A Tremendous and Dynamic Sport

Judo is a tremendous and dynamic combat sport that demands both physical prowess and great mental discipline. From a standing position, it involves techniques that allow you to lift and throw your opponents onto their backs. On the ground, it includes techniques that allow you to pin your opponents down to the ground, control them, and apply various chokeholds or joint locks until submission.

Judo is Simple and Basic

Judo originated in Japan as a derivative of the various martial arts developed and used by the samurai and feudal warrior class over hundreds of years. Although many of the techniques of judo originated from arts that were designed to hurt, maim, or kill opponents in actual field battle, the techniques of judo were modified so that judo students can practice and apply these techniques safely and without hurting opponents:

  • Judo does not involve kicking, punching, or striking techniques of any kind.
  • Judo does not involve the application of pressure against the joints to throw an opponent.
  • Judo involves no equipment or weapons of any sort.

Instead, judo simply involves two individuals who, by gripping the judo uniform or judogi, use the forces of balance, power, and movement to attempt to subdue each other. Thus, it is simple and basic. In its simplicity, however, lies its complexity, and mastery of even the most basic of judo techniques that often take considerable time, effort, and energy, involving rigorous physical and mental training.

The Principle of Gentleness

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ju, which means “gentle”, and do, which means “the way”. Judo, therefore, literally means the way of gentleness. Although the gentleness may not be immediately apparent to newcomers who see bodies flying through the air and people pinned to the ground, it is this principle of gentleness, or yawara (which is the same character as the ju in judo), on which all judo techniques are based.

Judo (柔道 jūdō, meaning “gentle way”) was created as a physical, mental and moral pedagogy in Japan, in 1882, by Jigoro Kano (嘉納治五郎). It is generally categorized as a modern martial art which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a chokeStrikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata, 形) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice (randori, 乱取り). A judo practitioner is called a judoka.

The philosophy and subsequent pedagogy developed for judo became the model for other modern Japanese martial arts that developed from koryū (古流, traditional schools).

Nage-waza (投げ技)
throwing techniques
Tachi-waza (立ち技)
standing techniques
Te-waza (手技)
hand techniques
Koshi-waza (腰技)
hip techniques
Ashi-waza (足技)
foot and leg techniques
Sutemi-waza (捨身技)
sacrifice techniques
Ma-sutemi-waza (真捨身技)
rear sacrifice techniques
Yoko-sutemi-waza (橫捨身技)
side sacrifice techniques
Katame-waza (固技)
grappling techniques
Osaekomi-waza (押込技)
holding or pinning techniques
Shime-waza (絞技)
strangulation techniques
Kansetsu-waza (関節技)
Joint techniques (locks

Judo literally mean Ju (gentle) – do (way). It is considered to be a gentle art as there is no requirement of brute strength to overcome an attacker. In Judo training one learns to use the attacker’s strength by applying your own in the direction in which he is weakest and least able to combat it. Judo training is based on a principle of “Minimum Effort and & Maximum Effect” and the secret to such achievement is attaining a mental and physical balance through its training.

Late Dr. Jigaro Kano father & founder of Judo H.Q., Kodokan, was known to have practiced & mastered Ju-Jitshu. He took the best out of Ju-Jitshu techniques, did away with the rough and dangerous one, devised others himself and combined them to form what he called Judo.

Judo training is divided into four categories

  1. Nage- waza or throwing techniques

Nage-waza is divided into four parts

  • Hand throws
  • Leg throws
  • Body throws
  • Sacrifice Throws
  1. Ne-waza or ground work techniques

Ne waza is divided into three divisions

  • Osoekomi-waza or holding down techniques
  • Shime-waza or strangling techniques
  • Kansetsu waza or joint locking techniques
  1. Atemi- waza or striking techniques to the vital areas of the body
  2. Ukemi- waza – Falling techniques

As Judo needs proximity of the attacker to counter the attack. It is this aspect of defence of defending oneself when in close proximity with the attacker that Judo has been incorporated in the Ketsugo syllabus so as to make Ketsugo a complete system of self defence.

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