'Quick Guide to Judo' presented by former World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Neil Adams
Judo is a martial art, combat and Olympic sport that originated in Japan. It was created by Jigoro Kano in the late 1800's and was based on, in
part, Jujitsu. Since then, Judo has grown to be a world wide phenomenon and is practiced by millions.
Judo has many facets including philosophy, science and art. Judo can be practiced as a recreational activity that exercises the body and mind. It
is also practiced as a competitive sport.
Judo is fundamentally a grappling martial art that is comprised of a number of throws, hold downs, joint locks and chokes used to subdue an
opponent. It's basic principles are “maximum efficiency, minimal effort” and "mutual welfare and benefit". Judo, when practiced by skilled
players, can be done so using full contact at full strength without injury.
Please see wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judo) for more information.
Judo compared to Jujitsu
In the Japanese language “jitsu” refers to technique. The emphasis in jujitsu, therefore, is on the techniques themselves. This was only natural,
given that the main purpose of the practice of jujitsu was to fight.
On the other hand, “dou” (or “michi”) refers to the “path that one should lead in life.” And means “a way of living in which one improves one’s
character and polishes one’s spirit.” Thus, Kano, in naming his art Judo, came to the conclusion that the ultimate purpose of the practice and
training of Judo should be different than that of Jujitsu, although the techniques of Judo bore some resemblance to the original techniques of
In addition to Judo, there are other words in the Japanese language that include the “do,” such as “Butsudo” (Buddism), “Sado” (Tea), and
“Kado” (Flowers). Each of these includes the meaning of “improving one’s character,” and goes beyond the mere engagement of the activity.
Jigoro kano’s Judo held as its overarching goal the training of body and spirit, going beyond the “winning- losing” or contest philosophy of
Jusjitsu, while recognizing the importance of training for contests.
The Philosophy of "Seiryoku Zenyou - Jita Kyouei"
…the most effective use of one’s spiritual and physical strength” was shortened in to a simpler expression, “Seiryoku Zenyou.” Spiritual and
physical strength was shortened into “Seiryoku,” while “most effective use” was shortened into “Zenyou,” which can be translated into “good
use.” This was because “effective use” was considered to be not only efficient, but also for “good purposes.”
Also contributing to society and to the world revolves around harmonious relationships between oneself and others, allowing both to prosper.
Jigoro Kano captured this aspect of Judo philosophy in the expression “Jita Kyouei.”
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