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May is Judo Month!
Judo know what month it is?
That's right, we're dedicating this month to Kano and his contribution to the Martial Arts. By the way, if you think we're referring to the cyborg dude from Mortal Kombat please :seppuku:.
It could be argued that Judo was the salvation of the Martial Arts, and Kano it's savior. By the time Jigoro Kano was born, warriors had mostly exchanged stabbing and punching each other for the less physical and direct approach of remotely injecting lead into their enemies.
In his time, it was often considered thuggish to study the old Jujitsu techniques, and those that did generally weren't getting effective training due to the common approach of compliant drilling and forms repetition.
He recognized that the best way to get good at fighting is to actually fight, as hard as possible, while balancing basic safety so that the participants could do it as often as possible.
And with this notion, Judo was born. The rest is history; if you're not familiar with it and consider yourself a Martial Artist, you owe it to yourself to get the rest of the story.
For now though, we'll content ourselves to point out how his approach paved the way for modern MMA both directly and indirectly. Directly by one of his students sharing his knowledge with the Gracie family, and indirectly by providing countless, full-contact demonstrations of why uncompliant training with full resistance is the superior method of producing fighting skills.
His lessons had been forgotten by many, even to some extent within the style he created. But they weren't forgotten completely, and the full-contact approach weathered the storms of the commercialized explosion of Martial Arts in the West. Today, the grandfather of "alive" Martial Arts is doing just fine, thank you very much. And if you've got a problem, you'd better hope you're standing on a soft surface.