Martial arts are forms of combat that rely on agility rather than weapons. Although they were developed originally for combat and self-defense, they are now used primarily for sport. Training is rigorous and prolonged, with multiple degrees of proficiency awarded.
A martial art derived from Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu early in the 20th century, aikido allows one to use an assailant's momentum to advantage rather than depend on one's own muscular strength. The practitioner uses joint, elbow, and wrist grips to throw or pin an opponent. Although aikido does not use a weapon as a rule, one may be used if an opponent is armed. Aikido is mastered by learning a graduated series of kata (forms). "Aikido" literally means "harmonize" + "breath/spirit" + "way."
International Aikido Federation (Aikikai Foundation)
Aikido World Headquarters, 17-18, Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162
03-3203-9236 (phone), 03-3204-8145 (fax)
Literally, the gentle way, judo is a form of weaponless self-defense and combat developed from jujutsu in 1882 by Professor Jigoro Kano. The fundamental judo technique is to utilize the strength of an opponent to one's own advantage. Techniques include throws, pinning one's opponent, chokeholds, joint locks, and knockdown blows. (Potentially fatal throws and blows are not allowed in competition.) Judo has won universal fame since it was designated as one of the official events during the Tokyo Olympic Games. The judoka's proficiency is indicated by the color of the belt (judo-obi) around his or her cotton robe. There are five classes (kyu) of beginners, who start with white belts and graduate to brown belts. Then there are 10 grades (dan) of experts, who proceed from a black belt to a red & white-striped belt, and ultimately to a red belt. At Kodokan Judo Hall in Tokyo, headquarters of judo, there are many young pupils practicing every day, and demonstration bouts staged by experts are held from time to time. Tournaments include the National Judo Championship, World Judo Championships, and the International University Judo Tournament. Some important tournaments are held at the Budokan, the martial arts hall near the Imperial Palace.
All-Japan Judo Federation (Zen Nihon Judo Renmei), c/o Kodokan, 1-16-30, Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112, 03-3818-4199 & -4430 (phone), 03-3812-3995 (fax) & 03-3818-4445 (fax)
Students Judo Federation of Japan (Nihon Gakusei Judo Renmei, aka Gakujuren)
International organization: International Judo Federation
Cups: Matsutaro Shoriki Cup, Kano Cup
Judo schools: Kodo-kan Judo Institute, 1-16-30, Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112, 03-3818-4172 (phone), 03-3814-2918 (fax)
Jujutsu, which literally means soft technique, is a weaponless art of self-defense that allows one to use an adversary's strength and weight against him. A modification of a martial art imported from China, jujutsu was used in combat by medieval samurai warriors.
Karate, which literally means empty hands, is a weaponless art of self-defense. Introduced into Okinawa over a millennium ago, karate was developed in secret by the Okinawansthen called Ryukyuanswho were forbidden by the Japanese to carry weapons. Karate reached Japan only in the early 20th century. Karate is the art of hitting an opponent's weak spots with the hands, elbows, knees, or feet. The players practice and strengthen the knuckles of the fist to give a hard blow to an opponent. Experts of this art can break 10 to 15 Japanese roof slates or five boards with a blow of their bare fist.
Kyokushin Kaikan, 3-3-9, Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171 03-3984-7421 (phone), 03-3984-7423 (fax)
Japan Karate Association
Japan Karate-do Federation Senpaku Shinko Bldg., 1-15-16, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105 03-3503-6637 (phone), 03-3503-6638 (fax)
Literally, the way of the sword. Kendo is the sport of Japanese fencing, which is derived from the traditional samurai art of fencing (kenjutsu), formerly one of the most important martial arts. Clad in protective masks, armor, and garments, kendo swordsmen fight with a 1.1-meter bamboo sword. A "kill" is registered when one swordsman hits or jabs a certain part of the opponent's body. One of the most famous Japanese swordsmen was Takuan Soho (1573-1645).
All-Japan Kendo Federation (Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei) Nippon Budokan, 2-3, Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102 03-3211-5804 (phone), 03-3211-5807 (fax)
World Shorinji Kenpo Organization, 3-1-59, Tadotsu-cho, Hondori, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa Pref. 764 0877-33-1010 (phone), 0877-33-4462 (fax)
All United States Kendo Federation
Literally, the way of the bow. Kyudo is the sport of Japanese archery, which is derived from the traditional samurai martial art of archery (kyujutsu). Archers use a 2.2-meter bamboo bow. The sport is regulated by the All-Japan Kyudo Federation. Recommended reading: Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
Japan's version of the halberd.
All-Japan Naginata Federation 3-2-9, Nishidai, Itami City, Hyogo Pref. 664, 0727-75-2838(phone), 0727-72-2062 (fax)
Literally, the art of the spy. Practiced by the ninja, a samurai who spies by stealth.
|bajutsu||Traditional equestrian art|
|nunchaku||Hand weapon consisting of two hardwood sticks connected by a chain or cord|
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