The Essence of Judo
A brief journey


Judo is one of the most popular sports in the world practiced by over 40 million people worldwide.

It suits all ages and abilities, all genders and is enjoyed for fun as well as competition.


Olympic sport
Physical fitness
Mental well-being



360° Focus

Judo has its own moral code – a set of ethics and values.    Learning this philosophy is as important as learning the throws.   


Judo is an exciting and dynamic sport where players use movement, balance and leverage to gain advantage over each other.

It incorporates throwing and grappling techniques, as well as groundwork and hold-downs.

Done properly it helps create good posture, improves physical fitness and increases mental alertness.

Judo is not just a physical discipline: It’s much more than that!

Advancing and improving

There are many ways to develop and advance within the sport.

The most obvious is the ‘belt’ system – where judoka can work their way up through the colours, to earn the coveted black belt.

But there are many other ways to succeed that we talk about across our website.

The Olympic Journey

The olympics

Judo was developed in Japan over a hundred years ago by Professor Jigoro Kano, and is now a popular and respected Olympic sport, having been first introduced to the Games in Tokyo in 1964.

How Olympic sports are chosen:

Being chosen as an Olympic Sport means that the sport has undergone the highest level of scrutiny by up to 90 members of the International Olympic Committee  (IOC).  It is not a permanent state.  The sport must stay relevant and be considered to add value and be approachable to the public.  The fact that Judo has been a central part of the Olympic journey for so long is testament to its popularity.


Judo is an inclusive sport and is readily accessible to able and disabled people.

Weight Classes

Judo is a fair and balanced sport where people compete in weight classes to ensure well balanced competitions.

Gender equality

Judo is a progressive sport.  It has recently made a very public statement (IJF) that “Gender equality is a basic human right”  Starting from the next Olympics Judo will be a sport that has full gender equity at the Games.

Paralympic Games

Judo is now part of the Paralympic Games with specialised rules to accommodate blind competitors.

Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano was an educator and an avid athlete.  He founded Judo in 1882 and it was from the very start focused on physical and moral training.  It was introduced to the Japanese School system between 1906 and 1917 and is now Japan’s most popular sport.

It is because of this history and the 360° lifestyle focus that even today it remains a very popular part of the school curriculum.

As well as keeping fit, it teaches children self-discipline and encourages them to deal with life in a constructive and positive manner.

After all, the word judo consists of two Japanese characters – ‘ju’ which means ‘gentle’ and ‘do’ which means ‘the way’.

Judo literally means ‘the way of gentleness’.

Judo is more than a sport to us – it’s a philosophy, a family and, for many of us, a way of life.

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