The sport of Judo was officially founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano a physical education specialist, administrator and advocate. Dr. Kano created a means of preserving the martial art of Judo in a safe sporting form with both cooperative and competitive elements. Literally translated, Judo means “the gentle way” and Dr. Kano characterized the goal of Judo as achieving maximum efficiency through mutual benefit. Seeking to popularize Judo beyond Japan, Dr. Kano became a member of the International Olympic committee in 1909. Judo officially became an Olympic sport in 1964 and today is practiced by millions worldwide.
The pursuit of individual excellence and achievement is an inherent part of Judo. Dr. Kano’s original vision of Judo was as a central core to physical education. In many ways, this anticipated a contemporary understanding of the importance of the mind body connection. The recognized significance to maintaining and improving mental health through activities that challenge balance, coordination and endurance has been well documented. Judo is a fantastic means of developing overall body conditioning, flexibility and strength. However, the techniques of Judo are of paramount importance to progress in the sport and metal development of the Judoka is considered above and beyond physical development. Skill and expertise in Judo are recognized through belts and requires a demonstration of technique, proficiency and personal growth before the individual can progress to the next belt rank. These belt exams require an ever expanding knowledge of appropriate Japanese terminology for the demonstrated techniques as well as an understanding of the subtle differences that can distinguish one technique from the next. This system of progress through the belt ranks lasts far beyond the student years but follows Judoka (practitioners of Judo) throughout their lifetime. The nature of Judo makes it possible for young and old, competitive and non competitive Judoka to practice together and to receive mutual benefit from their cooperation.
Judo has officially been part of the greater Victoria community since 1957 when the Victoria Judo club was founded. Judo has continuously been a part of Parkland since 1989 when Mickey Fitzgerald founded the Parkland Judo Club. The club continues to run today and is officially recognized by Judo BC and Judo Canada.