More About Judo
Judo (the "gentle way") was created in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano. At that time, Jujitsu (an art consisting of strikes, throws, all manner of joint locks, and chokes) was the predominant martial art in Japan. Kano himself was a student of Jujitsu and he recognized many of the benefits that martial arts training could provide, such as self-defense, improved fitness and coordination, and higher self-confidence. He felt that such benefits should be available to all people big and small, but he recognized that Jujitsu was not for everyone. Two of the major obstacles that he identified were:
- Many of the techniques were so dangerous that they could not be practiced at full force without seriously injuring your training partner. This could lead to either dangerous practice sessions or training in a manner that would lead to faulty execution in a "real-life" situation.
- Many techniques relied on being bigger or stronger than your opponent to be effective, thus would be of little use to majority of the population.
Kano's solution for the first issue was to remove those techniques which he deemed as too dangerous for practice (such as neck locks and strikes) to create an art that could be executed on the practice mat with the same intensity as on the street. To address the second issue, he formulated the principle of minimum effort, maximum efficiency; he would use only those techniques which utilized off-balance and timing (as opposed to brute strength) which would use the aggressors' actions against them. The result is an art that consists of numerous throws, hold-downs/pins, chokes, and arm locks - and can be employed by anyone.
Akari Judo Club
At the Akari Judo Club, we seek to provide a fun and safe dojo (training center) for everyone from teenagers on up. We try to balance the standing throws with ground work, and the instruction time with the randori (free practice; think of it as judo's version of sparring). While competition is encouraged, it is not mandatory and therefore is not the focus of our training.