• History of Judo

History of Judo

Born in Japan, the combative sport of Judo spread throughout the world in the years following World War II.

Judo's Beginning

The form of Judo currently being practiced in Japan and around the world was first introduced in 1882 by Jigoro Kano, who began Judo instruction on the grounds of the Eishoji Temple in Tokyo's Kita inari-cho district (currently the Higashi Ueno area of Taito-ku, Tokyo).
Jigoro Kano began by studying the various forms of Jujutsu, Japan's ancient combative art, and then introduced his own wide-ranging improvements, as well as new techniques and a teaching system. Jigoro called his system "Judo", based on the concept that Judo provides "the way" (spiritual) which in turn leads to "technique" (physical).

The spread of Judo

As the number of Judo practitioners increased and the organization grew in size, a number of official events began to appear. Around 1887, some schools began offering Judo as an after-school program, and in 1931 it was offered as part of the regular curriculum. Judo training was also adopted by police departments, as well as by the military, private companies, and local sports training halls.
Interschool Judo competitions became popular, and these evolved to become all-Japan competitions.

The spread of Judo after WWII

The practice of martial arts was prohibited during the occupation following the end of World War II, and Judo was banned in the schools. However, the All Japan Judo Championships event was revived in 1948. In the following year, the All Japan Judo Federation was formed, and Judo began its comeback. In 1950, Judo training was again permitted in schools. This led to all-Japan competitions, and the interest in Judo soon exceeded even the prewar level.
The post-war spread of Judo overseas is of particular note, with the 1st World Judo Championships being held in 1956, followed by Judo being adopted as an official men's event in the 1964 Olympics.