Judo, which means "The Gentle Way", is a Japanese martial art based upon the ancient techniques of Jujutsu. Dr. Jigoro Kano, incorporated the best of these ancient techniques into the new art of Judo.
Judo is mostly known for its spectacular throwing techniques but it also includes numerous techniques for safely controlling an opponent while on the ground.
The goal of mutual welfare and benefit was an extension of Dr. Kano's belief that Judo could help the individual become a better member of society. Dr. Kano felt that the personal discipline that Judo taught would extend beyond the dojo into daily life and could allow the Judoka to become a more productive member of society.
People practice Judo for many different reasons such as exercise, sport, self-defense, a social activity and for many practitioners Judo becomes a way of life. But if you ask most Judoka why they train Judo, they will say that the practice Judo because it is fun!!
"Judo is the study of techniques with which you may kill if you wish to kill, injure if you wish to injure, subdue if you wish to subdue, and, when attacked, defend yourself."
- Jigoro Kano - Founder of Kodokan Judo
Judo as sport
Kano emphasized the larger educational value of training in attack and defense so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from. He eliminated some of the traditional Jujutsu techniques and changed training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full force to create a decisive victory without injury.
Being able to train full force against a resistive opponent set Judo apart from other Jujutsu schools of the time and led to its preeminence.
In 1886 The Tokyo Metropolitan Police held a tournament meant to resolve the question of which was better, Kano Jigoro’s Kodokan Judo club or the most well-known Jujutsu school of the time. Whichever school won would earn the right to instruct the Police.
By winning thirteen of fifteen matches and drawing the other two, the Kodokan athletes firmly established their primacy.
Judo then became a part of the Japanese physical education system and began its spread around the world.
In 1964, Judo became the first martial art to be sanctioned as a medal sport in the Olympic Games. Judo is now the second most popular sport in the world.
Judo for self defense
Traditional Judo (Kano Jujutsu) focuses on the practical application aspects of training.
Traditional Judo (Pre-World War Two Judo) includes the techniques removed from randori (free style practice) which are recognizable as elements of what is now known as Aikido and Karate.
Traditional Judo was the foundation of the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) combative measures program.
During World War II, US bomber groups in Europe suffered more combat casualties than did the US Marine Corps (trained in Fairbairn’s methods) in the Pacific.
Because of this, when Lt. General Curtis LeMay took over the Strategic Air Command (SAC), he was determined that all of his flying personnel would have working knowledge of hand-to-hand combat to aid in escape and evasion.
Gen. LeMay appointed Emilio ("Mel") Bruno, a former National AAU Wrestling Champion and 5th-degree in Judo, to direct the command-wide Judo and combative measures program for SAC in 1951. Bruno formulated a new approach to military combat training, integrating parts of Aikido, Judo, and Karate into a systematic unarmed combat technique.
In 1952 the Strategic Air Command started sending select troops to the Kodokan Institute in Tokyo, the Mecca of Judo, for advanced combatives training by the world’s foremost experts. This course was a Japanese-designed mix of Judo, Karate, Aikido and Taiho Jutsu.
This unique and arguably unparalleled program introduced countless Americans to the Japanese martial arts and helped
spread Judo, Karate, Aikido, and Taiho Jutsu across the country.
Judo forms the foundation of many of today’s self defense and combatives programs such as:
- Krav Maga
- Military Combatives
Judo and Catch Wrestling (or catch as catch can)
One of the founders of the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) combative measures program was Mel Bruno
Mel Bruno was the foster child of Roy “Pop” H. Moore Sr., a school teacher and Wrestling coach.
In the 1910’s Moore was a professional heavyweight wrestling champion. Then known as “catch as catch can”
Bruno’s philosophy was "Teach them Judo, but train them like Wrestlers"
Catch-as-Catch-Can is defined as “using or making due with whatever means are available." Jiu-jitsu translates to “the gentle art” and Judo translates to “the gentle way.” Catch as Catch Can Wrestling is regarded throughout the world as "the violent art," due to its aggressive nature when compared to these other popular styles. It is also the father of Olympic Freestyle Wrestling (once commonly known as Amateur Catch as Catch Can) and Collegiate Folk style Wrestling.
Catch Wrestling originated in Lancashire England and was developed and refined during the British Empire (1490's - mid 1900's). Its dominance in matches against other wrestling styles gained worldwide notoriety around the mid 1800’s. During this same time it found its way to North America via immigrants and world travelers and became the top sport in America by the turn of the 20th century. This grappling art is comprised of takedowns, throws, ground based wrestling rides, breakdowns and transitions combined with a surplus of excruciating submission holds. The term “No Holds Barred” originated with Catch Wrestling, as there are no illegal submissions, holds, pins or takedowns, which makes it extremely effective and efficient for both combat sports and self defense.
There is a natural synergy of Wrestling, Judo, and modern Jiu-Jitsu. If you have arms, legs, and a head, then grappling is grappling.
The Judo practiced at the Keishoukan represents an evolving art form that incorporates techniques grounded in traditional Japanese Ju Jutsu but builds on these with advanced techniques developed and proven in personal protection, professional use of force and modern mixed martial arts setting. The Katamedo style of Ju Jutsu has been developed from the years of practical field experience and application of fighting and sporting principles that spring from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian and Western grappling philosophies.
A practitioner will be able to compete equally in any grappling or mixed martial arts setting.
The principles of the arts are common, only the rules differ. A great freestyle wrestler will be able to adapt to sport Judo, Jujitsu, Sambo, Catch or Greco-Roman wrestling, and vice versa
Whether you call it a "Double-Leg Takedown" or a "Morote Gari", we empower participants from all grappling arts by building off of your existing experience to get you rolling on the mat immediately. We provide an open-ended practice and competition format so wrestlers and grappling enthusiasts can use a full range of techniques while enhancing their arsenal with powerful throws and submissions.
No-Gi Freestyle Judo provides an excellent way for wrestlers to enhance their skillset in the off-season.
We believe wrestlers are the world’s best conditioned athletes. Moreover, we adopted the philosophy of Judo and Wrestling pioneer Mel Bruno, "Teach them Judo, but train them like Wrestlers".
The principles of grappling are constant, as are the skills involved; it is the techniques of applying these skills that holds the potential for the progressive evolution of the art. As such, we must also learn the principles and tenets of atemi waza, or striking, which are common to many traditional arts such as Karate, and bare knuckle boxing.