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Around 1880 Kano started rethinking the jujitsu techniques he had learned. He saw that by combining the best techniques of various schools into one system he could create a physical education program that would embody mental and physical skill.
In addition, he believed that the techniques could be practiced as a competitive sport if the more dangerous techniques were omitted.
So in 1882, Kano at the age of 22, presented his new sport, Judo.
The term Kodokan breaks down into ko (lecture, study, method), do (way or path), and kan (hall or place).
Thus it means "a place to study the way." Similarly Judo breaks down into ju (gentle) and do (way or path) or "the gentle way."
Kano established his Judo school, called the Kodokan, in the Eishoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo which grew in size and later moved.
The first Kodokan had only nine students in the first year.
Today the Kodokan has more than a million visitors a year.
Kano's devotion to Judo did not interfere with his academic progress. He pursued his study of literature, politics and political economy, and graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1881.
In 1886, because of rivalry between jujitsu schools and Judo, a contest was held to determine the superior art. Kano's Judo students won the competition easily, thus establishing the superiority of Judo.
Starting in 1889 Kano left Japan to visit Europe and the U. S. to spread Judo.
Many of Kano's students devoted their lives to develop Judo in foreign countries.
In 1892 Takashima Shidachi lectured in London about the history and development of Judo.
At the time, England was the world superpower and if they could make Judo popular there the rest of the world would follow.
In 1907, Gunji Koizumi arrived in the United States to teach Judo.
By 1910 Judo was a recognized sport that could be safely engaged in and in 1911 it was adopted as a part of Japan's educational system.
The Kodokan mottoes, Seriyoku-zenyo (maximum efficiency) and Jita-kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit).
The ultimate goal of Judo was to perfection the individual so that he can be of value to society.
In his lifetime, Kano constantly worked to ensure the development of athletics and Japanese sport in general, and as a result is often called the "Father of Japanese Sports."
While returning home from an International Olympics Committee meeting in Cairo where he succeeded in having Tokyo nominated as a site for the 1940 Olympics, a lifetime devoted to Judo ended when Kano died of pneumonia aboard the S. S. Hikawa Maru on 4 May 1938, at the age of seventy-eight years.
World War II saw a different development of Judo. Instead of being used for sport, Judo was being taught as a combat skill.
When Japan hosted the 1964 Olympics, Judo was given its first opportunity as an event.
Judo was no longer a Japanese sport but had developed to become an international sport.
In 1982 the Kodokan revised the Go Kyo No Waza by reintroducing the 8 techniques that were discarded in 1920 and by adding 17 new techniques. These sixty-five techniques became known as "The 65 Techniques of Kodokan Judo."
There have been two main developments in Judo over the years. The first was the introduction of weight categories. The second development was the teaching of Judo to children.
JUDO IN THE UNITED STATES
America's first introduction to Judo was in the late 1800's. In 1904, Yoshitsugu (Yoshiaki) Yamashita, one of Kano's students, traveled to the US and taught Theodore Roosevelt and West Point cadets. Many local clubs and regional associations developed.
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