Why judo is so different to other sports is because it allows for different personalities, different backgrounds and different cultures to influence one’s style and/or approach within the game.
I recently watched a Bruce Lee documentary on the plane coming back from a judo competition. I was quite taken by it and related strongly to the concepts Bruce spoke about regarding martial arts. He said, “To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself”.
Judo is considered a martial art and a sport. I think what is meant by this is that practitioners can be artistic and creative towards their approach to the sport.
Everyone has interests, preferences, different body types and genetics that are unique to them. Judo enables one to express or extend on these factors, which creates a unique style and/or creativity.
What I love about judo is that it is a true world game (every country does judo), we can take two competitors from totally different settings and see a clash of not just judo, but a clash of where they come from; incorporating their personalities, backgrounds and cultures. Below is a famous fight between Yusuke Kanamaru of Japan VS Vitaly Makarov of Russia.
I want to finish by saying that there is no right or wrong, better or worse style. Judo allows us to make every approach as superior as the next. Every approach can be drilled, practiced and individualised to, in turn throw or submit the opposition.
By Oren Janiv