About Judo

Why Judo?

Seventy Plus Reasons Why To Practice Judo
By Sid Kelly 8th Dan Judo. 6th Dan Ju-Jitsu
June 2007

From its humble and obscure beginnings in 1882, judo has become an Olympic sport, a recognized system of physical and mental education, and according to the International judo Federation (IJF), it is now one of the, if not the most widely practiced indoor
sport in the World.

From France, where judo is the number one indoor sport, and its educational and sporting benefits are well understood and appreciated, the following first hand information comes from the great French former Olympian and World judo champion Angelo Parisi. Angelo says, in France, if a parent takes a child to the doctors and says, “My child is hyperactive, what do you recommend?” The doctor replies, “JUDO CLASSES” (Pills are not recommended). If a parent takes a child to the doctors and says, “My child is timid and lacks self confidence, what do you recommend?” The doctor replies, “JUDO CLASSES”. (A psychologist is not recommended). If a parent takes a child to the doctors and says, “My child is frail, weak, always ill, and lacks energy, what do recommend? The doctor replies, “JUDO CLASSES”. (Antibiotics are not recommended).

In Britain, the popular TV series Super Stars, was for years dominated by the Olympic and World judo champion Brian Jacks. Champions of different sports competed against each other with various sporting activities, and the winner was the one with overall highest average score. It was not that the other sport champions were unfit, but it was a glaring example of how fit a person can become by training very hard at judo. For years Brian outshone all other competitors, because he trained in a sport that is so physically rounded and encompassing. The results proved it so. During that period of TV exposure, judo’s popularity surged.

By experiencing the trials and tribulations within the safe sporting environment of judo, the individual undergoes positive physical and mental changes. From the struggles encountered during judo practice, the individual is challenged with simultaneously executing, and receiving the dynamic judo skills of throwing, falling, holding, choking and arm locking. The physical effort and mental absorption required in applying these skills lead the practitioner through a gamut of emotions, ranging from: disappointment, confusion, and frustration, to those of satisfaction, joy, euphoria and accomplishment. Which, to name a few, leads to increased self esteem, improved discipline in daily life, sportsmanship, and an overall feeling of well being.
Judo is not a panacea for all the problems that an individual will encounter during life. But because of judo’s wide range of physical and mental demands, judo is, in the final analysis, a very effective self-improvement program whose long-term effects benefit both the individual and society.
Every pastime or recreation has something to offer that enriches a person’s life. However, in the long run, the important thing is for the individual to find the activity that suits his or her personality and mental psyche. The fact is though, through the practice and study of judo, the individual will encounter a wider variety of physical and mental experiences than he will in most other activities. Which of course does not make it the best activity. The best activity is the one that suits or appeals the most to the individual.

Below are 70 plus benefits that judo has to offer. Some benefits such as weight loss and fun can be near immediate. While the results or benefits, such as overcoming ego, patience, and increased energy, will take time, they are, and can only be, proportional
to the effort and dedication spent at judo. It should be noted that the improvement of any one quality is relative. Take for example the quality of patience. An individual may practice judo for twenty years, but his next door neighbor, who has never stepped on
the mat in his life has more patience than the judo practitioner. But the patience of the judo practitioner has improved over the twenty years. Results should not be compared outside oneself, but within oneself.

The list of benefits is broken down into 3 groups:
+ Physical Benefits.
+ Mental Benefits.
+ Life benefits.

+Physical Benefits: Through Regular Judo Practice:
1) Agility. nimble, rapid and light movements.
2) Balance. mental and physical equilibrium.
3) Body Power. explosive, integrated body action.
4) Cardiovascular. exercising the heart and blood vessels.
5) Co-ordination. harmonious, attuned physical actions.
6) Distance Judgment. instinctive measurement of correct reach.
7) Endurance. stoic bearing of suffering and hardship.
8) Flexibility. soft, supple, pliable, bendable actions.
9) Fun. physical and mental enjoyment through sport recreation.
10) Ju(from judo). the practice of yielding to and using an adversary’s force.
11) Mental and Physical Co-ordination. thoughts producing harmonious physical actions.
12) Movement. rhythmic, flowing, lateral, circular and spiral actions.
13) Personal Hygiene. Cleanliness of the body and the uniform.
14) Posture. upright and relaxed for optimum breathing and effective spontaneous reaction.
15) Reaction. correct response to a physical attack.
16) Relaxation. intermittent release during physical and mental effort.
17) Speed. explosive, accelerated trained movements.
18) Stamina. resistance and fortitude to fatigue.
19) Strategy. overall game plan for success.
20) Strength. maximum effective use of body force.
21) Tactics. Skilful methods to overcome an adversary.
22) Timing. Synchronizing to produce effective results.

+Mental Benefits: Through Regular Judo Practice
23) Aesthetics. Appreciative and sensitive to performing physical, eye pleasing, mental and spiritually satisfying movements.
24) Alertness. you had better be!
25) Commitment. the personal pledge to practice and study.
26) Courage. able to withstand pain, failure and difficulties.
27) Concentration. fixed attention in changing circumstances.
28) Decisiveness. conclusive, definite, and without doubt.
29) Determination. resolute, and committed in application.
30) Discipline. strict obedience while striving for a goal.
31) Fighting Spirit. innate, subconscious, resolution to succeed.
32) Focusing. center of concentration to a fixed moment.
33) Humility. freedom from pride and arrogance.
34) Ju (from judo). a flexible, resilient mental attitude to difficulties encountered during practice.
35) Losing, Accepting and learning from the loss.
36) Overcoming Ego. Abolishing conceit and self-centeredness.
37) Patience. Abiding difficulties with calmness and self control.
38) Persistence. being there when it is all over.
39) Self Control. regulation of thoughts, emotions and actions.
40) Winning. victory over oneself, not your adversary.

+Life’s Benefits: Through Regular Judo Practice

41) Appreciating Cause and Effect. efforts are proportional to results.
42) Appreciating Eastern Ideas. looking inward to know yourself.
43) Appreciating Growth/Change. observing skill development.
44) Appreciating nature. effective use of immutable laws.
45) Appreciating One’s Limitations. accepting your abilities/results.
46) Calmness. detached with self control.
47) Diet. regular nourishing food and liquid.
48) Education. physical and mental development.
49) Empathy. understanding the limitations of others.
50) Health. regular exercise, diet, relaxation and sleep.
51) Increased Energy. the result of regular judo practice.
52) Ju (from judo) a flexible, resilient attitude to life’s problems.
53) Meditation. attention to the mind, inner calmness, peace, stillness and tranquility.
54) Non Violence. rage and violence extinguished through the discipline of regular judo practice
55) Maximum Efficiency Minimum Effort. tenet of Dr. Jigaro Kano: founder of judo.
56) Mutual Benefit And Welfare. tenet of Dr. Jigaro Kano: founder of judo.
57) Positive thinking. absence of negativity, worry and doubt.
58) Relieving Stress. releasing and freeing tension, through the discipline of regular judo practice.
59) Respect. courtesy and regard toward others.
60) Self-Awareness. recognition of one’s worth.
61) Self-Confidence. conviction in one’s abilities.
62) Self-Defense. a realistic prepared security.
63) Self-Esteem. a non egotistical liking of oneself.
64) Self-Reliance. independence in thought and action.
65) Sense of humor. your saving grace.
66) Social Growth. long term relationships.
67) Sportsmanship. belief in the spirit of fair play.
68) Study. thinking, focusing, and learning with intent.
69) Way of Life. a guide for judicious living.
70) Weight Loss. quick for the unconditioned.
71) Weight Control. Minimum fluctuation when established.
72) Well Being. Happiness and joy through health.