What’s In a Name? Distinguishing Judo From Its Sister Arts

Image source: superstarjudo.com

Judo originates from the Japanese martial art jujutsu. Judo itself would later give rise to many variants, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Despite their common origins, however, each of the different martial arts derived from jujutsu varies in fundamental ways.

In many ways, judo and its descendant sports bear the hallmark of their progenitor art. Jujutsu had its origins in the constant fighting in Feudal Japan. The grapples and throws were among the most effective ways that Samurai warriors could pin down and incapacitate an armed or armored opponent without relying on a weapon.

Judo represents a refinement of these original techniques, relying on turning the opponent’s own force and momentum against them. Much like its predecessors, judo also focused on getting the opponent pinned down, with the understanding that the battle is over once the opponent is on the ground. This makes judo an excellent martial art to learn for self-defense and can be practiced largely noncompetitively.

Image source: bjj.org

The sport aspect of judo was later intensified in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which focused heavily on achieving victory over an opponent and using every move to that end. Throws are worth points based on execution but do not finish the battle. Unlike judo, where fighters must stand back up when no fighters can remain on the ground until a submission hold is accomplished.

As a result, it is far more competitive than its predecessor and can be more prone to injury, although observers would note that it looks remarkably less violent than the faster-paced Judo.

Peter Spennato has spent years training in judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. For more updates on martial arts and the disciplines associated with them, visit this blog.


Self-Defense Techniques Worth Remembering

Most people associate self-defense with kicks and jabs. These powerful moves are useful, but there are other important things to considerations when it comes to learning self-defense. Here are some techniques everyone should remember:

selfdefensetrainingImage source: Archiveslives.com

1. Be aware of the surroundings.

Awareness is the first key to defending oneself. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a crowded area or an empty street. A person must know how to take in the details of his or her surroundings. Being instinctive yet calm in a suspicious environment is important to stay safe.

self-defense-techniques-890x395_cImage source: Einvestigator.com

2. Know the pressure points.

These body parts are the most vulnerable. The eyes, nose, neck, and knees are the target points that must be hit when a person is being attacked. To incapacitate the attacker even for a few moments, a person must know how to defend using the elbows, knees, and head. A strong elbow through the nose can cause injury.

3. Use common objects.

Keeping keys or a pen in the pocket could be helpful in desperate situations. Having a pepper spray or even something as simple as a perfume spritzer can help a person get away from an attacker. These simple objects must always be easy to reach for faster defense in case of an attack.

As much as possible, it is much safer to avoid contact. In the event of a mugging or other similar occurrences, it is better to leave possessions than to sacrifice personal safety. For assault or personal attacks, the victim must try to get as far as possible from the attacker especially after defending oneself. In self-defense, a person’s safety is the top priority.

Peter Spennato is a martial arts specialist and defense instructor. He has undergone martial arts training for decades, namely judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. Visit this bog for more information on martial arts.

How Judo Came To America

Judo, a martial art founded in Japan, has been a cornerstone of many mixed martial arts and self-defense techniques for decades. The physical as well as mental discipline of the art is impressive, and thousands of practitioners in the United States have the Japanese to thank for that. But how did it reach America?

jigoro-kanoImage source: http://judokastore.com/


In 1887, Kodokan Judo was officially recognized in Japan. It was developed in a way that allowed it to be practiced as a sport. Physical education, competition ability, and mental training were the goals of Kodokan Judo. Only the highest ranked members were taught any other action deemed too lethal for sport.

USJF LogoImage source: http://www.clovisjudoclub.com/

A few years later, Kodokan Judo’s founder, Jigoro Kano left Japan to travel around Europe and the United States. Kano and his followers tried their best to teach judo to people in other countries. This task, for the most part, was difficult.

In 1892, Takashima Shidachi gave seminars in the Japan Society in London on judo, earning the interest of many people.

By 1907, Gunji Koizumi came to the United States, and became the first documented judo instructor in the nation.

Today, the United States has three major judo organizations that help promote the art, sport and competitions. These organizations are the United States Judo Association, United States Judo Federation, and USA Judo.

Peter Spennato is a martial artist and an instructor. He has trained in a number of martial arts for decades, including judo. He is proficient in the handling of firearms having trained under former SWAT commander Rick Brown of La Puenta Sheriff Department. For more discussion on martial arts, read this blog.