What Is Judo & Why Is It Good for PAL Mentoring?


Dr. Jigoro Kano

Judo is a complete unarmed martial art which is largely practiced as an Olympic and Paralympic sport. It was founded in 1882 in Tokyo, Japan by Dr. Jigoro Kano in order to preserve the martial techniques of the samurai warrior. Dr. Kano evisioned using judo as a means of physical fitness and education without losing the history of the fighting techniques after the reformation. He devised a way of training where two combatants could go one hundred percent and both walk away.

The word judo consists of two Japanese characters, ju, which means "gentle", and do, which means "the way". Judo, therefore, literally means the way of gentleness. Judo is a martial art that does not include striking (punching/kicking). More than a sport, judo is a culture and a way of life founded on moral code and is focused on the holistic development of individuals at any age.

The Judo Moral Code is a set of ethics made up of eight parts created by the sport's founder Jigoro Kano. The traits identified in the Judo Moral Code are courtesy, courage, friendship, honesty, honor, modesty, respect and self-control. Kano believed these qualities were vital in the development of judo players and individuals both on and off the mat. It is these key components upon which the USA Judo-National PAL Mentoring Curriculum are built to contribute to the development of the youth participants in their development as successful citizens in society.