Judo History:

Sincere thanks to Saotome Sensei for inspiring the development of this code.

Judo was introduced in the United States in 1902 at the request of President Theodore Roosevelt to learn under Professor Yamashita who became the first judoka to be promoted to 10th. Dan in 1935.

Judo is a way of training the body and mind to function as an integral unit. There are many applications to Judo. The best known to the general public is the use of Judo in self-defense. However, it is a competitive sport that attracts most Judo practitioners. Judo evolved from the unarmed system of the ancient Japanese martial arts, particularly Jui-Jitsu. Jigaro Kano, a Japanese educator in the late nineteenth century, formulated the system of Judo and in 1882 founded the Kodokan. Literally, Kodokan means the school for discussing the way, the way being Judo. In his lifetime, Dr. Kano frequently traveled abroad to lecture on Judo and physical education. From this seedling Judo today has sprouted in practically every corner of the earth. Judo finally given its true recognition was voted a permanent sport in the Olympic Games. Judo was first introduced into the Olympics in 1964 as a special event. It was narrowly defeated for the 1968 Olympic Games. It has been a permanent Summer Game sport since 1972. In 1984, the United States produced its first Sliver Medalist in the Olympics for Judo. Bob Berland won the silver medal in the 189 pound division. In 1992, Jason Morris won our second Sliver Medal in the Olympics. Michael Swain established himself as the first American ever to win the World Championships in 1989 in the 156 pound division.

In the United States, Judo was probably the first practiced by the early immigrants from Japan. It was after World War II that the popularity of this sport accelerated when civilian and military personnel continued the practice of Judo after returning home from Japan. In 1953, the first national AAU Judo Championship was conducted in San Jose California. In this 25-year interval, Judo has grown into a sport with the third largest number of registered athletes in the AAU.

The development of Judo in the United States has been the joint effort of the AAU and its allied member in Judo, the United States Judo Federation. An agreement between the AAU of the United States and the USJF was made whereby the USJF recognized the AAU as the sole governing body of all amateur Judo contests and exhibitions conducted in the United States. Recently the governing body for Judo in the United States has been assumed by United States Judo Inc. all of the functions of Judo including the National Championships as well as the individual State Championships are under the jurisdiction of the USJI. Rank promotions to higher belts are also part of the responsibility of the USJI. Furthermore, the USJI is the United States representative to the International Judo Federation.