What Is Judo?
Judo originated in Japan over a hundred years ago from the ancient martial art of jujutsu, the method of unarmed combat used by the samurai. The founder of Judo, Jigaro Kano, developed the martial art so that its throwing and grappling techniques could be taught and practised without injury to practitioners. Judo was adopted by the Tokyo Police after Judo defeated all other takers in a tournament between the various martial arts. These days, Judo is an Olympic sport and is widely incorporated in many self defence programmes.
In practice, Judo is a real fighting sport where you actually come to grips with your opponent involving close-in fighting, but without the use of striking and kicking techniques. It emphasises free-form practice rather than rigid, repetitive routines. This freedom of expression provides both interest and enjoyment, and a challege for any tactician! Judo techniques also include many used by other disciplines such as Wrestling, Sambo, and Brazilian Jujitsu.
The basic techniques of Judo are divided into throwing and grappling techniques. The objective of a throw is to bring your opponent onto their back with force and control. A beginner at Judo will be taught how to protect oneself when thrown to the ground by executing a breakfall which will enable a person to fall without injury. Grappling techniques tend to be used when not in a standing position and comprise immobilizations, strangles and joint locks.
The benefits of Judo are numerous. Apart from having a lot of fun, male and females participants will develop confidence, coordination and balance, fitness, strength and flexibility as well as self preservation and defence.