THE HISTORY OF JUDO
The History Of Judo
Japan was under the rule of group of professional soldiers known as Samurais from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. This was an era that witnessed the development of various martial arts and combat techniques throughout Asia. The Samurais made modifications to Jijisu, or jujitsu, a hand-to-hand combat style that was used extensively in military training.
However, with the fall of Samurais in 1868 and the restoration of imperial rule in Japan under Emperor Meji, jujitsu started losing its sheen and popularity. Even though no bans were placed on the martial art, with increased westernization, people started losing interest in both training and practicing of it. The martial art would have been extinct during this era were it not for the contributions of Jigoro Kano.
The story of Judo cannot be narrated without attributing the pivotal role served by Dr. Jigoro Kano.
Kano was born into an affluent family as the son of a head priest in 1860. Even though Kano was good at his lessons, he constantly worried about his weak physique and the bullies who used to give him a tough time. He decided to learn jujitsu but had difficulty finding a good trainer. Most people who knew the art were not enthusiastic to pass them on as they considered them useless. Finally, he started training with Yanosuke Fakuda, a jujitsu master at a school. He grew so passionate about martial arts training that at the age of just 21, he started a new school to teach a new martial art called Judo, consisting of some of the best moves of several prominent jujitsu styles. And that was the birth of Judo!
In late nineteenth century, Kano traveled to Europe to spread Judo outside Japan. Kano tirelessly worked to spread Judo across the globe, even while serving in the Olympic Committee.
It was a dream come true moment for Kano when men’s Judo was officially announced as an Olympic event in 1964 Tokyo Olympics. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the women’s contest was introduced as a demonstration, but it was at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that women’s Judo was added as an official contest