Brief Overview of Judo

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Judo Is Originated from Jujutsu
Judo is a Japanese sport established in 1882 by Jigoro Kano, based on Japanese traditional martial art “Jujutsu”. In Meiji period, Judo became widespread to the police and schools in Japan, and now it is recognized as an international sport.

Judo Became Worldwide Popular Sport
Judo is very popular around the world. Only in France, it has more than 500,000 players. International Judo Federation (IJF) has now 199 member nations, and it is said that Judo has more than 50,000,000 players around the world.

Judo Is the Oldest Martial Art that Became an Olympic Sport
Proceeding with the organization and enacting the regulations of Judo, Jigoro Kano became the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee in 1909, and worked for the spread of Judo world-wide. Judo became an official event in the Olympic Games of Tokyo in 1964, backed by Judo fans and sport promoters all over the world.

Tomoe-nage in Judo match
Tomoe-nage in Judo match
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Video Contents
1. This is Judo 2015 (6:26)
2. Documentary of Judo (38:45)
3. Documentary of Art of Judo (27:16)
4. This is Judo 2014 (6:45)

History of Judo and Jujutsu

judo HistoryBefore the Edo Period
There already existed some martial arts, such as "kumiuchi" (grappling) used for a battle, and "torite" (catching hand) used for capturing a person. The name jujutsu began to be used from the Edo period.

In the Early Edo Period
After the Sengoku period (the Warring States period), Jujutsu techniques was developed, and they began to be influenced by the philosophy of "Zen" (a sect of Buddhism, which emphasizes focusing one's mind) and oriental medical science. From the Edo period, some ryuha (schools) of the martial arts began to call their own techniques jujutsu, judo, or yawara, partly because they wanted to say their techniques were not just forcible ones; the schools were, for example, Sekiguchi Shin Shin-ryu, Yoshin-ryu, and Kito-ryu (also called Ryoishinto-ryu).

Around the Last Days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Edo Period
judo KataAs the knight-errantry (samurai-erranty) became popular, exchanges and matches between schools became active, and techniques for "randori" (freestyle practice) done with bare hands began to be devised. And randori was regarded as a substitute and a training for kumiuchi. These techniques of randori are the origin of today's judo's randori and matches.

In Meiji Period
After many jujutsu teachers lost their positions of an instructor at a clan in the early Meiji period due to the end of samurai period, jujutsu became popular in local villages and other places nationwide, and it was loved like a kind of entertainment. In local areas where jujutsu was especially popular, several practice schools existed in a single village and most young people there became the pupils, various historical records say.

Appearance of "Kodokan Judo"
Kodokan judo, which originated from Tenjin Shinyo-ryu (Tenjin Shinyo school of jujutsu) and Kito-ryu (Kito school of jujutsu) was established. Kodokan judo spread nationwide firstly because it was formally adopted by the Tokyo Police Department for the victory in the match to decide the school to be adopted, and secondly because it made inroads into the school education. In the early days of Kodokan judo, there were many people who came from jujutsu, including those of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu, and people in jujutsu simply regarded Kodokan judo as a new branch of jujutsu; many people in jujutsu were invited on the opening date of Kodokan Judo Institute. In the later Meiji period, as Kodokan judo spread nationwide, jujutsu practice schools which held their matches in the rules of Kodokan judo also increased.

judo History

In the Taisho and Showa Periods
Generally, jujutsu is thought to have gone into decline immediately after judo became popular in the Meiji period, but as mentioned above, the decline of koryu jujutsu was not so drastic. Actually, jujutsu was actively practiced in local areas until the time of World War Ⅱ, and around the Taisho period, many schools were still prosperous having their own pupils. Jujutsu went further into decline firstly because the practice was halted owing to World War Ⅱ and Japan's defeat in the war, and secondly because many jujutsu successors were killed in the war.

judo HistoryEven today, plural schools' traditional techniques of jujutsu still exist. Few people take notice of jujutsu, because various other sports' competitions become popular, including the modern martial arts, such as judo and karate (the traditional Japanese martial art mainly used for self-defense, whose basic techniques are "uchi" [arm strikes], "tsuki" [thrusts] and "keri" [kicks]). And some successors stop teaching the koryu jujutsu, saying the world does not need its dangerous techniques any more. In this way, jujutsu becomes dinosaurs on the whole, but some schools gradually come back.

Judo Masters in Meiji period
Judo Masters in Meiji period

Techniques of Judo

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Two Most Known Techniques of Judo
There are three basic categories of techniques in judo: nage-waza (throwing techniques), katame-waza (grappling techniques) and atemi-waza (striking techniques). Judo is most known for nage-waza and katame-waza. Judo practitioners typically devote a portion of each practice session to ukemi (break-falls), in order that nage-waza can be practiced without significant risk of injury. Several distinct types of ukemi exist, including ushiro ukemi (rear breakfalls); yoko ukemi (side breakfalls); mae ukemi ( front breakfalls); and zenpo kaiten ukemi ( rolling breakfalls).

Nage-waza(throwing techniques) consist of two categories of techniques;
Tachi-waza (standing techniques) and Sutemi-waza (acrifice techniques). Frthermore, Tachi-waza (standing techniques) consist of three sub-categories of techniques; Te-waza (hand techniques), Koshi-waza (hip techniques), and Ashi-waza (foot and leg techniques).

Katame-waza (grappling techniques) consist of three categories of techniques;
Osaekomi-waza (holding or pinning techniques), Shime-waza (strangulation techniques), and Kansetsu-waza (Joint techniques (locks)).

Judo Techniques of Gokyo-no-Waza
Judo Techniques of Gokyo-no-Waza

Pedagogy of Judo

Randori (free practice)
Judo pedagogy emphasizes randori (literally "taking chaos", but meaning "free practice"). This term covers a variety of forms of practice, and the intensity at which it is carried out varies depending on intent and the level of expertise of the participants. At one extreme, is a compliant style of randori, known as Yakusoku geiko (prearranged practice), in which neither participant offers resistance to their partner's attempts to throw. A related concept is that of Sute geiko (throw-away practice), in which an experienced judoka allows himself to be thrown by his less-experienced partner. At the opposite extreme from yakusoku geiko is the hard style of randori that seeks to emulate the style of judo seen in competition. While hard randori is the cornerstone of judo, over-emphasis of the competitive aspect is seen as undesirable by traditionalists if the intent of the randori is to "win" rather than to learn.

Randori is usually limited to either tachi waza (standing techniques) or ne waza (ground work) and, when one partner is thrown in tachi waza randori, practice is resumed with both partners on their feet.

Kata (forms)
Kata (Forms) are pre-arranged patterns of techniques and in judo, with the exception of the Seiryoku-Zen'yō Kokumin-Taiiku, they are all practised with a partner. Their purposes include illustrating the basic principles of judo, demonstrating the correct execution of a technique, teaching the philosophical tenets upon which judo is based, allowing for the practice of techniques that are not allowed in randori, and to preserve ancient techniques that are historically important but are no longer used in contemporary judo.

There are more than 10 kata that are recognized and practiced by Judo practitioners:

  • Randori-no-kata (Free practice forms), comprising two kata:
    Nage-no-kata (Forms of throwing) Fifteen throws, practiced both left- and right-handed, three each from the five categories of nage waza: te waza, koshi waza, ashi waza, ma sutemi waza and yoko sutemi waza.
    Katame-no-kata (Forms of grappling or holding). Fifteen techniques in three sets of five, illustrating the three categories of katame waza: osaekomi waza, shime waza and kansetsu waza.
  • Kime-no-kata (Forms of decisiveness). Twenty techniques, illustrating the principles of defence in a combat situation, performed from kneeling and standing positions. Attacks are made unarmed and armed with a dagger and a sword. This kata utilises atemi waza, striking techniques, that are forbidden in randori.
  • Kodokan goshinjutsu (Kodokan skills of self-defence). The most recent recognised kata, comprising twenty-one techniques of defence against attack from an unarmed assailant and one armed with a knife, stick and pistol. This kata incorporates various jujutsu techniques such as wrist locks and atemi waza.
  • Ju-no-kata (Forms of gentleness & flexibility). Fifteen techniques, arranged in three sets of five, demonstrating the principle of Jū and its correct use in offence and defence.
  • Go-no-kata (Forms of force). One of the oldest kata, comprising ten forms that illustrate the efficient use of force and resistance. Now rarely practiced.
  • Itsutsu-no-kata (The five forms). An advanced kata, illustrating the principle of seiryoku zen'yō and the movements of the universe. Recent research has shown that this kata, unlike what often has been claimed, was not created by Kano, but similar to Koshiki-no-kata, it was merely imported into judo after Kano slightly amended it. The kata predates the creation of Kodokan and comes from Tenjin Shinyō-ryu.
  • Koshiki-no-kata (Traditional forms). Derived from Kito-ryu Jujutsu, this kata was originally intended to be performed wearing armour. Kano chose to preserve it as it embodied the principles of judo.
  • Seiryoku Zen'yō Kokumin Taiiku (Maximum-efficiency national physical education). A series of exercises designed to develop the physique for judo.
  • Joshi-goshinho (Methods of self-defence for women). An exercise completed in 1943, and of which the development was ordered by Jiro Nango, the second Kodokan president.
  • Go-no-sen-no-kata. A kata of counter techniques developed at Waseda University in Tokyo, popularised in the West by Mikinosuke Kawaishi.
  • Nage-waza-ura-no-kata. Another kata of counter techniques, created by Kyuzo Mifune.
  • Katame-waza ura-no-kata (Forms of reversing controlling techniques). A kata of counter-attacks to controlling techniques, attributed to Kazuo Ito.
Randori Practice in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police
Randori Practice in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police

Judo As Competition

History of Competitive Judo
Shiai or Jiai with rendaku (Contest) is a vitally important aspect of judo. Early examples include the Kodokan Tsukinami jiai (Monthly Tournament) and the biannual Kohaku jiai (Red and White Tournament), both of which started in 1884 and continue to the present day.

In 1899, Kano was asked to chair a committee of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai to draw up the first formal set of contest rules for jujutsu. These rules were intended to cover contests between different various traditional schools of jujutsu as well as practitioners of Kodokan judo. Contests were 15 minutes long and were judged on the basis of nage waza and katame waza, excluding atemi waza. Wins were by two ippons, awarded in every four-main different path of winning alternatives, by "Throwing", where the opponent's back strikes flat onto the mat with sufficient force, by "Pinning" them on their back for a "sufficient" amount of time, or by Submission, which could be achieved via "Shime-waza" or "Kansetsu-waza", in which the opponent was forced to give himself or herself up or summon a referee's or corner-judge's stoppage. Finger, toe and ankle locks were prohibited. In 1900, these rules were adopted by the Kodokan with amendments made to prohibit all joint locks for kyu grades and added wrist locks to the prohibited kansetsu-waza for dan grades. It was also stated that the ratio of tachi-waza to ne-waza should be between 70% to 80% for kyu grades and 60% to 70% for dan grades.

In 1916, additional rulings were brought in to further limit kansetsu waza with the prohibition of ashi garami and neck locks, as well as do jime. These were further added to in 1925, in response to Kosen judo (Kosen judo), which concentrated on ne waza at the expense of tachi waza. The new rules banned all remaining joint locks except those applied to the elbow and prohibited the dragging down of an opponent to enter ne waza.

The Zennihon judo senshuken taikai (All-Japan Judo Championships) were first held in 1930 and have been held every year, with the exception of the wartime period between 1941 and 1948, and continue to be the highest profile tournament in Japan.

Judo's international profile was boosted by the introduction of the World Judo Championships in 1956. The championships were initially a fairly small affair, with 31 athletes attending from 21 countries in the first year. Competitors were exclusively male until the introduction of the Women's Championships in 1980, which took place on alternate years to the Men's Championships. The championships were combined in 1987 to create an event that takes place annually, except for the years in which Olympic games are held. Participation has steadily increased such that, in the most recent championships in 2011, 871 competitors from 132 countries took part.

Judo became an Olympic sport for men in the 1964 Games in Tokyo. The Olympic Committee initially dropped judo for the 1968 Olympics, meeting protests. Dutchman Anton Geesink won the first Olympic gold medal in the open division of judo by defeating Akio Kaminaga of Japan. The women's event was introduced at the Olympics in 1988 as a demonstration event, and an official medal event in 1992. Paralympic judo has been a Paralympic sport (for the visually impaired) since 1988; it is also one of the sports at the Special Olympics.

Current International Contest Rules
The traditional rules of judo are intended to provide a basis upon which to test skill in judo, while avoiding significant risk of injury to the competitors. Additionally, the rules are also intended to enforce proper Reigi (etiquette).

Penalties may be given for: passivity or preventing progress in the match; for safety infringements for example by using prohibited techniques, or for behavior that is deemed to be against the spirit of judo. Fighting must be stopped if a participant is outside the designated area on the mat.

Scoring of the Competition
A throw that places the opponent on his back with impetus and control scores an Ippon, winning the contest. A lesser throw, where the opponent is thrown onto his back, but with insufficient force to merit an ippon, scores a Waza-ari. Two scores of Waza-ari equal an Ippon Waza-ari Awasete Ippon. A throw that places the opponent onto his side scores a Yuko. No amount of yukos equal a waza-ari, they are only considered in the event of an otherwise tied contest.

Ippon is scored in ne-waza for pinning an opponent on his back with a recognised osaekomi-waza for 20 seconds or by forcing a submission through shime-waza or kansetsu-waza. A submission is signalled by tapping the mat or the opponent at least twice with the hand or foot, or by saying Maitta (I surrender). A pin lasting for less than 20 seconds, but more than 15 seconds scores waza-ari and one lasting less than 15 seconds but more than 10 seconds scores a yuko.

If the scores are identical at the end of the match, the contest is resolved by the Golden Score rule. Golden Score is a sudden death situation where the clock is reset to match-time, and the first contestant to achieve any score wins. If there is no score during this period, then the winner is decided by Hantei, the majority opinion of the referee and the two corner judges.

There have been changes to the scoring. In January 2013, the Hantei was removed and the "Golden Score" no longer has a time limit. The match would continue until a judoka scored through a technique or if the opponent is penalised (Shido).

Penalties of the Competition
Minor rules infractions are penalised with a Shido (literally "guidance"). This is treated as a warning and anything up to three shido make no contribution to the overall score. A fourth shido or serious rules violation yields a Hansoku Make (literally "foul-play defeat"), resulting in disqualification of the penalised competitor.

Formerly, there were two additional levels of penalty between shido and hansoku make: Chui (literally "caution"), equivalent to a Yuko and Keikoku (literally "warning") equivalent to waza-ari.

Representation of Scores
Judo scoreboards show the number of waza-ari and yuko scores scored by each player. (A score of koka was also displayed until its use was abandoned in 2009.) Often an ippon is not represented on the scoreboard, because upon award of an ippon the match is immediately terminated. Some computerized scoreboards will briefly indicate that an ippon has been scored.

Scoreboards normally also show the number of penalties imposed on each player, and sometimes the number of medical visits for each. (Only two "medical" attentions are allowed for each competitor during a match—most often for minor bleeds.)

Electronic scoreboards also usually include timers for measuring both competition time and osaekomi time.

Judo in Olympic match
Judo Match in the Olympic Game

Judo and Jujutsu in the World

Judo in Olympic

Judo and Jujutsu Became Worldwide Famous
Since the Meiji period, judo and jujutsu have spread to foreign countries. Before Kodokan judo became popular in foreign countries, many jujutsu artists went there. So many schools of jujutsu were introduced there, such as Shinto Rokugo-ryu, Fusen-ryu, Sekiguchi-ryu, Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu, and Shinto Yoshin-ryu. At present, those foreign countries have many jujutsu schools of their own, such as Danzan-ryu and Kajukenbo in Hawaii, based on the original one. And there also exist many jujutsu schools that are handed down in foreign countries with their original names unchanged, such as Ryoi Shinto-ryu, Sekiguchi Shin Shin-ryu, Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu, Takeuchi-ryu, Takeuchi Oie-ryu, Takeuchi Hangan-ryu, Shinto Yoshin-ryu and Sosuishi-ryu. Moreover, many jujutsu schools nowadays have their branch practice schools abroad. And even the schools that seem to end their lives in Japan today are found alive in foreign countries. And, as Kodokan judo was transformed into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, so Kodokan judo, Aikido and the like are occasionally transformed into a new jujutsu school in foreign countries.

Judo in Olympic match
Judo Match in the Olympic Game
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Encyclopedia of Japan