In the 1880s, after about 5 years of learning the ancient martial art Jiu Jitsu, 22-year-old Jigoro Kano began devising new techniques and accepting students to learn a method he would call Jiu Do, later simplified as Judo. In this context “jiu” refers to a conscious, intelligent application of indirect force to defeat the opponent. A Judoka (Judo practitioner) does not force the opponent into submission through aggressive, brute actions. Instead through rigorous training, a Judoka masters the ability to sense and control the opponent’s energetic force. We often speak of this as using the opponent’s own strength against him or using “maximum efficiency.”
The study of Judo begins with extremely important techniques for maintaining balance and for falling without injury. Judo practice sessions starts with a routine of aerobic, gymnastic, flexibility and calisthenics. Next comes training in falling without injury, or “breaking” your fall. For Judo, falling is not necessarily about losing your balance or losing control. Sometimes you must “take” a fall in order to continue your bout in competition. If you take the fall properly without injury, you can continue to fight your opponent and win.
Once you’ve learned the basic safety skills you’ll begin learning a series of Throws (Tachiwaza). Throwing techniques are ways of lifting or sweeping your opponent off his feet by applying leverage and a little psychology. You’ll also learn to counter your opponent’s attempts to throw you. The other major area of technique is called “Newaza” or ground techniques. Here the emphasis is grappling, “locking “ the limbs, choking and strangling to bring the opponent into submission.
Sensei Sidharth Seth has a rich history of teaching martial arts, self-defense and unarmed combat. Although he started out as a professional soccer player, Sidharth discovered Judo by chance in 1979 and began a lifelong career as a competitor and instructor. Sidharth was India’s national Judo champion for 13 years. He trained extensively at the Kodokan Judo Institute and other Judo Schools in Japan. He represented India in major international judo tournaments, including the Asian Games. Sidharth also won the silver medal in the 1996 Asian Sumo Tournament in Osaka, Japan. After retiring from competition, he trained champion Judo players, and was the chief instructor at the Calcutta Judo Club and head coach of India’s Central Reserve Police Force team. He was the first among India’s coaches to introduce circuit training to the sport of Judo. Sidharth served 12 years as an officer in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the country’s elite Anti-Terrorism and Internal Security Force. Sensei Seth is a member of the USJF and USA judo. His club, Aptos Judo Club, is a sanctioned member of the Northern California Judo Association Hokka Judo Yudanshaki.
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