The benefits of learning judo include learning the skills assembled by Jigoro Kano in Japan. Known as the Japanese Father of Physical Education and Sport, Kano created this martial art as a synthesis of some jujitsu fighting techniques and his own additional insights. Kodokan Judo was established in 1882 and, almost a century later, became an Olympic event in 1964.

This unique martial art operates on the principle of turning the strength of one’s enemy against him. Dr. Kano also supported the maxim of “Minimum efficiency, maximum success”. He explained that turning an opponent’s body operated similarly to the concept of the lever. By positioning one’s hands correctly as well as attending to the timing of attacks and the direction of pulls, one could gain a mechanical advantage over an opponent.

Both children and adults can participate in the sport, and children can start as young as the age of six. A person who learns this “gentle way” will grow in self-confidence and self-esteem. Fitness, coordination and flexibility will help not only with martial arts but also with other sports. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of studying the sport is to gain control over behavior. Mastering the art of self-control is one of the central purposes of practice.

The aims of practicing this unique sport are three-fold. First, the student seeks to learn the techniques. Second, the student learns non-resistance, which causes the opponent to put him or herself off balance. Third, the student learns to develop speed and timing in applying the techniques. A serious student will practice every day until he or she can defeat opponents without thinking consciously about what the body is doing.

Choosing a school is really about choosing an instructor. Watch how the instructor interacts with students and see if the instructor promotes mutual respect and explains the skills well. Good instructors are often members of the Martial Arts Teachers Association. Contact a qualified instructor today to learn more about the benefits of learning judo.