Judo is an Art with a confused identity. It is a very popular sport worldwide and has been in the Olympics since 1972 as a full fledged medal event. What too many Martial Artists, including Judoka, forget is that the syllabus of Professor Kano & the Kodokan includes far more than Judo as a sport.
When looked at from the traditionalist approach to Judo, you can see a complete Martial Art. The protocols of traditional Judo include Atemi-Waza, (Techniques of Striking) avoidance with Tai-Sabaki ('whole body movement', or repositioning. It can be translated as body-management) and highly efficient counter attacks. It may come as a surprise to many that the combat techniques only utilize 3 throwing techniques (O-Soto-Gari, Uki-Goshi, and Ippon Seionage). It is through this phase, the Jujitsu roots of Judo become obvious as a variety of Shime-Waza (Techniques of Strangulation) and Kansetsu-Waza (Techniques of Dislocation) are the main techniques ending the combat.
In summary, Judo is a popular sport practiced all over the world but it is far more than a sport! It is a complete Martial Art which allows the Judoka to focus on any of the 3 phases. The traditional Judoka is schooled in all phases of the Art including learning from related Arts such as Kendo. Part of Professor Kano’s genius is the flexibility built into the fabric of Judo. The syllabus is constantly being updated, techniques evaluated added to or removed from the “official” lists, and rules reevaluated as well.
Just as a science major in college allows for the student to specialize in Biology (for example), knowledge of Chemistry is required to understand how the Biological systems work. The student will further specialize in either Zoology (the study of animal life) or Botany (the study of plant life) and the web keeps focusing on the next subspecialty.
They are not as eye-catching as the techniques from Karate systems of even Aikido. They are, however, highly efficient and leaves less chance of failure in a self-defense situations. (These techniques are nothing you will see in the Olympics. They are all about doing as much damage as possible to an aggressor in the shortest amount of time - good old basic “Mean and Nasty” street fighting).
I competed in Sport Judo for many years. Once I was unable to compete, the other phases of Judo allowed me to participate & continue learning. Having the option of growth kept me in Judo and expanded my understanding of my Art. My appreciation of Judo has grown as well as I touch on the full spectrum of the Traditional form of the Art.
Judo is Goshin – Goshin means self-defense!
7th Dan Judo 5th Dan Kito-Ryu Jujitsu
Senior Judo Advisor * The Hoteikan System of Martial Arts
See you in Class.
Mr. Roger Boggs - Renshi
Goshin Karate and Judo Academy
Providing AWARD WINNING Instruction/Lessons in Martial Arts, Self Defense, Judo, Jujitsu, MMA and Karate, for Kids, Teens and Adults in the Cave Creek, Phoenix, Scottsdale and the entire north valley of Arizona since 1991.
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