“Judo is the way to the most effective use of both
physical and spiritual strength.”

— Jigorō Kanō —


Judo is a Japanese sport and Kodokan judo was first established in Japan in 1882 by Professor Jigorō Kanō. The term judo translates to the gentle way, ‘ju’ meaning ‘gentle’ and ‘do’ meaning ‘the way’. Kodokan is translated ‘a school for studying the way’, ‘the way’ being the concept of life itself.

Jigorō Kanō, founder of Judo

Jigorō Kanō, founder of Judo

Judo Moral Code

  • Politeness
  • Courage
  • Sincerity
  • Self-Control
  • Honour
  • Modesty
  • Friendship
  • Respect

Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others. It provides the means for learning self-confidence, improving concentration and leadership skills, as well as developing physical coordination, strength, power, and flexibility. Judo develops complete body control, fine balance, and fast reflexive action. Above all, it develops a sharp reacting mind well-coordinated with the same kind of body. Judo training also gives a person an effective self-defence system if the need arises.

Judo is best known for its spectacular throwing techniques but also involves considerable grappling on the ground. Judo emphasizes safety but is a full physical activity for top conditioning and is learned on special mats for comfort and safety.

Judo was introduced to the Olympic Games for men in Tokyo in 1964, and became an Olympic Sport for women in 1992 in Barcelona. Over the years judo has developed and now millions of people practice judo all over the word. Many countries have won Olympic medals, including Great Britain. However, Great Britain still hasn’t won a GOLD Olympic medal for judo. Can an Edinburgh Judo Club member be the first? Let’s hope so!!!

Professor Kanō defined the two principles of Kodokan Judo as “Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort” or Seiryoku-Zenyo and “Mutual Welfare and Benefit” or Jita-Kyoei. He said that “physical education should train the body to be strong, healthy and useful in actual life and also make a contribution to the culture of the mind.” His system of Judo is just that.


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