What is Judo?

What is Judo?

A competitive Olympic sport, a modern martial art and means of self-defense. Judo, translated from Japanese, means “the gentle way.” This is due to many techniques used in judo that require a person to give way to the force used by an opponent. By giving way, you allow the opponent’s own force to be used against them. Judo was developed by an educator, Dr. Jigoro Kano, in 1882. It has been an Olympic sport since 1964. It is one of the most popular sports practiced worldwide.

Why should we study it?

Dr. Kano, the educator, developed Judo not just for the sake of physical activity, sporting purposes, or self-defense, but as a way of life. “As a way of life” does not mean it is some kind of pseudo-religion; it means that you apply what you learn through the practice of Judo into everyday aspects of life. The two core principles that Kano put into Judo are: “jita kyoei” and “seiryoku zenyo.” The first, jita kyoei, means “Mutual benefit and welfare. The second, seiryoku zenyo, means “Maximum efficient use of effort.” Now if you take those two principles that we learn in Judo and apply them to other situations in life, you may see how and why Dr. Kano hoped Judo would help us to be better people; not just better athletes.

Located at the Casper Family YMCA, we offer a safe, friendly, environment in which EVERYONE is welcome to come and learn Judo. Whether you're a competitive grappler looking for techniques to add to your game, or you're just looking to be physically active and have fun, we have something for everyone. We accept students 5 years old - adult.

Instructor Info

Classes are run by Justin Smith. Justin has been involved in Judo since 1994 and is currently a Sandan (3rd Degree Blackbelt). Justin is also an experienced wrestler (in both high school and college; as well as in Freestyle and Greco-Roman). He also has had success competing in SAMBO (a Russian form of grappling similar to judo). Although his focus is more on teaching these days, Justin still actively competes. The most recent large tournaments being the World Police and Fire Games (2015) and Veterans (Masters) World Championships (2016). Justin is also a career Police Officer and teaches defensive tactics/custody and control to law enforcement.

Schedule

Reg classes Tues Thurs 6:30-7:15 for kids. Adults 7:30-9. Other classes and open mat sessions are as needed.