Judo means "gentle way" in Japanese. Seeing men being thrown into the air and strangled on the ground hardly suggests that anything about the sports is gentle. But you will soon get the meaning.
The basic idea of judo is to use your opponent's own strength to beat him/her. Looking at it another way, you are directing your strength at points where your opponent is weakest. In that sense, you are taking the easiest way.
The sport owes everything to the Japanese. Its origins are not clear but, as jujitsu, it was probably introduced to Japan from china in the 12th Century. In those days, the Samurai, or warrior class, used it for fighting unarmed attackers, believing that it was unchivairous to use a weapon on an enemy without one.
The Samurai realized that when two strong men struggle, the strongest invariably wins. But if one sits down suddenly, or steps aside, the other, however strong, will fall down. The theory of jujitsu was 'non-resistance'. Unfortunately, when laws were passed in the second half of the 19th Century banning the Samurai from carrying weapons, they began using jujitsu to exercise their power over the people and the ancient art quickly fell into disrepute.
Interest in the art diminished, and even the most useful of the lethal skills of jujitsu might have disappeared had not a university professor taken up the study of it. Dr. Jigore Kano, a professor of the Japanese art jujitsu, looked at all the different schools of jujitsu, chose their outstanding principles and joined them into a single art - judo.
From that time, judo schools were established in many countries and the first judo club to open in Europe, the Budokwai which still operates today, was founded in 1918 by Gunji Koiumi who became known later as "The father of British Judo". And in 1988, the 1st Europeans style judo club to open in Hong Kong was the organization name: "Starbrook Sports International" and is now named "Global Sports" since December 1997.
In1964, Japan were allowed to introduce it into the Tokyo Olympic Games. It has been regarded as a modern Olympic combat sport although some followers still consider it very much an "art form". Kano said that judo is a teaching for life itself and with it we learn to overcome the pitfalls and obstacles of everyday living.
It is most important to start correctly with a qualified judo coach. Global Sports is a professional junior judo training organization in Hong Kong. We can be reached at:
P.O. Box 65350,
Tseung Kwan O Post Office, Fax 852 - 2160 1022 Tel 850 - 2703 4718 firstname.lastname@example.org WebSite http://www.globalsports.com.hk
Most sports shops and judo coaches of Global Sports supply judogi (Judo suits) at reasonable rates and second-hand kit is sometimes available. The judogi is reinforced in all the right places and consists of a jacket, trousers and a belt. [The only other personal equipment required would be a pair of zori which are Japanese style slippers and are needed for walking to and from the training or contest area but not necessary.]
For players aged from 6 to 15 years, there are 18 levels of skill grades know as Mon (Junior) grades which are denoted by colored and banded belts. From 16 year Kyu (senior) skill grades apply and are again denoted by belts of different colors. Everyone has to work through the grading system to reach the 1st Dan Grade when the player is entitled to wear the famous black belt. Even then there are higher level for the very dedicated.
For the details of the Grading System, Click Here.
Judo training can start at any age. Global Sports players range form 5+. As for starting Judo later in life, whilst on might not expect to reach Olympic standard but there are still goals to be achieved. The British Judo Association (BJA) Dan Grade Register has on record a man who started 54 and in eight years achieved his 1st Dan black belt. Global Sport also offer private lesson to player aged 16+.
Judo is an ideal form of physical education. The beginner concentrates on getting the technique right, and during this process inevitably improves general fitness. The bonus is stamina improvements which equips one better for the rigors of day to day life. When asked about the extraordinary fitness be displayed on winning the British and European "Superstars" titles Brian Jacks attributed it all to his former Judo training.