“Judo is the way of the highest or most efficient use of both physical and mental energy. Through training in the attack and defence techniques of judo, the practitioner nurtures their physical and mental strength, and gradually embodies the essence of the Way of Judo. Thus, the ultimate objective of Judo discipline is to be utilised as a means to self-perfection, and thenceforth to make a positive contribution to society. “

Jigoro Kano 1915


Olympic sport?

Japanese pyjama wrestling?

Whatever the reason, over 20 million people across 200 different countries practice Judo worldwide.

Judo was first developed in 1882 by Professor Jigoro Kano as a form of physical, mental and ethical education, which he initially taught to a few friends on a small tatami area in a back room of a Buddhist monastery in Tokyo, Japan.

Focusing on throwing, holding, strangulation and arm locking techniques, Judo is a practice of non-resistance in a way that use your opponent’s strength against them. Judo does not contain any punching, kicking, striking or weaponry.  It is merely two individuals who, by gripping each other’s Judo uniform (Judogi), learn to practice beyond the opposition of muscular strength and to attain a mastery of the subtle laws of movement and balance.

To develop both physical and mental attributes, Judo is split into two styles of learning.  Randori, “free practice”, and the Kata, “form”. During randori, students are given the freedom to practice the techniques they have learnt against each other in a “competition” like scenario. The Kata are a series of pre-arranged movements and techniques that teach the fundamentals of attack and defence.

One of the highest sporting accolades that currently exists is to be an Olympic Champion. Judo was first included in the Olympic Games in 1964, where initially only Men competed. A Women’s division was included as a demonstration sport in 1988 and both divisions have been permanently included since 1992.

Just as Judo can trace its roots to other earlier forms of Jujutsu, many other modern martial arts, such as Brazilian Jujutsu, Sambo and Krav Maga can trace their roots to Judo.