A Judo contest
The sport based on a samurai martial art translates into English as the gentle way!
The word 'judo' is written with two Chinese characters. Firstly 'ju', this means gentleness, signifying the philosophy that force should not be met with more force, but moulded and taken advantage of. 'do' simply means path, way or ethics. Therefore, put together, judo means 'gentle way'.
Modern judo is a refereed and regulated sport, with specific rules and conventions, where the aim of any contest is to safely throw or immobilise an opponent rather than cause physical harm (to obtain a symbolic death or defeat).
Founding of the Sport
Jigoro Kano was born in 1860 in Japan during the Meiji era. When Kano began his study of jujutsu, his masters were stuggling to earn a living from their teaching, this wasn't helped by the reform during the Meiji caused by the West, as everything Eastern was considered naive and old fashioned in comparison.
This led to the demise of the samurai warrior class which was finished off in 1873 with a decree that the samurai were forbidden to wear their cherished swords in public. Many became policemen, able to wear their swords on duty, others formed resistance groups, however, all rebellion was eventually suppressed and the teaching/passing on of the martial arts suffered as a result.
Despite these problems, Jigoro Kano, by the age of 23, felt he understood the principles of Jujutsu well enough that he rented a small room in the Eishoji temple in 1882 and opened the first kodokan (literally translates as the school for studying the way) for the study of Kano judo.
The judo Kano showed his pupils was not just a sport but a way of life. He based his teachings around the principles of gentleness. In his own words: "Victory over the opponent is achieved by giving way to the strength of the opponent, adapting to it and taking advantage of it, turning it, in the end to your own advantage."
In 1938 Kano died of pneumonia but not before seeing Tokyo selected as an Olympic site for the 12th Olympic Games and Judo put forward as an Olympic Sport.
However, because of the war those Games were cancelled and in the end it wasn't until the 1964 Games in Tokyo that judo became an Olympic sport. Some three decades later women's judo was included as an official sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
In addition, Jigoro Kano was the first to propose the founding of the International Judo Federation (IJF) in the 1930s. The federation was established in 1951 by 13 European country-members. Today the federation counts more than 180 countries as its members
After 12 years the sport of Judo is once again part of the official competition schedule of the Island Games.
Judo is a popular sport in Rhodes having started 20 years ago. Three judo clubs are responsible for the local development of the sport and organising competitions.
It was originally planned that Judo would be held in the Vergina Indoor Hall but due to a higher number of entries than expected it may be moved.
last updated: 13/10/2008 at 12:58