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Interesting Facts about Judo History

As one of the most diverse martial arts styles available, judo is both an Olympic and combat sport that translates to “the gentle way.” This popular martial art traces its roots back several centuries, and knowing some interesting facts about judo history can help you appreciate all aspects of the art.

The Beginnings of Judo History

Oddly enough, judo history began as a form of Japanese jujutsu, which the Samurai practiced and continually improved. During these early days, the Samurai used throws and joint locks as a means of defending themselves against attackers with armor and weapons. During the 1800s, jujutsu was so popular that instructors taught more than 700 different jujutsu styles. However, after Commodore Perry invaded Japan in the 1850s, the Samurai ways became lost and many jujutsu practices disappeared, giving birth to the world of judo.

Dr. Jigori Kano: The Inventor of Judo History

Jigori Kano, responsible for inventing judo, began judo history when he developed his own opinions and techniques regarding martial arts. In principle, Kano’s style sought to use an opponent’s energy against him or her and eliminated some jujutsu techniques that Kano deemed dangerous. By the time Kano was 22 years old, people began calling his art “Kodokan Judo,” and Japanese society accepted the newly found style because of its sports- and teamwork-friendly attributes.

Major Developments in Judo History

After Kano created his school, called the “Kodokan,” he held a contest in 1886 to determine whether jujutsu or judo was superior. Kano’s students of judo won the competition easily. In 1910, judo became a recognized sport and, by 1911, was adopted as a part of Japan’s educational system. In 1964, this martial art became an Olympic sport and gave credence to Kano’s long-ago dreams. Today, millions of people visit the first Kodokan Dojo every year.

As both an effective and efficient martial art, judo has taught students how to use their opponents’ energy against them for hundreds of years. For help deciding whether this martial arts style is a good option for you, it is a good idea to consult with a professional judo instructor.

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