Is Judo for the Weak?

Judo is one of the most aggressive and competitive martial arts out there. Moves consist of spectacular throws and devastating pins. Also, not commonly known, is that Judo encompasses much of the art of Jiu Jitsu as well. Why is this? Well, they are both branches of the same tree.

Originally, Japanese Jiu Jitsu was taught as a self defense for Samurai warriors who were forced into weaponless combat using only their hands and body. The techniques of the day were intended to kill or seriously injure the opponent. Thankfully it's not that way any more. However, the techniques are nonetheless dangerous and should only be practiced in an environment with a belted instructor.

So how are Jiu Jitsu and Judo similar? Well, they both use techniques used to force an opponent to submit. This is done through various chokes, joint and limb-locks. Judo and Jiu-Jitsu both start standing, but Jiu Jitsu is quick to go to the ground. In fact, some JiuJitsu practitioners will actually pull you down to the ground, which is their area of expertise. They attempt to take postural control of their opponent and cause them to submit, or "tap out" through the use of chokes and joint locks. Pinning is also allowed in Jiu Jitsu, although it's not a big part of the game. In Judo, again, both players start standing, but going to the ground is not always the case. Judo practices at least 70% standing and 30% groundfighting. This is due, in part, to the devastating throws in Judo. When someone picks you up and slams you on the ground, odds are, in most cases, you're not getting up - not fast, at least. While it may take ten or fifteeen minutes for the Jiu Jitsu practitioner to submit their opponent, a Judo confrontation can be over in less than five seconds. In competition, Judo can also win by pinning the opponent for 20 seconds.

One important aspect of Judo to acknowledge is that it is specifically designed for a smaller person to defeat a larger stronger opponent or attacker. The founder of Judo, Professor Jigoro Kano, weighed a mere 90 lbs, but yet traveled the world promoting Judo and defeating all size and shapes of challengers. He was known to be considerably weaker than many of his opponents, again, proving that Judo works for smaller weaker practitioners. He didn't set out to create a new martial art; he was merely looking for ways to improve the existing jiujitsu techniques into a way where he gained the advantage.

Today Judo has evolved into a self-defense as well as an Olympic sport. And although commonly thought of as a boy's sport, Judo is becoming increasingly popular with girls too. So if there are any fathers of daughters out there who want to make sure you're girl is safe on a night out, consider enrolling her in Judo today.


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