FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Kiai?

A sudden concentration of physical and mental power, combined with a loud shout used to defeat the opponent. Often also applied effectively to distract the opponent.

What Are Some Of The Working Principles Of Judo?

The use of balance and off-balancing. The use of leverage to achieve greater power. Taking advantage of the opponent’s strength. Taking advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses. The value of yielding and giving way. The proper application of timing, momentum and force.

What Is The English Translation or The Meaning of The Word Judo?

Gentle Way

What Is The Purpose In Learning Judo?

The development of character, mind, and body so that one can contribute something of value to the world.

What Are The Other Main Principles In Learning Judo?

The principle of cooperation (jita kyoei), working for mutual welfare and benefit. The principle of maximum efficiency (seiryoku zenyo), using the least amount of effort to achieve the greatest results.

Where Did Judo Come From?

Modern Judo is a martial art based on the traditional Jujutsu fighting and self-defence techniques of Japan.

What Is The Difference Between Judo and Jujutsu?

Judo is the modern scientific application of selected jujutsu techniques that may be practiced for self-development, physical education and sport. Jujutsu retains more dangerous self defense techniques, while Judo can generally be practiced with full force and complete safety. Check this description of Judo by Jigoro Kano himself.

When and Where Did Judo Begin?

Judo was first officially taught at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, Japan in 1882.

Who Created Judo?
Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano

The father of Judo is Professor Jigoro Kano (1860-1938). He studied jujutsu at an early age and founded the Kodokan to teach the art of Judo.

What Must Every Beginner Learn About Judo?

How to fall (ukemi) and the rules of safety and courtesy.

What Is Kuzushi?

Kuzushi is breaking the balance of an opponent.

What Are Some Of The Ways Kuzushi Can Be Achieved?
  • Hands: pushing and pulling.
  • Feet: for example, blocking the opponent from stepping forward.
  • Body: bending, pivoting, twisting or bumping the opponent to unbalance.
  • Voice: distracting, or mentally unbalancing, the opponent.
By What Means Is Kiai Achieved?
  1. A sudden concentration of the abdominal muscles.
  2. A forceful exhalation of breath.
  3. A sharp loud yell or shout.
What Are The Main Types Of Judo Techniques?

Nage waza (throwing techniques), Katame waza (grappling techniques), Atemi waza (striking techniques)

What Are The Types Of Judo Throws?
Type of Throw Description
Te waza hand and arm techniques
Koshi waza hip techniques
Ashi waza foot and leg techniques
Ma sutemi waza rear sacrifice techniques
Yoko sutemi waza side sacrifice techniques
What Is A Combination Throw (Renraku Waza)?

A series of attempted throws in which the last one is successful.

What Is A Counter Throw (Kaeshi Waza)?

A throw that is executed in answer to a throw attempted by the opponent, taking advantage of the opponent’s movements or the loss of balance involved in his throw.

What Are The Types Of Grappling Techniques (Katame Waza)?
Technique Description
Osae waza matholds and pins
Shime waza choking and strangling techniques
Kansetsu waza arm bars and joint locking techniques
What Is Tori and Uke?

Tori is the person executing a technique such as a throw, while uke is the person receiving the technique.

What Are The Main Methods of Judo Training or Practice?
Method Description
Kata formal exercise.
Uchi komi repetitive throwing practice.
Randori free practice.
Shiai contest
What Is Kata?

A formal demonstration of prearranged techniques of Judo. There are forms for throwing techniques (nage no kata), grappling techniques (katame no kata), self defense techniques and other aspects of Judo.

When Did Judo Become An Olympic Sport?

Judo, the only martial art that is a full Olympic medal sport, was an official competition for men in 1964 and has been in every Olympics since. Olympic Judo competition for women was added in 1992.

What Are The Referee and Contestants Called In A Tournament?

The referee is called shimban. The contestants are aka (red) and shiro (white).

What Is The Judo Ranking System?

Achievement in Judo is recognised by a series of ranks or grades. The student ranks are called kyu and are usually differentiated by colored belts (obi). Different colors may be used around the world and in some countries there are more than 6 kyu ranks. The ten black belt, or expert, ranks are called dan. The traditional Judo ranks are:

English Japanese
6th grade rokyu
5th grade gokyu
4th grade yonkyu
3rd grade sankyu
2nd grade nikyu
1st grade ikkyu
1st degree shodan
2nd degree nidan
3rd degree sandan
4th degree yodan
5th degree godan
6th degree rokudan
7th degree shichidan
8th degree hachidan
9th degree kudan
10th degree judan

In the days before Kano created Judo, there was no kyu/dan ranking system in the martial arts. A more traditional method of recognizing achievement was the presentation of certificates or scrolls, often with the secrets of the school inscribed. Kano started the modern rank system when he awarded shodan to two of his senior students (Shiro Saigo and Tsunejiro Tomita) in 1883. Even then, there was no external differentiation between yudansha (black belt ranks) and mudansha (those who hadn’t yet attained black belt ranking). Kano apparently began the custom of having his yudansha wear black obi (belts) in 1886. These obi weren’t the belts karateka and judoka wear today — Kano hadn’t invented the judogi (Judo uniform) yet, and his students were still practicing in kimono. They were the wide obi still worn with formal kimono. In 1907, Kano introduced the modern judogi and its modern obi, but he still only used white and black belt ranks.

Around 1930 Jigoro Kano created a new belt to recognize the special achievements of high ranking black belts. Other arts such as the tea ceremony and swordsmanship provided recognition for their masters in the form of a special tea pot or sword. Jigoro Kano chose to recognize sixth, seventh, and eighth degree black belts with a special obi made of alternating red and white panels. The white color was chosen for purity, and red for the intense desire to train and the sacrifices made. The colors red and white are an enduring symbol of Japan, and they have been used in Judo since Jigoro Kano started the first Red and White Tournament in 1884. He also created the red belt to recognize 9th and 10th dans.

What Is Are English Terms For Japanese Words Used In Judo?

Japanese English
Ai-yotsu Same grip used by both persons, either right or left
Ashi Foot, leg
Ashi Waza Foot techniques
Atemi Waza Striking techniques
Ayumi Ashi Ordinary pattern of walking
Japanese English
Batsugun Instant promotion
Budo Martial arts
Bushido Warrior's code
Japanese English
Chui Penalty (no longer used)
Japanese English
Dan Black belt rank
Debana Instant of opportunity to break balance as opponent initiates a motion
Dojo School or training hall for studying the way
Japanese English
Eri Collar, lapel
Japanese English
Fudoshin Immovable spirit
Fusegi Escapes
Fusen Gachi Win by default

Japanese English
Go no Sen Reactive initiative — attacking in response to an attack
Goshin Jutsu Waza Self defense techniques
Japanese English
Hajime Begin
Hando no Kuzushi Unbalancing by reaction
Hansokumake Most serious penalty, disqualification
Hantei Referee call for judge's decision
Happo no Kuzushi in 8 directions
Hara Stomach
Hidari Left
Hiji Elbow
Hiki-wake No decision–tie or draw
Hikite Pulling hand — usually the hand gripping a sleeve
Hiza Knee
Japanese English
Ippon One point in competition
Japanese English
Jigotai Defensive posture
Jikan Referee call to stop the clock
Jime Strangle or choke
Jita Kyoei Principle of mutual prosperity
Joseki Place of honor, upper seat
Judo Gentle or flexible way
Judo Ichidai A Judo life–Spending one's life in the diligent pursuit of Judo
Judogi Judo practice uniform
Judoka One who studies Judo
Ju no Kata Forms of gentleness
Ju no Ri Principle of flexibility or yielding
Jujutsu Gentle art
Japanese English
Kaeshi Waza Counter techniques
Kake Completion or execution of technique
Kansetsu Waza Joint locking techniques
Kappo (Katsu) Resuscitation techniques
Kata Forms
Kata Shoulder
Katame no kata Forms of grappling
Keikoku Penalty (no longer used)
Kenka Yotsu Opposite grips used by each person, one right/one left
Kiai Spirit shout
Kime no Kata Classical forms of attack and defence
Kinshi Waza Techniques prohibited in competition
Kiyotsuke Attention
Kodansha High ranking judoka — 5th dan and above
Kodokan Judo institute in Tokyo where Judo was founded
Kogeki-Seyo Request for judoka to be more active
Koka Score less than a yuko
Koshi Hip
Koshi Waza Hip techniques
Kubi Neck
Kumikata Gripping methods
Kuzure Modified hold
Kuzushi Unbalancing the opponent
Kyoshi Instructor
Kyu Student rank
Japanese English
Maai Space or engagement distance
Mae Forward, front
Mae Sabaki Front movement control
Mae Ukemi Falling forward
Masutemi Waza Rear sacrifice throws
Matte Stop
Migi Right
Mudansha Students below black belt rank
Mune Chest

Japanese English
Nage Throw
Nage no Kata Forms of throwing
Nagekomi Repetitive throwing practice
Nage Waza Throwing techniques
Ne Waza Techniques on the ground
Japanese English
Obi Judo belt
Okuden Secret teachings
Osaekomi Pin, referee call to begin timing
Osaekomi Waza Pinning techniques
Osaekomi Toketa Escape, stop timing of hold
Japanese English
Randori Free practice
Randori no Kata Forms of free practice techniques
Randori Waza Techniques for free practice
Rei Bow
Reiho Forms of respect, manners, etiquette
Renraku Waza Combination techniques
Ritsurei Standing bow
Japanese English
Seika Tanden A point in the abdomen that is the center of gravity
Seiryoku Zenyo Principle of maximum efficiency
Seiza Formal kneeling posture
Sen Attack initiative
Sensei Teacher instructor
Shiai Contest
Shiaijo Competition area
Shido Penalty, equal to koka score
Shihan Title for a model teacher or "teacher who sets the standard" (e.g. Kano-shihan)
Shimban Referee
Shime Waza Choking techniques
Shintai Moving forwards, sideways & backwards
Shisei Posture
Shizentai Natural posture
Shomen Dojo front
Sode Sleeve
Soke Founder of a martial art or ryu (e.g. Jigoro Kano)
Sono Mama Stop action; command to freeze
Sore Made Finished, time is up
Sute Geiko Randori throwing practice against a higher level judoka
Sutemi Waza Sacrifice techniques
Japanese English
Tachi Waza Standing techniques
Tai Sabaki Body control, turning
Tatami Mat
Te Hand, arm
Te Waza Hand techniques
Tekubi Wrist
Tokui Waza Favorite or best technique
Tori Attacker or person initiating a technique
Tsugi Ashi Walking by bringing one foot up to another
Tsukuri Entry into a technique, positioning
Tsurite Lifting hand

Japanese English
Uchikomi Repeated practice without completion
Ude Arm
Uke Person receiving the technique
Ukemi Breakfall techniques
Ushiro Backward, rear
Ushiro Sabaki Back movement control
Ushiro Ukemi Falling backward
Japanese English
Waki Armpit
Waza Technique
Waza Ari Near ippon or half point
Waza ari Awasete Ippon Two waza-ari for the win
Japanese English
Yakusoku Geiko (or renshu) Pre-arranged free practice
Yoko Side
Yoko Kaiten Ukemi Sideways rolling break fall
Yoko Sutemi Waza Side sacrifice throws
Yoko Ukemi Falling sideways
Yoshi Resume action, continue
Yubi Finger
Yudansha Person who earned the black belt
Yudanshakai Black belt association
Yuko Score less than a waza-ari
Yusei Gachi Win by judge's decision
Japanese English
Zanshin Awareness
Zarei Kneeling salutation
Zenpo Kaiten Ukemi Forward rolling break fall
Zubon Pants

What Are The Principles and Goals of Judo?

Judo, which is translated as the “gentle way”, teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills. Skill, technique and timing, rather than the use of brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in Judo. For example, in Judo classes you may learn how to give way, rather than use force, to overcome a stronger opponent.

The principles of Judo, such as “Maximum Efficiency” and “Mutual Welfare and Benefit”, can also be used in our dealings with others in life. The ultimate goal in Judo is to develop oneself to the maximum extent possible, always striving for perfection, so that you can contribute something of value to the world.

What is Kodokan Judo?

Judo is many things to different people. It is a fun sport, an art, a discipline, a recreational or social activity, a fitness program, a means of self-defense or combat, and a way of life. It is all of these and more.

Kodokan Judo comes to us from the fighting system of feudal Japan. Founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano, Judo is a refinement of the ancient martial art of Jujutsu. Dr. Kano, President of the University of Education, Tokyo, studied these ancient forms and integrated what he considered to be the best of their techniques into what is now the modern sport of Judo.

Judo was introduced into the Olympic Games in 1964 and is practiced by millions of people throughout the world today. People practice Judo to excel in competition, to stay in shape, to develop self-confidence, and for many other reasons. But most of all, people do Judo just for the fun of it.

When And Where Do You Hold Judo Lessons?

Information about our lessons can be found here.

What Should I Wear?

For your first few lessons you will need to wear loose fitting track suit bottoms, a sweat shirt or similar, No hard or metal objects ie: jewellery or hair bands.

There is no need to wear a Judo suit (a Gi) to your first few lessons, for children it is an advantage not to wear one for two reasons:

  1. Whilst relatively cheap (around £22) it is best to find out if your child likes the sport before going to the expense of buying a Judo Gi.
  2. Children without a Gi stand out to the instructor as a new member and hence can be given that little extra attention.
What Does It Cost To Learn Judo?

The lessons cost £2.50 to £3.00 per session (first lesson Free)

Are You Affiliated To A Governing Body?

Yes, we are affiliated to the British Judo Association.

Is Judo Fun?

As in all sports, Judo has a strict set of rules that governs competition and ensures safety. For those who want to test their skills, Judo offers the opportunity for competition at all skill levels, from club to national tournaments, to the Olympic Games. There are separate weight divisions for men and women, and boys and girls.

Judo is best known for it’s spectacular throwing techniques but also involves considerable grappling on the ground utilizing specialized pins, control holds, arm locks, and Judo choking techniques. Judo emphasizes safety, and full physical activity for top conditioning. Judo is learned on special mats for comfort and safety.

Judo is unique in that all age groups, both sexes, and most disabled persons can participate together in learning and practicing the sport. Judo is an inexpensive, year-round activity, that appeals to people from all walks of life. Many people over sixty years of age enjoy the sport, as well as very young boys and girls.

Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others. Judo provides the means for learning self-confidence, concentration, and leadership skills, as well as physical coordination, power, and flexibility. As a sport that has evolved from a fighting art, it develops complete body control, fine balance, and fast reflexive action. Above all, it develops a sharp reacting mind well-coordinated with the same kind of body. Judo training gives a person an effective self-defense system if the need arises.

What Are The Judo Ranks?

Achievement in Judo is recognized by awarding different color belts. The six student ranks are called kyu. The ten black belt, or expert, ranks are called dan. Juniors under 17 years old earn different color belts than seniors.

What Is The Difference Between Judo and Karate?

Judo is a close contact sport being a highly developed safe form of wrestling, it is a modern sport derived from the martial art of Jujitsu. Judo players (Judoka) wear strong loose fitting judo suits (Gi’s). They grapple and try to throw their opponents to the floor. Once on the floor the contest can continue with opponents trying to hold each other down to win the contest.

Karate is a system of unarmed combat using feet, hands and elbows as weapons, karate could be considered vaguely similar to boxing. The players wear much lighter weight suits and use punches, blocks, kicks and (dependant on the form) some throw’s to win a contest.