Judo for self-defence is brilliant
You are just deluding yourself if you think it is not more than just a sport. Judo for self-defence has, from its origins always been and always will be unquestionably perfectly functional and effective.
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It’s not my policy to be critical of other martial arts. I would never suggest the kicking and punching martial arts are of lesser value in than any other martial arts and it turns out that I’m not alone.
Professor Kano was as I understand a huge advocate of other martial arts. I’m given to understand that he dedicated significant resources of the Kodokan to the collecting and gathering of as much information about them into its archives as he possibly could. I’m also given to understand that the early days of modern Karate owes much to the encouragement of the founder of Judo.
However, there are those in the martial arts community who seem unwilling to return the favour and insist on denigrating Judo for self-defence. It seems that to me then that only those who are uninformed or misinformed could possibly propose that Judo is only a sport.
Yet people do.
So let me try and put the record straight.
A Well-Placed And Well-Trained Kick Or Punch
I’m not putting down the value of a well-placed and well-trained kick or punch, but what happens if you miss? What happens if you end up on the ground? What happens if you attacker gets in close?
Now I realize that on the last point there are such things as the 1-inch punch, but total dependence on that alone in close is a huge mistake. No matter what you do know or have practised there are going to be times when a punch of any kind is not going to do it.
I’ve always found it amusing, listening to people refer to Bruce Lee to make their case that kicking and punching is the best. Has nobody ever noticed what so much of Bruce Lee’s finishing moves were on an opponent? They were throws!
So if Bruce Lee is the measure, then Judo throws are clearly a valid form of self-defense ; not that I see Bruce Lee as any basis on which to declare that anything of that kind.
The Victim Of A Malignant Campaign
Judo has been the victim of a malignant campaign that insists that anything that is a sport cannot be a good self-defence. I don’t know who started it but it is a very successful one. To the extent that there is very high ranking Judoka that doesn’t even know what they have in the hands. I am here to tell you that I have personally used throws to great effect in defending myself.
One very famous instructor came to do a Kata education weekend in Melbourne Australia. As she was instructing us in one of the most popular Goshin Jitsu Kata, she confessed that a while back in Japan she was attacked and her handbag was almost stolen. For a few moments, she struggled aimlessly, as someone who was untrained. Then suddenly realized, she did know what to do. Since then she has practised her Kata with a whole new outlook.
Self Defence Traditions - Want a be Sports
The irony is that the very people that often propose that Judo is only a sport are often the same people that actively promote their own sport as more than that. Take Brazilian Jujitsu. Promoted by proponents such as the Graziers to the point of high popularity. But how do they promote it as such? They promote it by entering in an Ultimate Fighting Contest or similar. A sport! A brutal sport but none-the-less a sport.
What about Karate? Yet many Karate organizations around the world are trying to get it accepted onto the Olympics.
Then there is Tae Kwon Do its already in the Olympics.
My eldest son once attended a jujitsu contest. He had been bought up a Judoka and had changed to Jujitsu I think because he wanted to do more kicking and punching. What was his description of the contest to me on the phone that night? He said, “Dad when you make Jujitsu a contest it becomes Judo”.
So clearly Judo for self-defence doesn’t mean you cannot be a sport as well. I love my sport of Judo. I loved competing when I could. But I’m here to tell you that it has never been let down in a number of less sporting situations. This is coming from someone who has had to use it in real-life situations. I am someone who has been involved in centres for all sorts of non-conformist people. I have put my life in the hands of God and my Martial Art. Nether have let me down.