What is Judo

Firstly, the most important parts:-

  • It’s NOT kicking and punching.
  • But it is ‘full contact’
  • It’s a sport, not just a ‘martial art’
  • IT’S FUN !!!!!

If you’re after an in-depth history and philosophy of judo, there are plenty of websites that provide this service – however, here’s the short version:

Judo was developed in the late 1800’s in Japan by a man called Jigoro Kano, who derived it from the much older Jujitsu.

Judo quickly became very popular, and was the first Japanese martial art to be practiced the whole world over. In the 1960s the sport of Judo became the first martial art to gain Olympic Games status, and today millions and millions of people practice the sport across the globe.

The word judo means “ Gentle Way ” in English – but judo is far from being ‘gentle’, a better description would be “The Hard but Safe Way ”.

The main objective is to throw an opponent from a standing position onto their back. A second way of winning is to ‘pin’ the opponent on their back for up to 25 seconds – this is called a Hold-down. A third way (for adults only) is to apply arm-locks or strangles to force a submission. Does that sound gentle to you?

But it IS safe . Judo has a very good safety record compared to many sports – and you are far less likely to be injured doing judo than you are playing football!



We take boys and girls from the age of 4 if they have sufficient co-ordination (although most competitions cater for players aged 8 and over) and there is no upper age limit. We’ve had 60+ year olds on the mat working as hard as the rest of us.

Judo is also ideally suited for Special Needs groups: Britain has a very successful Visually Impaired paralympic team. We have had – and always welcome – people with a wide variety of special needs training with us, ranging from ADHD and dyspraxia through to amputees. If you’re not sure – come and talk to us!


Many martial arts simply require a formal demonstration of their techniques to earn their grades.

Judo has that aspect to it, but in addition we have to beat other players in contest who are also seeking to be graded too. So when we earn our belts – we really EARN them!