What is Judo?
Judo is a Japanese martial art that was created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. The word ‘Judo’ stems from the Japanese language and can be translated to ‘gentle way’. This refers to the fact that Judo actually can not be seen as a combat sport. In Judo you’re not actually supposed to punch or kick someone, but the sport instead revolves around the art of using the power of your opponent against them.
Gradations in Judo
Within Judo different classes and gradations are differentiated by using different colored belts (which can have different colours at the end). The Dutch judo classes use small pieces of fabric at the end of the belt to indicate the judoka’s current stage in getting a higher rank. This little piece is mostly sewn on to the belt and is generally only used in the youth classes. The gradation of colors is yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and black. These ranks are from low to high respectively.
The common threads in judo technique are the kata. These are the techniques that are generally used during a competitive match or exam. This includes fending off an attack or grabbing your opponent. The kata can be seen as the grammar of the sport. There is a ‘uke’ who attacks and a ‘tori’ who defends and uses a specific technique for that.
Judo kata example