The principles of judo as a martial art had practiced by traditional Japanese warriors for years when it was first popularized by its traditionally recognized founder, Kano Jigoro, in the late 19th century.
Taking a cue from already established moves in jujitsu ("the gentle way") Kano added now-familiar throwing moves, and focused on development of the body, mind, and character of young men in addition to the development of physical mastery.
Indeed, thoughtful consideration of physics would always give judo practitioners advantage over their attackers, explained Kano: "Force your opponent to make his body rigid and lose his balance, and then when he is helpless, you attack."
With a noted exception in the US where karate has gained more popular appeal, judo remains the most practiced martial art worldwide. Olympic judo entered the world competition in 1964 at the Tokyo Summer games, and after not being included in 1968 has remained an Olympic event ever since.
For more information about judo and martial arts, take off your shoes and step onto the virtual mat - and into the online world of judo offering top resources, photos, championship news,
judo history and techniques.
Also check out profiles and bios of the sport's most popular stars...
Kodokan Judo Institute - The world mecca for judo instruction located in Tokyo, Japan with a virtual tour and 3600 views, illustrated demonstrations of techniques, description of courses, related links, contact info, map and directions. In English and Japanese.
International Judo Federation - Info central for judo worldwide including sections on rules and regulations, technique, judo etiquette, along with news and feature story articles, event calendar, photo galleries and more.
Judo Information Site - Check out a great overview and brief history of the sport, story articles, information on techniques, competition and training, related resources, and probably the largest archive of judo humor online.
Judo Photos.com- "Showing Judo to the World" is this site's motto with a comprehensive cache of recent and
archived photos of judo champs, information on competitions, related resources, and although a bear to navigate and slow to download, worth the wait.
Koka Kids - UK site geared to future judo champs with kid-friendly history, club directory, interactive quizzes and fun stuff.