Invigorating. Intense. Incredible. Those are three words to describe the skilful sport of judo. 

Judo is a culture-rich martial art that is unsung amongst other more popular martial arts. It also has a plethora of benefits both mentally and physically. However, it should not be deemed a sport only for the strong and mighty even if it revolves around competitive fighting. It requires a lot of intellectual skill and the core values of courtesy, courage, and friendship. 

It all started in 19th century Japan when Kanō Jigorō devised the sport as a form of unarmed self-defence after being seen as smaller and inferior in his childhood. He initially trained in the more intense counterpart of judo, jiu-jitsu. As he got older and his trainer died, he decided to go down the path of shaping judo which roughly translates to “the gentle way” - which may seem ironic as it is a martial art involving competitive fighting but is rather befitting. The sport is more philosophical than jiu-jitsu it is thoughtful in that it is not to attack against your enemy but to defend yourself. Also, Jigorō devised judo as a sport to teach one to perfect and hone oneself along the journey of mastering the skill. The main ideology of judo is for maximum efficiency and minimum effort meaning that judo is accessible to anyone of any size or stature, the principle of it is that although your opponent may be more physically intimidating and larger, you by evading and weakening them can ultimately win. 

Furthermore, the health benefits are endless. Not only does it vastly benefit your cardiovascular and muscular endurance and improve muscle tone and bone density, but it also improves your overall mental well-being and self-esteem immensely as endorphins are released when you perform physical activity, and you start to see the physical results of your hard work. In addition to this, it teaches you many key life skills such as perseverance as when you do not initially succeed in a fight, friendship as joining a judo club can result in you befriending people you may not have beforehand, courtesy as the premise of judo is to not injure your opponent and a fight begins with you both bowing your heads in respect and courage as fighting a physically larger opponent may seem quite daunting to you. 

In my opinion, judo is an exceptional sport for everyone. So why don't you give it a go today? Go on try something new!