There is an old Chinese proverb which states: ‘A story grows bigger by the telling.’ Much of what purports to be history within martial arts has been handed down verbally rather than scripted. Consequently, the truth becomes corrupted and facts tend to follow the fancy of whomsoever is telling the story. The truth is further tainted with embellishments from the storyteller’s own imagination.
A veritable potpourri of fact mixed together with a great deal of fiction distances the tale from its origins and the truth of actual events. Be that as it may, there is still a nucleus of original information within every myth, and this allows us to gather enough facts in order to understand, as well as to enjoy, it centuries later.
Judo (meaning "gentle way") is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano . Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata,) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice. A judo practitioner is called a judoka.