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What is Judo? It is Clearly Not What Most Think

What Is Judo

I ask the question "What is Judo?" because it really cheeses me off when I hear people say "that's not Judo", Because it is patently obvious that those people don't know what judo is.

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More than this I am convinced that the vast majority of the Judo community have no idea exactly what it is that they have.

Most Judoka would define Judo as grappling or a set of throwing techniques.

When most of us are asked "What is the difference between Judo and other Martial Arts", we would say that Judo concentrates on throwing and has no kicking or punching in competition. One other description I heard is, "It's like wrestling with different rules". But these, whilst they are fine for the layperson are not and should not be considered even close, as the description for a seasoned judoka.

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Particularly when people are looking at throws they should steer well clear of the "that's not judo" description because judo encompasses much more than a set of throws. In fact, I had one student come to my club and be completely surprised as we practised Kata. "what style of Martial Art is that" he said. He had no idea that judo incorporated Kata and he was a senior brown belt.

But Judo Is Also Much More Than Kata

But judo is also much more than Kata. Consider that Professor Kano first created it out of at least 2 jujitsu styles that he had learned. Not only that, he is known to be an avid collector of techniques from all the martial arts and he actively encouraged his teachers to develop new techniques. The most famous story is that Kata Guruma was developed when he was said to be trying to solve a particular problem and he found the answer in a wrestling book and developed it. Thus it is clear that judo is not a set of techniques.

Judo Is A Principle

Judo is a principle and as long as that principle applies, it doesn't matter what it, is it is also judo.

What is that principle? If you are a judoka you should know it. "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit."

That means that anything: punches, strikes, kicks, throws, grappling, strangles, arm locks, hold downs, even if it comes from another martial art, as long as they adhere to the principle of "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit" it is judo.

If that doesn't open your mind I don't know what will. What this means is you are free to develop new techniques or import something from another martial art as long as it is "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit." and call it judo.

Of course, that doesn't take into account the rules for competition. I wonder are they Judo?

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