Historical development of judo

Michael Callan, Slavisa Bradic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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Judo has its roots in the pre-history and mythology of Japan. Legend has it that the origin of the Imperial line is the result of a hand-to-hand wrestling match between two gods, when Takemikazuchi threw Takenimakata (Ashkenazi, 2008), whilst Nomi no Sukune is regarded as the creator of the earliest form of sumo, following a famous match in 23 bc at the request of Emperor Suinin (Guttmann & Thompson, 2001) and Mifune refers to him as the very founder of judo (Mifune, 1956). Early sumo was known as sumai (to struggle). Sumai, applied to combat, became known as kumiuchi (grappling in armour) (Levinson & Christensen, 1996). Kumiuchi is still seen today within Koshiki no Kata, which is required to be demonstrated for a Kōdōkan promotion to 8th Dan. Through the Muromachi and Sengoku periods of Japanese history (1333-1568) combat systems involving archery, swordsmanship and spearmanship were developed as the various clans battled with each other (Nippon-Budōkan, 2009). The feudal warrior class, samurai or bushi, trained in several martial arts, the collective term for these was bugei. The samurai or bushi culture and lifestyle was known as bushido. However the introduction of the musket gun in 1543 changed warfare and led to armour becoming lighter. This meant that there were greater possibilities for movement in combat once the warrior was unarmed (Hoare, 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Science of Judo
EditorsMike Callan
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-4913-6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science


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