History of Judo

Nage Komi Judo Club Wakefield

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Judo - The Gentle Way

Kano's devotion to Judo did not interfere with his academic progress. He pursued his study of literature, politics and political economy, and graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1881.


In 1886, because of rivalry between jujitsu schools and Judo, a contest was held to determine the superior art. Kano's Judo students won the competition easily, thus establishing the superiority of Judo, its popular principles and its practical techniques.


The categorization of Kodokan Judo was completed about 1887. The Kodokan had three broad aims: physical education, contest proficiency and mental training. Its structure as a martial art was such that it could be practiced as a competitive sport. Blows, kicks, certain joint locks, and other techniques too dangerous for competition, were taught only to the higher ranks.


Starting in 1889 Kano left Japan to visit Europe and the U. S. He travelled abroad a eight times to teach Judo and several times to attend the Olympics and its committee meetings. Often in the face of extreme hardship, several of Kano's students devoted their lives to develop Judo in foreign countries.


In 1892 Judo began to spread its wings across the world when Takashima Shidachi lectured the Japan Society in London on the history and development of Judo.


In 1895 Kano classified the Judo throws into the Go Kyo No Waza. In 1900, the Kodokan Dan Grade Holders Association was established.


On July 24, 1905, representatives of the leading jujitsu schools (ryu) of Japan, gathered at the Butokukai Institute in Kyoto to agree upon the forms of Kodokan Judo and to continue the development of the technical forms of the sport. The ancient jujitsu techniques of each particular school were to be preserved in kata (pre-arranged form) for posterity.


In 1907, Gunji Koizumi arrived in the United States to teach Judo.


In 1909, the system underwent a big change and the Kodokan became an official Japanese foundation. In the same year Jigoro Kano became the first Japanese member of the International Olympic Committee