What is Judo?
Judo comes to us from the fighting system of feudal Japan. Founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano, Judo is a refinement of the ancient martial art of Jujutsu. Dr. Kano, President of the University of Education, Tokyo, studied these ancient forms and integrated what he considered to be the best of their techniques into what is now the modern sport of Judo. Judo, which is translated as the "gentle way", teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills. Skill, technique and timing, rather than the use of brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in Judo. For example, in Judo classes you may learn how to give way, rather than use force, to overcome a stronger opponent.
We can say that Judo is an art because it is a method of arriving at self-realization and true self-expression. We can further say that Judo is a science because it implies mastery of various laws of nature: gravity, friction, momentum, velocity, weight transmission, and unison of forces. In its most important phase, it constitutes a kind of higher logic developed through practice and the ascension of the true personality: a realization of the spiritual self in the philosophic rather than the religious sense of the word.
-Jiichi Watanabe and Lindy Avakian