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Ellen started Judo because.....
I started Judo a little more than a year ago hoping to get some more exercise and improve my physical fitness.
However, I was worried that I would not fit in or enjoy myself. I was completely wrong; as soon as I’d started I made some good friends. My self confidence has improved considerably since last year and I have also learnt a great deal.
Now I attend Judo every week which I really enjoy as not only do I get the exercise, I also get a chance to socialise.
Why I Love Judo..... by Fairoze
Over the last few years I have tried several martial arts and I find myself being asked to justify 'why Judo'? But for the first time I find myself trying to compare something that is not only an exceptionally effective fighting style but also a competitive sport and more importantly a way of life. For the 'do' in Judo means 'way' and one that that has been developed over the centuries prior to even its own existence having evolved from Ju Jitsu, one of the finest of Japans fighting styles. In the form that can be seen today, Judo is a martial art that has only in recent decades started to define itself both ethically and technically whilst having its teachings stand the test of time or being replaced by a newer, superior style. Judo today, stands up to all other styles and shows itself to be an equal if not dominant method.
Prior to starting Judo I have spent two years of my life regularly practicing Karate and also Ju Jitsu. It is my contention that Judo is the most selfless martial art that I have ever practiced or have knowledge of. This is because Judo allows different grades or ranks to contribute to the learning of those lower then oneself. This type of collaborative education is far more dominant in Judo then other martial arts. Because of its focus upon the technical aspects of grappling which is varied from student to student when teaching ways in which a throw, hold down, armlock or strangle can be preformed due to the variations in individuals physiology. Thus more then one way of performing a throw is considered resulting in not only the production of a more technical and clever fighter then similar grappling martial arts such as Ju Jitsu and Aikido can produce but also one that gradually develops an indepth understanding of how the opponents movement, momentum and balance can be a greater ally to them in both competition and real life fighting situations then the sheer strength application to throws alone. The removal of brutality from late 18th century Ju Jitsu was preformed by Judo's founder, Jigoro Kano for precisely this reason. He was highly experienced in many of the ancient martial arts having traveled across the land of Japan from the scenically rural mounting regions of the late Samurai to the thriving heart of Tokyo. He was always seeking to gain the best understanding of Ju Jitsu and the other martial arts.
Eventually he came to the conclusion that the martial art that were once considered to be the ultimate form of unarmed combat had a vital flaw within their teachings. Ju Jitsu did not consider balance and momentum in combat in a systemised manner, this meant that students would spend as much time learning how to use their strength in the form of striking as they would learning the application of technical aspects in their fighting. As a result many students of Ju Jitsu would find that they would have increasing difficulty learning the advanced throws and sweeps as they progressed in both rank and age due to their lack of understanding of movement at an early age. It is this which Jigoro Kano,was opposed to. So consequently he developed his own martial art which is known today as Judo out of Ju Jitsu so that is not only more suitable for children but also is the best path into other fighting styles. This is because it provides a realistic form of self defence which does not teach brutality but instead encourages fitness, stamina discipline and above all respect formed by an ancient people given to honour.
It is for these reasons that I love what is so modestly embodied within a four letter word, for Judo but is infinitely more.