What are Jujutsu, Judo, Aikido, and Brazilian jiujitsu? 柔術、柔道、合気道、ブラジリアン柔術とは Part 2 Judo

judo 2

Part 2: Judo

(Part 1: Jujutsu has already been published and available to read.)


Before I studied karate I practiced judo for three years but I knew little of its origin or its history. I also have to confess that I forgot about judo after I became fully involved in my karate training. I figured there was no relationship between karate and judo. Upon further study I discovered that I was totally wrong. In fact, there actually was a strong tie between Master Funakoshi and Master Kano, the founder of Kodokan judo.


When Kano created judo he dropped some of the more lethal techniques in order to make judo more suitable for a sporting event. However, at the same time, he always thought Judo must remain as a budo art. He was even thinking of changing the rules eventually to bring back some of the techniques such as striking and kicking. When Funakoshi moved to Tokyo for a karate demonstration in 1922 it was a timely event for both men. Kano watched the demonstration by Funakoshi and was deeply impressed by the striking and kicking techniques which were quite different from those found in jujutsu. Kano sent his students to Funakoshi’s dojo to learn these techniques from Funakoshi. At the same time, being in Tokyo, a new and strange city, Funakoshi was really in need of any kind of local support and assistance because he had no relatives or friends there, the capital of Japan. Thus, these two masters could exchange favors for their own needs and benefits.


FunakoshiMany of the readers already know, Funakoshi was an open minded and educated person. He knew that the Okinawan karate he brought had to be changed and modified so that it could be accepted and considered as one of the “Japanese” martial arts. As a result, he modified the judo uniform and created the karate uniform. He adopted the dan and grade system from judo, though he never accepted any dan ranks for himself. He also adopted the line up ritual before and after the training that is done in both judo and kendo dojo. I am not sure if Kano suggested this to Funakoshi or not, but he dropped the old kata names that sounded like Chinese and renamed them with more understandable (to the mainland people) names using Japanese words. One good example is his favorite kata, Kushanku. He renamed it as Kanku dai which means to look into the sky in Japanese because of the very first move of this kata. One other significant change he made which is not publicly known is that Funakoshi changed the bunkai by minimizing the throws and holding techniques because he wanted to avoid competing with judo. However, you can see some of the original bunkai explanation in his first book, Karatedo Kyohan where you can find Funakoshi doing throws in the bunkai explanations in many pages.


As you can see, Kano or judo ended up making a great impact on Funakoshi and karate in many ways. Kano wanted to include karate within the judo system (both fighting and organizationally), however, though Funakoshi was thankful for the offer, he diplomatically declined the invitation. Funakoshi wanted to keep some distance from judo as it was moving towards a more sport and tournament centric system which he strongly opposed. Funakoshi wanted to keep karate as nothing but budo art that it can offer and provide, which the tournament centric system could not.


Judo is now an Olympic sport and its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or take down an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Surprisingly, strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses were kept as a part of judo practice, but only in pre-arranged forms, kata (形). Those techniques are, of course, not allowed in competition or regular practice. We rarely see them and perhaps only in a demonstration at a ceremonial event.

kano 7In February 1882, Kano Jigoro (嘉納治五郎 1860 – 1938) opened a dojo at the Eisho ji (永昌寺), a temple in the Higashi Ueno district. Iikubo. Considering the size of Kodokan today (420 tatami mats), this first dojo was a very modest one as the training space was only 12 jo (tatami mats or 12 square meters). Initially, this dojo had no particular name and Kano had a difficult time running it so he had to ask some of his friends to help with teaching the class. After two years this dojo would be called by the name Kodokan (講道館). Although Kano had not yet received his Menkyo (免許, certificate of mastery) in Kito-ryu, the year 1884 is now regarded as the founding year of judo. Though the name of judo is mistakenly considered as the creation of Kano but “Kito-ryu judo” had already existed in the Edo period. Initially, his style was considered only as one of the jujutsu styles and many called it Kano-ryu jujutsu. What we need to remember is that Kano named his dojo Kodokan meaning “place for expounding the way” because he wanted his art to be a means not only for self-defense but to build one’s character.

Kano took in resident and non-resident students, the first two being Tsunejiro Tomita and Shiro Saigo. In August, the following year, the pair were granted Shodan (初段) grades, the first that had been awarded in any martial art.

old KodokanA tournament or shiai (試合) is a vitally important aspect of judo. Early examples include the Kodokan Monthly Tournament (月次試合) and the biannual Red and White Tournament (紅白試合) both of which started in 1884 and continue to the present day. In 1899, Kano was asked to chair a committee of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (大日本武徳会) to draw up the first formal set of contest rules for jujutsu. These rules were intended to cover contests between various different traditional schools of jujutsu as well as practitioners of Kodokan judo. Contests were 15 minutes long and were judged on the basis of nage waza (投げ技) and katame waza (固め技), excluding atemi waza (当身技 striking techniques).  Wins were by two ippons (一本), awarded in every four-main different paths of winning alternatives, by “Throwing”, where the opponent’s back strikes flat onto the mat with sufficient force, by “Pinning” them on their back for a “sufficient” amount of time, by submission, which could be achieved via “Shime-waza (絞め技 choking techniques)” or “Kansetsu-waza (関節技 joint techniques)”, in which the opponent was forced to give himself or herself up or summon a referee’s or corner-judge’s stoppage. Finger, toe and ankle locks were prohibited. In 1900, these rules were adopted by the Kodokan with amendments made to prohibit all joint locks for kyu grades and added wrist locks to the prohibited techniques even for dan grades (段位).


Old judoIn 1916, additional rulings were brought in to further limit kansetsu waza with the prohibition of ashi garami (足絡み leg wrapping technique) and neck locks, as well as do-jime (胴絞め squeezing the torso with the legs). These were further added to in 1925, in response to Kosen judo (高專柔道), which concentrated on ne waza at the expense of tachi waza (立ち技 standing techniques). The new rules banned all remaining joint locks except those applied to the elbow and prohibited the dragging down of an opponent to enter ne waza (寝技 floor techniques). The All Japan Judo Championships (全日本柔道選手権大会) were first held in 1930. This tournament became traditional and has been held every year, except during the war years between 1941 and 1948.


Judo’s internationKodokan todayal profile was significantly boosted by the introduction of the World Judo Championships of 1956 held in Japan. The first championships started as a small event, with only 31 athletes attending this event from 21 countries. Competitors were exclusively male until the introduction of the Women’s Championships in 1980, which took place on alternate years to the Men’s Championships. The championships of the Men and the Women were combined in 1987 to create an annual event, except for the years in which Olympic Games are held. Participation has steadily increased, as an example in 2011, 871 competitors from 132 countries participated. The first time judo was seen in the Olympic Games was in an informal Akio_Kaminaga,_Anton_Geesink,_1964demonstration hosted by Kano at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles. Kano worked very hard to get judo to be inducted into the Olympic Games, however, unfortunately for him, he passed away in 1938 before his art was formally introduced as an Olympic event. Judo became an Olympic sport for men in 1964 at the Tokyo Games. A Dutchman named Anton Geesink won the first Olympic gold medal in the open division. Paralympic judo has been an official event (for the visually impaired) since 1988. The women’s event had to wait until 1992 to become an official medal event.


Beyond the development of physical prowess and athletic ability, judo practitioners are expected to learn much more. They need to learn how to control their feelings, emotions, and impulses. They also need to learn about values of perseverance, respect, loyalty, and discipline. In other words, Judo students are expected to develop an excellent work ethic, as well as important social manners and etiquette. This means they need to learn to overcome their fears, and to show courage under pressure. Through competition and the rigorous practice, they will learn about justice and fairness. Through their experience, they hope that they will learn about politeness, modesty, and many other values that contributes to their character development as successful citizens of society. Judo training hopes to facilitate the development of moral knowledge and values.


Putin judoPracticed today by more than 20 million individuals, judo is one of the most popular combat sports in the world. In terms of national organizations worldwide, judo is the largest sport in the world, with the greatest number of member nations in the International Judo Federation, or IJF. It is a part of the physical education systems of many countries, and practiced in local clubs, junior and senior high schools, colleges, regional and national training centers, throughout the world.





The techniques of Judo are divided in two major groups:

67 Nage-waza and 29 Katame-waza.

1) Nage waza:jigoro kano throw

Te-waza (15 techniques)
Koshi-waza (11 techniques)
Ashi-waza (21 techniques)
Masutemi-waza (5 techniques)
Yokosutemi-waza (15 techniques)



2) Katame waza:Kosen judo

Osaekomi waza (7 techniques)
Shime waza (12 techniques)
Kansetsu waza (10 techniques)

(The details of waza are available at Kodokan homepage, under Classification of Waza names: http://kodokanjudoinstitute.org/en/waza/list/)


For those who are interested in the Judo’s tournament rules, here is a summary of Current international contest rules.

The traditional rules of judo are intended to provide a basis under which to test skill in judo, while avoiding significant risk of injury to the competitors. Additionally, the rules are also intended to enforce proper reigi (礼儀).

Penalties may be given for: passivity or preventing progress in the match; for safety infringements for example by using prohibited techniques, or for behavior that is deemed to be against the spirit of judo. Fighting must be stopped if a participant is outside the designated area on the mat.

A throw that places the opponent on his back with impetus and control scores an ippon (一本), winning the contest. A lesser throw, where the opponent is thrown onto his back, but with insufficient force to merit an ippon, scores a waza-ari (技あり). Two scores of waza-ari equal an ippon (技あり合わせて一本). A throw that places the opponent onto his side scores a yuko (有効). No amount of yuko equal a waza-ari, they are only considered in the event of an otherwise tied contest. Ippon is scored in ne waza for pinning an opponent on his back with a recognized osaekomi waza (pinning down techniques) for 20 seconds or by forcing a submission through shime waza (choking techniques) or kansetsu waza. A submission is signaled by tapping the mat or the opponent at least twice with the hand or foot, or by saying maitta (まいった, I surrender). A pin lasting for less than 20 seconds, but more than 15 seconds scores waza-ari and one lasting less than 15 seconds but more than 10 seconds scores a yuko.

If the scores are identical at the end of the match, the contest is resolved by the Golden Score rule. Golden Score is a sudden death situation where the clock is reset to match-time, and the first contestant to achieve any score wins. If there is no score during this period, then the winner is decided by hantei (判定), the majority opinion of the referee and the two corner judges.

There have been changes to the scoring. In January 2013, the hantei was removed and the “Golden Score” no longer has a time limit. The match would continue until a judoka scored through a technique or if the opponent is penalized, shido (指導 “guidance”).


Minor rules infractions are penalized with a shido. This is treated as a warning and anything up to three shido make no contribution to the overall score. A fourth shido or serious rules violation yields a hansoku make (反則負け “foul-play defeat”), resulting in disqualification of the penalized competitor.

Formerly, there were two additional levels of penalty between shido and hansoku make: chui (注意 “caution”), equivalent to a yuko and keikoku (警告 “warning”) equivalent to waza-ari.

Kodokan entrance

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