J.W Judo Academy

Meet Dr Jigorō Kanō


Judo is a grappling martial art and an Olympic sport, born in Japan by its founder Dr Jigaro Kano. Judo means the “Gentle Way”; as such, there is no kicking, punching or striking involved, making it one of the safest contact sports! was founded in 1882 by Dr Jigoro Kano and means the “gentle way.” It teaches people of all ages the importance of flexibility when applying technique. In judo, when performing a throw or other skill, emphasis is placed on flexibility and efficiently using your leverage and balance for every movement. To be successful in judo, it’s much more important to learn technique, timing, and skill, instead of simply using brute strength to win.

Jigoro Kano was an educator and an avid athlete. He founded Judo in 1882 and it was from the very start focused on physical and moral training. It was introduced to the Japanese School system between 1906 and 1917 and is now Japan’s most popular sport.

It is because of this history and the 360° lifestyle focus that even today it remains a very popular part of the school curriculum.

As well as keeping fit, it teaches children self-discipline and encourages them to deal with life in a constructive and positive manner.

After all, the word judo consists of two Japanese characters – ‘ju’ which means ‘gentle’ and ‘do’ which means ‘the way’.

Judo literally means ‘the way of gentleness’.

Judo is more than a sport to us – it’s a philosophy, a family and, for many of us, a way of life.

In his professional life, Kanō was an educator. Important postings included serving as director of primary education for the Ministry of Education (文部省, Monbushō) from 1898 to 1901, and as president of Tokyo Higher Normal School from 1900 until 1920.  He played a key role in making judo and kendo part of the Japanese public school programs of the 1910s.

Kanō was also a pioneer of international sports. Accomplishments included being the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (he served from 1909 until 1938); officially representing Japan at most Olympic Games held between 1912 and 1936; and serving as a leading spokesman for Japan's bid for the 1940 Olympic Games.

His official honors and decorations included the First Order of Merit and Grand Order of the Rising Sun and the Third Imperial Degree. Kanō was inducted as the first member of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Hall of Fame on 14 May 1999.



Judo has so many health benefits, both mental and physical, especially in children. “Not only does judo focus on building physical fitness, but it also improves children’s focus, develops positive attitudes about sports in general, and increases self-esteem, self-discipline, self-respect, and courtesy toward others.”

Physical Health:

Judo is an excellent activity for young kids because it builds healthy and strong muscles early on, improves their cardio, and lowers their cholesterol. Children who participate in judo have a reduced risk of childhood obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis, even as they leave childhood and become adults. It also sets the foundation for them to become healthy and active adults who appreciate the importance of physical activity.

Emotional Health:

As a martial art, judo focuses on building self-respect, respect towards others, including opponents, and respect towards your teacher. In turn, this nurtures their trust, confidence, and judgement so they can grow as balanced and emotionally healthy young adults.

Limiting Aggression:

Judo is about giving children an outlet for their boundless energy while also discouraging violent behaviour, like many martial arts. Students of judo have compared discipline in judo to discipline in the military because it teaches you to respect those around you, pay attention to detail, and learn how to present yourself.

Increased Concentration:

Children’s concentration has increased exponentially after they start practising judo because they get used to following very detailed and specific instructions from their teachers, paired with focusing deeply on their techniques of movements. Studies have shown that children who are hyperactive or who suffer from attention deficit disorders benefit immensely from the disciplined environment of judo.

Kids who have attention problems will take judo classes and the difference in their focus is night and day. They feel like they want to learn and they’re engaged, which pushes them to focus more. That can even be seen as therapeutic and helpful as they grow older and need to concentrate at school or work.

Judo, like many other martial arts, combines physical activity, self-defence skills, and discipline. Judo is an excellent sport for children to learn for many different reasons, including to make children more physically healthy, and mentally well, and to build confidence, self-esteem, and respect for others.

Judo is one of the most practised sports in the world and becoming increasingly popular in Britain.

Our objectives are:

to offer judo as a form of fitness increasing flexibility, agility and strength and conditioning.

  • to introduce Judo to children through the promotion of the Judo club and schools' Judo programs;

  • to provide a safe and secure environment where our fully qualified coaches deliver judo classes;to increase the participation of girls and women; to include hard to reach groups such as those with disabilities.