The word "JUDO" consists of two characters from the Japanese language "JU" which means 'Gentle' and "DO" which means 'The Way.' and is translated in English as "The Way of Gentleness." However the Japanese interpret 'Gentle' differently to how we understand the word.
The principle of gentleness was explained by the founder of Judo, Dr Jigoro Kano, as follows. "Victory over the opponent is achieved by giving way to the strength of the opponent, adapting to it and taking advantage of it, turning it, in the end, to your advantage".
Here is an example. When a stronger man pushes with all his might, I will be beaten if I simply go against him. If, instead of opposing his pushing, I retreat more than he pushes or turn aside the direction of his pushing he naturally leans forward through his own pushing, and loses his balance. If utilizing his pushing strength, I apply a certain technique on him, it is quite easy to make him fall, as he is losing his balance. Sometimes he will fall merely, if I turn my body skilfully. This is one simple instance of how, by giving way, a contestant may defeat his opponent. Therein lies the principle of gentleness."
Despite its name Judo is a vigorous Olympic combat sport, among the most popular around the world, which can be taken up by both men, women and children at several levels from top class competitions to a form of keep-fit activity. It can be performed by young children to 60 plus year olds.
Judo is also a disciplined sport which teaches respect for your fellow judoka be they older or younger, a higher or lower grade, whether you win or lose against them and, as such, a very good sport for children to take up.
The skills which are learned are not simple but when mastered, and you are able to throw your opponent, gives you great satisfaction.