October 28, 1860 saw the birth of Jigoro Kano in Kobe, Japan. Son of a high-ranking government official and Shinto Priest, he was the third son of a family of three boys and two girls. It was his unrelenting drive to learn how to defend himself that eventually led to his formulation of Judo.
When 22 years old, Kano took nine of his private students from the dojo of master Iikubo in February 1882, and set up his own dojo. Judo didn't automatically spring into being, In fact master Iikubo came two or three times a week to help instruct Kano's students. They were still learning jujitsu rather than judo. Possibly judo came into being the day that Kano first defeated Iikubo.
Until then he had never managed to get the better of him, But that day in randori practice, Kano blocked every move Iikubo made, then called on his 'uke-waza'and 'sumi-otoshi' to throw the jujitsu master no less than three times.
Kano explained: 'Force your opponent to make his body rigid and lose his balance, and then when he is helpless, you attack.'
Kano declared: 'Taking together all the merits I have acquired from the various schools of jujitsu, and adding my own devices and invention, I have founded a new system for physical culture, mental training and winning of contests. This I call Kodokan-Judo.'
Kano saw judo in terms of a sport, whereas jujitsu was merely another of the marital arts, a method of defense. The dangerous techniques of jujitsu were eliminated from the judo contests, but retained as part of judos defense system. Another essential difference from jujitsu was judos application of 'kazushi', a theory devised by Jigoro Kano during his jujitsu training and used so successfully against master Iikubo.
'Using a minimum amount of strength, it is possible to throw your opponent if you force him off-balance by breaking his posture.'