The Essence of Judo: Unveiling the Judogi's Tradition and Function

Judo - The Gentle Way

Judo is a dynamic fighting sport that requires mental fortitude and polished physical skills. It is considered among the most popular and practiced sports in the world after soccer. Japanese martial arts - Judo is more of a grappling art that has been part of the Olympics since 1964, but it has been around for much longer.

In olden times, the techniques of Judo were used for self-defense and for survival purposes. The sport evolved from jiu-jitsu since it uses many of its techniques. For some people, Judo is more of an art, while others take it as a way of combat. There are people who believe it is a perfect sport to discipline yourself.

The Game

Judo means “gentle way” and though no weapons are used for this sport, yet it is not very gentle.  This unarmed combat can be explained as a sport that requires the maximum and efficient use of energy in a skillful way to get maximum impact. It is played on a mat – or tatami – measuring 14m x 14m.

During the game, chokes, holds or joint locks are used to unbalance the opponent and throw him/her on the floor. Using chokeholds or joint locks you can pin or control your opponent until he/she submits. You can win a match if you are able to pin the opponent on his back on the floor mat for 20 to 25 seconds. A judo contest is usually five minutes long for adults and can be four minutes for boys and girls. There is a referee present to oversee the game and intervene when necessary.

Judo Uniform

Judo players wear the traditional Japanese suit called a gi that includes a white tunic and pants. It must be of good quality, so it doesn’t rip during the fight. The arms and legs of the suit must be almost 5 cm above to ensure free play. A belt is worn on the waist the color of which indicates your rank as a player. It is tied in a traditional knot.

Judo Belts

Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, came up with a belt ranks system that indicates a certain level or expertise a player has achieved in the sport. 

Beginner’s or Intermediate belt levels

  1. White belt
  2. Yellow belt
  3. Orange Belt
  4. Green Belt
  5. Blue Belt
  6. Brown belt 

Black Belt Grades

  1. Black belt
  2. Red and White paneled belts
  3. Red belts

Moral Code and Rules

The game is all about standing by principles at all items. Judo is played under very strict rules which if broken can get the player disqualified. The sport teaches a competitor self-discipline and encourages ethical behavior. In Judo, respect for the opponent and etiquettes are emphasized a lot unlike other combat sports.

Rules like bowing to the opponent before initiating a fight are meant to show respect and make this sport different from all others. The emphasis on honesty and integrity are held in high regard and this is the reason many parents want their kids to learn Judo.

Learning Judo

Judo is not easy to learn; it comes with its sets of challenges. Hip techniques are tough, and it takes time for a beginner to get the hang of them. If you have had any martial arts or wrestling training, then it can come in handy. A coach can teach you different techniques in the training sessions. He will teach you how to increase strength, flexibility and have a greater resilience as well as a stronger self-defense skill set.