Although the Japanese word judo translates to "gentle way," the judo martial art can be deadly when used in self-defense.
Some believe that judo is not very useful in the real world, mostly due to the sport's reliance on the opponent wearing the same bulky gi, or uniform. But moves that rely on the opponent wearing a gi can be easily adjusted for one wearing everyday clothes. In fact, judo moves can be so effective in real-world combat that they have become the foundation for military and police training programs all over the world.
The basic principle of judo is using the opponent's force against them. Judo teaches several types of moves, such as throws and chokeholds, that can be applied to real-world situations. The kataguruma, or shoulder wheel, will slam someone full-force into the ground and can be extremely harmful. Foot sweeps and tripping techniques can be invaluable in a fight, especially against larger, stronger attackers.
Good judo schools will put strong emphasis on sparring, or randori, practice. This is important for self-defense because it teaches positioning and balance. Randori practice is also essential for learning to use judo in real-world situations. After all, attacks are unpredictable. It is important to know how to think on your feet if you need to defend yourself.
Everybody, especially urban dwellers, should know basic self-defense. Using judo techniques in a real-world fight will guarantee that you will be less likely to fall. And if you do, you will know how to recover quickly and safely.
The classic judo moves, divided into seven kata or practice sequences, form the building blocks of the sport.