Skip to content

What Is Judo?

Judo is a derivative of jiu-jitsu that has been increasing in popularity since 1886. Now, it is practiced all over the world. Because of this, it became an Olympic sport for both men and women. Here’s more about this martial art and its evolution.

History of Judo

When Jigoro Kano started boarding school, he was bullied by some other boys. It took him about nine years to find a jiu-jitsu instructor. Unfortunately, as the Samurais lost favor, they were encouraged to pursue other forms of work. This meant that many qualified warriors left the trade. After a short amount of time, it became incredibly difficult to find an instructor for martial arts.

So, in 1877, Kano finally found an instructor and started studying jiu-jitsu. Over the next five years, Kano studied under three different masters. In 1882, Kano founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo and began teaching his own version of jiu-jitsu, which he called judo.

According to, “The name Judo was chosen because it means the ‘gentle or yielding way’. 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.”

This philosophy is partially what makes this sport so popular. It became an Olympic sport for men in 1964 and for women in 1992. (If you’re keeping a tally on which martial arts are Olympic sports, the answer is taekwondo and judo.)

Judo Class

A judo class typically consists of warm-up, practicing forms, and sparring. Much of the traditional judo kata (forms) involve partner work, so be prepared to work with a stranger. Since many of the forms practice holding, throwing, grappling, and self-defense; you and your partner won’t be strangers for long!


Thanks to for the image.

As with other forms of martial arts, you will wear a white jacket, loose white pants, and a colored belt. In judo, the jacket and pants are called a judogi. even credits Kano with the modern design of the gi used in other martial arts like karate.

In judo, the colored belts are called obi. The belt system differs depending on your country. Belt colors may include:  white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black, and red. Before advancing to red, there are 10 black belt degree ranks. Unlike some other martial arts, belt advancement may take some time.

Find Judo Near You

When in doubt, ask Google. As you may have noticed, I use a lot of Google. Of course, you are welcome to use any other search engine or talk to Siri or whatever makes you happy. Simply put, the internet is the best source of information to tell you where your nearest judo dojo is.

If you don’t happen to have judo near you, look for jiu-jitsu. Since judo is a derivative of jiu-jitsu, it might offer the programming you’re seeking.

Have you practiced judo? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading this article. If you enjoy the information supplied, please consider supporting this website!

Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips for health and happiness! Also, you can find us on FacebookYouTube and Pinterest as Custom Pilates and Yoga.

Sharing is caring!

About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.


  1. Frank on January 1, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Good information! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah Stockett on October 24, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Thank you, Frank!

Scroll To Top