Judo is a fast paced, dynamic combat sport that demands both physical stamina and great mental discipline. From a standing position, it involves throwing your opponents onto their backs. On the ground, it includes techniques that allow you to pin your opponents down to the ground, control them, and apply various chokeholds or joint locks until submission. Judo is an Olympic sport played around the world. The practice of judo promotes teamwork, leadership and self confidence; it can also help develop discipline, punctuality, strength, perseverance, and tenacity. 

Kanō Jigorō (1860–1938) founded the Kōdōkan School of Judo in 1882. This martial art was based on collected knowledge from jujitsu schools of the Japanese samurai, and emphasized safety by eliminating the most dangerous techniques. He introduced randori (free practice) and preserved classical jujitsu techniques in the kata (forms) of judo. By the 1960s, judo associations had spread worldwide, making it now the most prominent form of jacket-wrestling in the world. 

The Judo Moral Code is a set of ethics created by the sport’s founder Jigoro Kano. He believed they were vital in the development of judo players and individuals both on and off the mat. The code itself is made up of 8 parts: Courtesy, Courage, Friendship, Honesty, Honor, Modesty, Respect, Self-Control

Belts and Ranking:
Belts are a great way to help judoka (judo practitioner) track their progress. Belts and ranking may help build the student’s confidence and their desire to succeed. In many cases the first belt promotion can be attained in a few months, with subsequent promotions made based on skill development at class attendance. 

As judoka become more skillful, their confidence increases significantly. They become more self-assured on and off the mat. 

Class will often consist of warm-up calisthenics, teaching of fundamentals and practicing the techniques. During class, each judoka work on their skill-set while also building strength, cardio, and agility. 

Emphasis on Individual Achievement within a Positive Peer Group Setting:
In judo, each judoka’s success is their own ambition and hard work. Judo is one of the few sports where individuals can only improve through the positive interaction and training with others on the mat.

There is constant repetition in drills and practices with emphasis on details and rhythm. Moves are practiced and repeated. This type of practice instills the benefits of frequent practice, and the patience for self- development. Through this process, judoka are taught to respect one another, as opponents and individuals.

Gender Equity:
Many parents consider martial arts for their sons, not nearly as many would consider it for their daughters. However, judo is one of the few sports where everyone can play together. In fact, female judo players in the United States tend to have greater competitive success internationally than their male counterparts.

Respect for Strength:
A question parents often have when they send their kids to judo class is: “Is my child going to use this to hurt others?” Although this is a legitimate concern, it is always addressed early by instructors who remind students that the techniques they learn in the dojo stay in the dojo and should not be used to intimidate people. As children learn the ropes, they will learn to respect their newfound strength and techniques.

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ju, which means "gentle," and do, which means "the way." Judo, therefore, literally means the way of gentleness. This means that even advanced students, thanks to proper ukemi (falling), can train at 100% intensity, without risk of grave injury. Could you imagine punching or kicking someone as hard as you can, without pads - and not injuring yourself or them? Probably not. Judoka regularly throw each other with 100% effort without injury.

Beyond the development of physical and athletic ability, judo students learn much more. They learn how to control their feelings, emotions, and impulses through the judo moral code. They learn about values of perseverance, respect, loyalty, and discipline through their training. And finally, through their experiences on the mat training with others, they learn about the importance of politeness, modesty, and community which contribute to their development as judoka and members of society.

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