WHAT MAKES JUDO SO POPULAR ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE
Judo, Japanese for gentle way, is a form of martial art that is practiced by millions of people. Judo is not only a martial art, it is also a discipline, an art, a fitness program and for some, even a way of life. Kodokan Judo traces its history back to feudal Japan and was developed by Dr. Jigoro Kano from the ancient art of Jujutsu. Dr. Kano studied and practiced Jujutsu and incorporated the best of it, into a new martial art he developed, which he called Judo.
A prominent feature of Judo is the competitive element. The objective is to bring an opponent to the ground, subdue or immobilize him by pinning him or force him to submit with a choke or a joint lock. Thrusts and strikes with the feet as well as hands and defending with weapons are also included in Judo, though in pre-arranged forms (kata) only. You cannot use them in free practice or in judo competitions. A person who practices Judo is known as a judoka. From its simple beginning in Japan, Judo has now spread across the world and has also caused the development of other forms of martial arts like Brazilian jui-jitsu and Samba.
The principles behind Judo
The main principle behind Judo is maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Another principle is mutual welfare and benefit. Kano said that if you try to resist a powerful opponent, you will be defeated, but if you adjust and evade his attacks, he will lose his balance, his power to attack you will reduce and you will be able to defeat him. He said that with this principle, a weaker opponent can defeat significantly stronger opponents. He emphasizes that techniques should be executed efficiently.
Techniques in Judo
Judo basically has three techniques or waza- throwing techniques (nage-waza), striking techniques (atemi waza) and grappling techniques (katame waza). Only throwing techniques and grappling techniques are allowed in Judo competitions.
Many Judo practitioners devote a portion of their training sessions to ukemi or learning how to respond to a throw (break-falls), so that they can practice throwing techniques without risking injury (the person who is thrown is called uke). There are several kinds of ukemi such as rear break-falls, front break-falls and rolling break-falls.
Throwing techniques are further divided into standing techniques, where the thrower is in an upright position or sacrifice technique, where the thrower has sacrificed his position to throw the uke. Grappling techniques are divided into pinning or holding techniques, joint techniques and strangulation techniques.
Randori in Judo
Judo also places emphasis on randori or free practice. There are many kinds of randori and its intensity depends on the participant’s level of expertise and intent. In pre-arranged practice, neither of the participants resists the others attempts to throw. Another is throw-away practice, where an experienced judoka allows a less experienced partner to throw him.
Kata in Judo
Kodokan Judo recognize ten types of kata or forms. These consist of prearranged patterns and except for one type of kata (development of physique), all need a partner for practice. The purpose of the kata is to illustrate the basic principles, demonstrate how to execute a technique and to teach the philosophical techniques of Judo.
Did you know that the system of ranks was first created in Judo, which was later adapted by other forms of martial arts. These ranks recognize the person’s ability, leadership and knowledge. Juniors and seniors have separate ranks. Colored belts are used to identify these ranks.
One of the reasons for Judo’s popularity is that unlike the other martial art of karate, it does not involve striking, kicking or punching. The fact that the game is simple has drawn a lot of people to it, increasing its popularity.
Spreading the word
Historically, the credit of spreading Judo’s appeal outside of Japan’s shores should go to Jigoro Kano. He visited Europe and the United States several times to draw the attention of foreigners to the sport by way of demonstrations. When the Japanese Diet (Parliament) passed a bill in 1906 making it mandatory for all middle school students to learn either Kendo or Judo, the popularity of the sport shot up. Around the same time, Kano’s school, the Kodokan, started to see a lot of students. Many of them eventually travelled abroad to teach the sport. After Kano joined the International Olympics Committee as a member, he strived hard to help Japan host the Olympics. However, the Sino-Japanese war and Kano’s death meant Japan had to wait longer. Eventually, the Tokyo Olympiad was held in 1964, and Judo became an Olympics event. Over the years, Judoka from 50 nations have won medals in the Olympics, which goes to show the popularity of the sport across the globe.
Judo tournaments are regularly held across the globe, the World Judo Championships being the most significant among them, apart from the Olympics. The World Championships are organized by the International Judo Federation, and brings together participants from all over the map. If you are interested in learning Judo, you can find a school around your area on Go2Karate.com™.
Karate vs Judo
Karate and judo are martial arts of Japanese origin. Both have distinct characteristics. While Judo is what could be called a soft martial art mainly involving body maneuvers against an opponent, karate can be termed as a hard martial art where blows are landed on an opponent’s body.
A Karate exponent would strike an opponent whereas somebody practicing Judo would endeavor to throw him. A Karate man would batter a man to submission whereas a Judo man would grapple with, wrap or trap an opponent, the effort aimed at tiring down the opponent.
A Karate man takes his energy from mother earth and uses it against his opponent in the form of blocks and counter assaults, whereas in Judo energy is drawn away from the opponent by redirecting it towards mother earth by tossing the opponent down. As a sport Karate involves earning points for kicking and punching, whereas in Judo points are to be had for grappling and throwing your opponent as one would in wrestling. In Judo the body and its weight and how it is balanced vis-Ã -vis the opponent decide the course of a fight, while in Karate, hands are used to chop and legs to kick at your adversary.
Karate is an attacking and aggressive form of martial art, whereas Judo is purely a defensive form of martial art. Karate as a way of fighting is quite dramatic unlike Judo which primarily is all about grappling. In Karate on the other hand the process of blocking blows or landing them on to other people, or objects (as in smashing boards and objects) looks quite spectacular. It is no wonder then that while Judo is not much featured in movies, Karate is the staple of many movies. An example being the Karate Kid series of movies from Hollywood.
Judo and Karate in a way symbolize two entirely different approaches towards the art of fighting. In Judo the stress is not on brute strength or sheer force. It has to do more with a gentle but firm defensive attitude where your body and the way it is poised and balanced vis-a-vis the opponent lets you get the upper hand. Karate on the other hand is a direct and confrontationist approach where you boldly block the opponent’s moves and attack him vigorously with your hands and legs.
1. Judo is a soft martial art mainly involving body maneuvers against an opponent. Karate can be termed as a hard martial art where are blows are landed on an opponent’s body
2.A Karate man batters a man to submission whereas a Judo man grapples with, wraps or traps an opponent the effort aimed at tiring down the opponent.
3.As a sport Karate involves earning points for kicking and punching, whereas in Judo points are to be had for grappling and throwing your opponent as one would in wrestling
4.Karate is an attacking and aggressive form of martial art, whereas Judo is purely a defensive form of martial art.