
As for training centers/schools, there are a number available all around the world for those interested in learning the “grappling” form of martial art.