Looking at Judo

Judo is a derivative of jujitsu, which is a traditional Japanese martial art originally created for killing or maiming an enemy. For the jujitsu practioners of long ago, the only rule was to win by any means necessary. However, in the 19th century, Japan underwent a period of modernization known as the Meiji Restoration; it was an era during which Japan discarded feudalism in favor of the modern world, trading traditional swords for modern guns. This era also helped lay the groundwork for judo founder Jigoro Kano to change the face of the Japanese combative martial arts.

In his journeys abroad, Kano came into constant contact with emerging Western sports and their ideals. Originally, these sports had come about as a way for the Western armies to maintain their physical health. Kano saw value in this, too. He wanted to preserve the timeless qualities of jujitsu — loyalty, discipline, resolve, honor, morality — and discard the traditional qualities in which the martial artist learns techniques to hurt, maim and kill. To do this, Kano made judo safe, rewarding and challenging.

The ancient Japanese warrior Minamoto Yoritomo once stated that the outcome of a battle is determined by the preparation one has invested. Ask yourself: What do I need to do to have a real chance at winning?

— Hayward Nishioka

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