In ancient Japan, it was customary,
in times of war, to refuse any advantage one might hold over one's opponent. If a chivalrous knight met an unarmed adversary,
he would immediately throw down his own weapons and engage in hand to hand combat. This led to a violent and efficient form
of jujitsu being developed and taught in schools for aspiring warriors alongside the use of the various weapons commonly carried.
These schools flourished in Japan until the late 19th
century when jujitsu began to fall into bad repute; experts having a habit of starting public riots in order to practice their
skills on members of the public. It was at this time that Dr. Jigoro Kano began to study the art. He spent a long time perfecting
his skills under the instruction of many of the old masters and finally developed his own style. This style he named judo,
or the gentle way and in 1882, he founded his own school, the Kodokwan in Tokyo.
Dr. Jigoro Kano had removed the more dangerous moves
such as punches or kicks and so Judo could be safely practised as a full contact sport.
Judo was introduced in Britain in 1912 and in 1918, the
first European amateur judo club, the Budokwai, was founded by G. Koizumi. The during second world war, the interest in British
judo was refuelled by the teaching of unarmed combat in the forces and the London judo club was formed in 1946.
Judo is a fighting sport, requiring courage and endurance.
It also teaches both mental and physical control and balance. It increases confidence and stamina while remaining a highly