"Judo is a way to effectively use both your physical and spiritual strength. By training you in attacks and defenses, it refines your body and your soul, and helps you make the spiritual essence of judo a part of your very being. In this way you are able to strive towards self perfection and contribute something of value back to society."
Jigoro Kano, Founder of Kodokan Judo
View film of Kano in action
View film on Kano's sport concept
Judo was developed by Jigoro Kano in 1882 from various systems of jiu-jitsu as a marital way, sport, and form of exercise with practical self defense applications that builds self confidence. Judo has been in the Olympics since 1964. It is actually comprised of two words, Ju, meaning gentle and Do, meaning way. This relates to the ability to yield to an attacker's energy so that his own force can be used against him. Judo techniques involve using the arms, hip, or legs to throw an opponent to the ground, where holds, strangles, and locks are applied to achieve a submission. Students must first learn how to fall properly using a variety of movements on an adequately matted area
Regular practice at the Goltz Judo Dojo
Workouts and general skill development are divided into two distinct categories, tachi waza (standing techniques) and ne waza (ground techniques). Class begins with a vigorous warm up, yoga style stretching, and falling exercises. This is followed by ground fighting drills and throwing technique practice with a partner. The last half hour of class is set aside for randori (free practice) in which students are paired off to fight each other for timed rounds with short breaks in between.
New students are always welcome and are encouraged to advance at a pace comfortable to them. Although you don't need to be in shape to begin judo, you will in a very short period of time be in the best physical condition of your life. While the exercises are quite strenuous, emphasis is placed on technique, endurance, and flexibility, rather than strength. Potential students are encouraged to watch a class first, bearing in mind once enrolled regular attendance is expected. Judo is ideal for developing confidence in children to help prevent bullying
Russian President Putin at the Kodokan
As your career in judo unfolds, you will begin to recognize the scientific aspects of judo and how it all relates to movement in whatever physical activity you're involved. Top athletes in any competitive physical sport all realize, that to maximize their potential they must use the whole of their body and mind in unison correctly. This generally relates to power from the hips and legs being the basic tools of efficient motion, with your mind releasing the energy necessary to explode into victory. Power and technique don't come from big tensed muscles, but rather relaxed, flexible bodies and calm minds. This is not to say muscle has no place, but rather if muscle competes against technique, technique generally prevails.
Judo in the Olympics
It is recommended that students regularly enter shiais (tournaments) listed on the Club Calendar. While these events are fun way to test your skills, they can also be a bit stressful. A shiai is the best and safest way to train for a real self defense situation. More importantly they help to build self confidence while developing one's character in terms of overcoming fear and anxiety. Modern judo rules have become a bit complex and should be studied before entering any event.
Watch Sensei Gary perform a judo self defense kata
What makes judo the ideal form of self-defense is that it works off of a natural human reaction to grab hold of someone when attacking or defending. Even highly skilled boxers, when they start getting into trouble go into a clinch and have to be physically separated by a referee. Judo students learn exactly where to grab in order to obtain the best leverage to control and defeat an attacker. Grappling skills are extremely effective for women and children because when they are attacked it is often by someone trying to pull them into a car or other small space.
Judo champions Dong Hyun Kim & Ronda Rousey in the UFC
Los Angeles Police Department statistics indicate 80% of street fights usually end up on the ground where punching and kicking are of little use. It has been consistently proven in the Ultimate Fighting Championships that the grappler usually prevails. Although our primary emphasis is on grappling skills, we do also incorporate basic punches, kicks, knees and elbows blows as part of our regular training. For these reasons judo is ideal for use by law enforcement, security, or airline personnel.
Kano's calligraphy of judo's principles
There are spiritual aspects in judo as the endless hours of diligent practice temper the soul and build humility. The dojo (training hall) is considered sacred. Prior to engaging a partner, it is polite to bow to each other. The teacher is always referred to as a sensei. At the root of judo are two principles as stated by Dr. Kano; seiryoku zenyo (to make the best use of your power) and jita kyoei (to go forward together with your opponent). The values found in judo will accompany practitioners beyond the dojo to wherever they go in life. They will also enjoy the benefit of developing friendships with fellow judoka on a worldwide basis - (Kyuzo Mifune's writings on judo).
Past USJA & USJF Presidents, Sensei Gary with Neil Simon, present an award to the late Keiko Fukuda,10th Dan
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