About Judo

This page outlines what the gentle art of Judo is all about.

What is Judo?

Judo is many things to different people.  It is a fun, sport, an art, a discipline, a recreational or social activity, a fitness program, a means of self-defence or combat, and a way of life. It is all of these and more.

Where does Judo come from?

Judo comes to us from the fighting system of feudal Japan. Founded in 1882 by Dr Jigoro Kano, Judo is a refinement of the ancient martial art of Jujutsu.  Dr. Kano, President of the University of Education, Tokyo, studied these ancient forms and integrated what he considered to be the best of their techniques into what is now the modern sport of Judo.

Judo is an Olympic Sport

Judo was introduced into the Olympic Games in 1964 and is practised by millions of people throughout the world today.   People practice Judo to excel in competition, to stay in shape, to develop self-confidence, and for many other reasons. But most of all, people do Judo for self-development, mentally and physically.

Judo has competitions from club to national

As in all sports, Judo has a strict set of rules that governs competition and ensures safety.  For those who want to test their skills, Judo offers the opportunity for competition at all skill levels, from club to national tournaments, to the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.   There are separate weight divisions for men and women, and boys and girls.

Judo is a sport at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Throws and grapples


Judo is best known for its spectacular throwing techniques but also involves considerable grappling on the ground utilising specialised pins, control holds, arm locks, and Judo choking techniques.   Judo emphasises safety, and full physical activity for top conditioning.   Judo is learned on special mats for comfort and safety.

Judo is suitable for all ages

Judo is unique in that all age groups, both sexes, and some disabled persons can participate together in learning and practising in the sport.   Judo is a year-round activity that appeals to people from all walks of life.   Many people over sixty years of age enjoy the sport, as well as very young boys and girls.

Judo teaches self-confidence

Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others.   Judo provides the means for learning self-confidence, concentration, and leadership skills, as well as physical co-ordination, power, and flexibility.   As a sport that has evolved from a fighting art, it develops complete body control, fine balance, and fast reflexive action. Above all, it develops a sharp reacting well co-ordinated mind with the same kind of body.   Judo training gives a person an effective self-defence system if the need arises.

Principles and goals of judo

Judo, which is translated as the “gentle way”, teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique.   This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills.   Skill, technique and timing, rather than the use of brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in Judo.   For example, in Judo classes you may learn how to give way, rather than use force, to overcome a stronger opponent.

The principles of Judo, such as “Maximum Efficiency” and “Mutual Welfare and Benefit”, can also be used in our dealings with others in life. The ultimate goal in Judo is to develop oneself to the maximum extent possible, always striving for perfection, so that you can contribute something of value to the world.