The History of Judo
In the late 1800s, traditional Japanese Jiu Jitsu student and educator Jigoro Kano sought to create a new discipline that assimilated the most effective techniques from various jujutsu styles. Given the emphasis that had been placed on kata, or choreographed movement, in much of the jujutsu training that Kano underwent, he also sought for his style to place a great value on randori, or free sparring against a resisting opponent.
Kano’s vision of Judo (literally, “the gentle way”) was founded on the principle of “maximum efficiency, minimum effort”, placing strong emphases on both leverage and disrupting the balance of the opponent. Kano’s theories were frequently tested through randori and challenge matches with students from other schools.
Judo has since become one of the most widely practiced disciplines in the world, with practitioners in nearly every country. As an Olympic sport, Judo has a strong competetive aspect, and though classical Judo contains both striking and ground submission techniques, in its current form, a much greater emphasis is placed on throwing the opponent.
An immensely influential art, many of the conventions pioneered by Judo can be seen in disciplines that have arisen since, including Sambo and, with its deep exploration of the submission techniques of Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With its principles of using an opponents strength and aggressiveness against them, Judo has also proven itself to be an effective grappling discipline in the context of mixed martial arts competitions.