The Martial Arts Club Directory would like to welcome Budokai Judo Club in Torontothe Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) newest Judo Club providing judo classes & lessons for Kids and Adults in and around Toronto, North York, Vaughan, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Markham and York Region, Ontario. Free 2 weel trial judo classes available.

*Judo Safety Tip* To ensure the highest possible quality of safety in teaching judo to you and or your child, please ensure that the judo club you are planning to join is a paid up member in good standing with Judo Ontario and that the head judo instructor is a registered black belt and paid up member of Judo Ontario who has their National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Level 2 (Canada) for Judo.

What is Judo?

When translated, the word Judo means ‘The Gentle Way,’ though to those that have witnessed a Judo match, this may seem a curious description. Judo is unique among martial arts in that it is both a sport and a martial art: in addition, Judo is actually quite young when compared to other martial arts such as Jujitsu and Kung Fu.

Judo was developed in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano (often called the father of modern sports in Japan) while still a student of Jujitsu.  His original intent was to refine Jujitsu as a discipline, but he quickly realized that he could create an entirely new form of not only self defense, but also a new and rigorous sport that involved intense mental, physical and spiritual training as well.

Being just 5’ 2”, Dr. Kano designed Judo to stress leverage over physical size which would allow a smaller opponent to contend against a larger opponent using a  combination of throws and grappling. Today, most Judo clubs follow Kano's original principles, techniques and standard training regimens which involve sparring/throwing (randori), grappling (newaza), forms (kata) and repetition drills (uchikomi).

History of Judo

Dr. Kano, an educator by profession, immediately began to promote Judo as a legitimate martial art and as a form of physical fitness.  Such was his success, that by the early 1900s, Judo formed an essential part of the Japanese school curriculum.

Not content to see Judo flourish only within Japan, Dr. Kano was instrumental in seeing the sport recognized by the world at large, and can almost solely be credited with the enormous popularity of Judo throughout the world.

By 1909, and through Kano's efforts, Japan was the first Asian nation to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), although it wasn’t until the 1964 Olympics in Japan that Judo became the first martial art to gain the status of an Olympic sport.  The International Judo Federation (IJF) remains the sole governing body for the sport of Judo.

Philosophy of Judo

Dr. Kano was already an expert in Jujitsu when he developed Judo, and had a specific intent in mind for the new discipline.  He was interested in what he termed ‘maximum efficiency with minimum effort.’  The techniques he developed often involved using an opponents size and strength against them.  Asked how it was possible for a man so small in stature to consistently best bigger and stronger opponents, he would reply, ‘Force your opponent to make his body rigid and lose his balance, and then when he is helpless, you attack.’

Though not a large man, Dr. Kano was thickly muscled, weighing about 165 pounds, was extremely fast, and developed Judo as a means of compensating for what one lacked in physical size and strength.  By 1884, Dr. Kano formalized his vision for Judo with this statement, ‘Taking together all the merits I have acquired from the various schools of Jujitsu, and adding my own devices and inventions, I have founded a new system for physical culture, mental training and winning contests. This I call Kodokan Judo.’  The word ‘Kodokan’ can be translated as ‘Ko,’ meaning to lecture or teach, ‘do,’ meaning the way, and ‘kan,’ meaning a public building or hall; thus ‘Kodokan’ translates as ‘a place for the study or teaching of the way.’

Judo as Self-Defense

Judo is often thought of as a defensive martial art, as many of Dr. Kano’s techniques are most effective when a person is being assaulted, grabbed or similarly attacked and/or brought to the ground.  His combinations of throws, takedowns, sweeps and reversals known as grappling; devices such as chokes, pins and arm locks can be extremely effective in combat and are techniques that Judoka often practise in the dojo.

For many in the West, Judo has a reputation for being little more than glorified wrestling, but make no mistake, a trained Judoka can use these techniques with lethal force as both defensive and offensive ploys: among martial artists, Judo is well respected for good reason.

Kids and Judo

Because of its emphasis on technique rather than physical size and strength, Judo is highly suitable for children of all ages.  Its practise provides a sound mind and body as well as imparting a sense of self confidence and humility, core elements of the sport.

Moreover, children learn about sportsmanship by participating in Judo tournaments; earning medals and trophies while also building self-esteem.  Those children that continue on in Judo earn belts and learn that with hard work come rewards.

Adults and Judo

Judo offers the adult enthusiast an incredible overall workout, providing cardio as well as a full range of upper and lower body development.  It is often likened to a rigorous chess match played with one’s body.

Lifetime devotees are physically fit and can pursue their interest recreationally or in competitive tournaments at the regional, provincial, national, international and Olympic level.  As Dr. Kano had originally intended, Judo has become an internationally recognized martial art, combining physical technique and rigorous training with a spiritual intensity and purity that harmonizes both body and mind.

Judo Associations & Resources:

International Judo Federation

Judo Ontario

Judo Canada

World Masters Judo Association

Budokai Judo Club 

Judo Toronto

Newmarket Veterinarian

Find a Judo Club in Ontario Canada

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