Judo (called Yudo in Korean) is a grappling-based martial art that began in Japan in the late-nineteenth century, and gradually grew to become a widely practiced international sport. Judo was founded by Jigoro Kano, who created the art by synthesizing and revitalizing Japanese Jujutsu, which at that time had become a dying military art. Kano’s intention was to create a martial art that was safer to practice by the general public. He did this by modifying the devastating joint locks and throws commonly used in Jujutsu, into gentler, safer techniques. Although Judo originally began as a self-defense art and a form of fitness exercise, it gradually evolved into an aggressive, exciting, grappling sport, and has been included in the Olympic Games since 1964. While Judo’s roots remain in Japan, the various countries where it is practiced govern the sport through their own national associations. Korea, France, the United States, Russia, among others, have all evolved their own culturally unique innovations and interpretations of Judo techniques, making it truly an “international” martial art.

The art of Judo primarily focuses on throwing, grappling, and ground fighting, and incorporates a broad range of choking techniques, immobilization holds, and joint manipulations. Judo practitioners are widely recognized for their extensive repertoire of throwing techniques.