About Judo

“The aim of Judo is to utilize physical and mental strength most effectively. Its training is to understand the true meaning of life through the mental and physical training of attack and defense.
You must develop citizen to society.”

Professor Jigoro Kano
Founder of Kodokan Judo

What is Judo?

Judo means “the gentle way” in Japanese. Of course, it is derived in part from jujitsu, the hand-to-hand combat technique of ancient samurai warriors, and everything is relative. While throwing opponents to the floor wins most matches, it is the only Olympic sport where submission holds allow choking an opponent or breaking an arm.

Developed by Dr Jigoro Kano in the 1880s, the sport broke into the Olympic Games in 1964 at Tokyo. The host country could add one sport, and Japan chose judo. Four weight classes were established, and Japanese entries promptly won three.

However, in the fourth, the open class, a 1.98-metre Dutchman named Anton Geesink defeated three-time Japanese national champion Kaminaga Akio before 15,000 people at Nippon Budokan Hall. And then he beat him again. It followed victories earlier in the year over other top Japanese opponents, deeply bruising the theory that a skilled judoka could defeat any opponent of any size.

Judo is loved by all generations.
You can see people of all ages from six to over eighty years, and people of all professions, nationalities and sexes enjoying Judo at the Kodokan.

They all have their own purposes.
Some of them want to be strong, some want to be healthy, some want to strengthen their mind, some want to appreciate the pleasant feeling after perspiring, some want to be able to defend themselves, some want to become instructors of Judo, and some are already devoted to training others.

Why is Judo attracting people of all ages and people with so many
different purposes?

Prof. Kano created Judo from Jujutsu as the means to learn the great principle of humanity, not only to learn Waza.He named the training institution “Kodokan”.
The word “Kodo” means to learn, prove and practice the principle.
The fact that Prof. Kano named Judo “Kodokan Judo” shows us how he made much of the principle and made it a principal objective of life to learn.Prof. Kano himself said that the purpose of Judo is to strengthen body by practicing attack and defense, to complete the personality by training the mind, and finally to devote oneself to society.The principle and ideal of Judo :
“Maximum-efficiency” and “Mutual welfare and benefit.”

The Principles of Waza
Waza is based on the fundamental principle of Judo, that is, “Maximum Efficient Use of Mind and Body”.The theories of Tsukuri and Kake are expressing the principle from Waza’s viewpoint. Tsukuri is made up of Kuzushi which means to destroy your opponent’s posture or balance, and “holding yourself ready” to make your attack easier.To actually apply your contemplated technique, when his posture has already been broken by Tsukuri, is called Kake. Tsukuri and Kake can also be called technical principles of Judo. While you are practicing Tsukuri and Kake, both depend upon the fundamental principle of “Mutual welfare and benefit” and “Maximum efficiency,” you can understand and master the principle which can be applied to all phases of human life.You proceed from Waza to Way by practicing Judo.

Kata and Randori
There are two principal ways of practicing Judo : Kata and Randori.Kata, which literally means “form,” is practiced following a formal system of prearranged exercise, while Randori, meaning “free exercise” is practiced freely.Kata of Judo is the best way of defense and attack in various cases, being theoretically systematized.In the Kodokan, the following are the eight main Katas adopted :

NAGE-NO-KATA ( Forms of Throwing)

Three representative techniques are chosen from each of five Nagewazas.

KATAME-NO-KATA (Forms of Grappling or Holding)
Five model techniques are chosen from each of three Katamewazas.

KIME-NO-KATA (Forms of Decision)
This is to learn the most valuable techniques in an actual fight. They consist of the techniques in a kneeling position and in a standing position.

JU-NO-KATA (Forms of Gentleness)
The ways of attack and defense are arranged in very gentle and expressive movements.

THE KODOKAN GOSHIN-JUTSU (Forms of Self-Defense)
The modern technique of Self-Defense consists of empty-handed techniques and techniques with weapons.

ITSUTSU-NO-KATA (Forms of “Five”)
These forms are incomplete though they should have been included in the parts of the great Judo system by Prof. Kano.

KOSHIKI-NO-KATA (Antique forms)
Prof. Kano revised and adopted these forms so as to show the substance of Judo.

This is the form of National Physical Education.

The Ranking System



6th grade


5th grade


4th grade


3rd grade


2nd grade


1st grade




1st degree


2nd degree


3rd degree


4th degree


5th degree


6th degree


7th degree


8th degree


9th degree


10th degree

The Rules of Judo
Click here to learn more about Judo
Source : International Judo Federation