Judo, which means “The Gentle Way”, is a Japanese martial art based upon the ancient techniques of jujutsu.  Dr. Jigoro Kano, President of the University of Education in Tokyo, developed judo in 1882.  Dr. Kano, who had studied jujutsu in his youth, incorporated the best of these ancient techniques into the new art of Judo.  Dr. Kano subsequently founded the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan as an place to teach his new art.

The main principles of Judo are “Maximum Efficiency” and “Mutual Welfare and Benefit.”  The goal of maximum efficiency teaches the judoka to use the least amount of physical strength necessary to throw an opponent.  This is accomplished by proper use of technique and timing.  The goal of mutual welfare and benefit was an extension of Dr. Kano’s belief that Judo could help the individual become a better member of society.  Dr. Kano felt that the personal discipline that Judo taught would extend beyond the dojo into daily life and could allow the judoka to become a more productive member of society.

In 1964, Judo became the first martial art to be sanctioned as a medal sport in the Olympic Games.  Judo competitions are also held throughout the world.  Points are awarded for throwing an opponent, holding an opponent on his back while on the mat for a designated amount of time, or forcing an opponent to submit via “tapping out” to an armlock or choke or rendering the opponent unconscious with a choke.  A match is won with a “perfect throw” called an Ippon, two near perfect throws called Wazari, holding an opponent on his back on the mat for 25 seconds, a combination of one Wazari and holding an opponent down for 20 seconds, or submitting an opponent with a choke or armlock.  Members of the Notre Dame Judo Club are registered as amateur athletes in the State of Indiana through the state judo governing body, Indiana Judo Inc.  Members are offered frequent opportunities to compete.  However, competition is not necessary for membership in the club.