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Judo: Sweeping Opponents Under the Rug
Judo is a demanding sport physically as well as mentally—though its skills can pay dividends for students from all walks of life. Read on to learn more about this defensive fighting form.
As a sport, judo can win you an Olympic medal. As a discipline, it can save your life. This versatile martial art can shift to fit the needs of children, competitive athletes, and police officers alike. Japanese for “the gentle way,” judo is primarily a defensive fighting style, which means it consists largely of throws and sweeps rather than the offensive jabs and backhanded compliments of boxing. That’s not to say judo can’t pack a figurative punch. Its moves often use an attacker’s own force against them, leveraging their impulsive lunges into sudden takedowns. Mental focus is also a key component to judo. Practitioners are taught to develop a “warrior mindset,” which helps them think quickly on their feet, power through physical pain, and have absolutely no mercy on anyone who makes the mistake of challenging them.
In the late 19th century, Jigori Kano developed judo as a safer alternative to traditional Japanese jiujitsu, largely so that students could practice martial arts for longer periods of time without injury. Even though advanced judo practice involves getting thrown to the ground dozens of times per class, fighters stay safe by learning to properly break their falls. Naturally, this practical skill translates well to real-life situations, giving law-enforcement officials and anyone else who is suddenly attacked an edge in regaining control of an altercation.