The takenouchi-ryu martial art system established in 1532 is considered the beginning of Japan’s Jujitsu forms. Judo was originated from Jujitsu, the art for either attacking others or protecting oneself with nothing but one’s own body.

(Takenouchi Ryū it´s complete martial arts which includes a variety of weapons. Its techniques have been influential in the founding of many other schools in Japan. Takenouchi Ryū is still actively transmitted today by members of the Takenouchi family, as well as by other groups both within and outside Japan)

Judo is a martial art born in Japan, and it´s now known around the world as an Olympic sport. Judo was established in 1882 by merging Jujitsu, a form of wrestling, with mind control. The roots of jujitsu lie in sumo, which has a long, long history; sumo is mentioned in the Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan), a document from the year 720 that illustrates the history of Japan from the mythical age of the gods until the time of Empress Jito, who ruled from 686 to 697.

From the twelfth to the nineteenth century Japan was governed by the samurai, a class of professional warriors. This provided fertile ground for many martial arts to develop. In addition to fighting with swords and bows and arrows, the samurai developed Jujitsu to fight enemies at close range on the battlefield. Diverse different styles of Jujitsu evolved, and hand-to-hand combat spread as an important form of military training.

The era of samurai rule came to an end with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and Western culture began to penetrate into the Japanese society. Jujitsu fell into decline, but the enthusiasm of one man rescued it from extinction. That man was Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo as we know it now. Jigoro Kano excelled in schoolwork but had an inferiority complex about his small physique. So he became an apprentice of Yanosuke Fukuda, a master of the Tenjin Shin’yo School of Jujitsu, when he was 17 and worked hard to become stronger. In May 1882, when he was just 21 years old, he took the best elements about each Jujitsu style and created his own school. This was the birth of modern Judo. At first, he had just nine students, and the dojo (practice hall) measured just about 24 square yards.

Jigoro Kano’s vision came true at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where men’s judo was accepted as an official Olympic event. Medals were awarded to competitors in various weight divisions, and Japanese competitors swept the gold in all but the open division, where a non-Japanese champion was crowned. This was a sign that judo had already taken root in lands outside Japan. Women’s judo was included as a demonstration event at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and was added to the official program at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Currently, some 184 countries and regions are members of the International Judo Federation. The sport is particularly popular in Europe. In fact, many more people in France practice judo than in Japan. Japan is continuing to support judo in other countries, such as by sending tutors to regions where judo is not so well known, like Africa and Oceania.

Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano was born on December 10, 1860, in the city today named Kobe, Japan and died on May 4, 1938. In his lifetime, Jigoro Kano attained a doctorate degree in Judo, a degree equivalent to the twelfth dan, awarded to the originator of Judo only. He constantly worked to ensure the improvement of athletics and Japanese sport in general, and as a result, is often called the ”Father of Japanese Sports”. In 1935 he was awarded the Asahi prize for his outstanding contribution to sports.

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