Judo (meaning "gentle way") is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice.
Throwing techniques have 3 distinct stages:
- The initial balance break;
- The act of turning in and fitting into the throw;
- The execution and completion of the throw.
Grappling techniques attempts to trap or pin the opponent on his/her back on the floor or by choking/strangling or painful manipulation of the joints.
Striking techniques attempt to disable the opponent with a strike to a vital point. Striking techniques are not permitted outside of kata.
Kata (Forms) are pre-arranged patterns of techniques. Their purpose include illustrating the basic principles of judo, demonstrating the correct execution of a technique, teaching the philosophical tenets upon which judo is based, allowing for the practice of techniques that are not allowed in randori, and to preserve ancient techniques that are historically important but are no longer used in contemporary judo.