Kodokan Judo
Judo, “gentle [ju] way [do], was founded by Dr. Jigoro Kano (1860-1938). Kano began his training in Tenshin Shinyo Ju Jitsu at the age of seventeen under the instruction of Hachinosuke Fukuda (1829-1880). This style of Ju Jitsu emphasized striking (atemi) and grappling techniques (ne waza). Fukuda along with Kano performed a demonstration of Ju Jitsu for President Ulysses S. Grant in 1879.
In the year of 1880, Fukuda died. Kano continued his Ju Jitsu education under the guidance of Tsunetoshi Iikubo (1835-1889). Iikubo taught the Kito Ryu style of Ju Jitsu which emphasizes more on the throwing techniques (nage waza) of Ju Jitsu. Kano recognized right away how the two styles complimented each other, “from Master Fukuda I learned what my life’s work would be [...] from Master Iikubo I learned varied techniques and the importance of timing.”

In 1882 the Kanjuko School is established in the Eishoji Temple in Tokyo. During this period Kano shared the teaching with Iikubo. As time progressed, Kano began understanding the movements of the Kito Ryu in a different light than Iikubo. Due to the fact that Kano was a very educated man, he was able to analyze events that would happen during randori (free-practice), and evolve the technique. In time, Kano was able to throw his teacher Iikubo at will. The time had come for Kano to move on alone.
In 1884 the Kanjuko School moved and the name was changed. Kodokan Judo was born and would find it self moving several more times before finding a permanent home back in Tokyo. During these formative years of Judo, Kano was elected into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was able to have Judo introduced by the Japanese Ministry of Education into the Universities as an art as well as a required part of the syllabus. This position is still retained today.
Since the debut of Judo in the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo, Judo has spread all over the world. Kano’s dream to unite the world and bring peace was achieved if only for the millions of Judokas practicing today. Second to Soccer, more people than any other sport in the world practice Judo. Although the popularity has declined over the years for Judo within the United States, the numbers are climbing again and Judo is being recognized as the ultimate sport, art and way of life.