"The Gentle Way"
History of Judo
Professor Jigaro Kano, a master of three different styles of jujitsu developed it in 1882. He believed that Japan’s traditional martial arts were in danger of disappearing due to the country’s modernization. He was also convinced that martial arts study had more to offer than technique alone and their practice could help improve one’s health and overall well being, or a “way” of living.
The young Kano opened the Kodokan, literally, “The Place to Study the Way” and invited the many Jujitsu schools to join him in preserving their teachings. Quite a few did, but a lot resisted. In 1884, the Tokyo Police Department invited all the Jujitsu schools to compete so they could select the most effective style to teach their officers. Of the fourteen matches, Judo competitors won thirteen and tied one. Thus Kodokan Judo instantly achieved national recognition, although the names, “Judo” and “Jujitsu” would be used interchangeably almost until 1950.
Kano and some of these masters began to formulate a safe and modern study method for their many techniques. Over the years this method has changed and modified, but Kano’s vision inspired Judo to evolve into the well-rounded study of self-defense and sporting applications that it is. Judo is an effective method of self-defense, an Olympic sport and an excellent method for physical fitness.