Judo is a popular martial arts style and Olympic sport with a rich, though relatively recent history. Breaking the term judo down, ju means “gentle” and do “means the way or path.” Thus, judo translates to "the gentle way."
A judoka is someone who practices judo. Beyond being a popularmartial art, judo is also a combat sport.
The History of Judo
The history of judo starts with Japanese jujutsu. Japanese jujutsu was practiced and continually improved upon by the Samurai.
They utilized the throws and joint locks common within the art as a means to defend against attackers with armor and weapons. Jujutsu at one time was so popular in the area that it is believed during the 1800’s more than 700 different jujitsu styles or systems were being taught.
But in the 1850’s Commodore Perry led the west into Japan. The guns and different ideas these foreigners brought to the area changed Japan forever and led to the Meiji Restoration in the latter half of the 19th century, a time when the emperor challenged the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and eventually overcame it. The result was the loss of the Samurai class and many traditional Japanese values.