What Is Judo?

The word “judo”, which originates from the Japanese language, means “the gentle way”.

Judo is many things to different people. To some it is a sport, an art, a craft, a discipline, a recreational or social activity, a fitness program, a means of self-defense or combat, and a way of life.

Judo is unique in that people of all ages, sexes, and abilities can participate together in learning and practicing the sport. Judo is an inexpensive, year-round activity, that appeals to people from all walks of life. Many people over the age of sixty can enjoy the sport as well as very young children.

Attitudes and Principles

An attitude of seriousness and respectfulness is necessary to progress towards understanding the “Maximum-efficient use of energy” and “Mutual welfare and benefit of practitioners” – two basic principles of Judo.

History of Judo

Judo was founded in 1882 in Japan by Jigoro Kano, who modified the more dangerous techniques in ju-jitsu and developed Judo from a martial art to a sport. He also gave Judo a physical education emphasis and a strong moral orientation.

The Olympics and Alberta Judo Olympians

Kodokan Judo has been an Olympic sport for men since 1964. Women’s Judo was made an official Olympic sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Following are some of the many Albertan Olympians: Phil Lingworth 1972; Joe Meli, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988; Tom Greenway 1976, 1980; Fred Blaney 1984; Yosh Senda-Coach 1976, 1980, 1984; Keith Morgan 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008; Colin Morgan 1996.

Judo is always one of the first Olympic events to sell out of tickets, and more countries participate in Judo than all other Olympic sports except Track and Field. There are 197 member nations in the International Olympic Committee and 182 of them are members of the International Judo Federation.

The Red and White Judo tournament was started by Jigoro Kano in 1884 and continues today as one of the longest running sports events in the world, predating the Modern Olympic Games by 12 years.

Interesting Judo Facts and Stats

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, Judo is the safest contact sport for children under age 13.

Judo is the most widely practiced martial art in the world, and Judo is the second most practiced sport worldwide (soccer is #1).

Alberta Sport ConnectionNCCPOur Sponsors