So successful were his innovations, that they were adopted throughout most modern Japanese martial arts (Jujitsu, Daito Ryu, Kendo, Kyudo, Karate, etc.) as well as many other systems around the world.
The other great innovation of Judo was the standardisation of techniques that could be safely practiced against others, and in competition. As a result, the techniques themselves became highly refined and the continued hard practice allowed practitioners to develop a level of personal skill and reflexes difficult to achieve with former Jujitsu arts which could be dangerous if practiced at full speed and power.
Kano's efforts to reform Jujitsu may have been inspired by an earlier and similar transition that happened to Sumo wrestling. In Edo, (present day Tokyo) Sumo had by the mid-1600s degenerated from ceremonial contests to rough and tumble brawls in tournaments and street corner bouts. To fix these problems the government briefly outlawed the contests in the mid-1600's, and they were only allowed again when an elaborate set of rules and regulations to reduce the violence were developed.
Kodokan Judo reached the Korean peninsula in the early 20th century during Japanese occupation and was pronounced "Yudo" to suit Koreans. Professor Ki Pyo Lee (pictured right) on instruction from Kano formed the Republic of Korea Yudo Association (ROKYA). The ROKYA remained loyal to what they were taught by Kano, even after the defeat of Japan in World War II. All martial art training halls in Japan were ordered closed, and when the Kodokan itself was allowed to re-open, it did so as a sport training centre. After liberation in Korea, the martial arts flourished, as ancient manuscripts were dug up from the ground in which they had been buried, hidden from the Japanese. Judo became very popular among the young and today South Korea is one of the strongest nations in the sport alongside Japan and Russia.
It is largely as a result of the promotion of Judo that Jujitsu became known in western culture. A great resurgence of interest in Jujitsu has recently occurred in the west due to the brilliant efforts and innovation of the Gracie family of Brazil.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) stems from Kodokan Judo and was inspired by the effort of a young traveling fighting instructor by the name of Mitsuyo Maeda (left). Maeda, travelled throughout the world earning a living by testing the effective application of the techniques he learned at the Kodokan. Maeda eventually settled in Brazil and became the teacher of Carlos Gracie (left). Gracie and others made further innovations, particularly in the area of ground fighting. BJJ was promoted globally by notable practitioners Helio Gracie, Oswaldo Fadda and the Machado brothers. BJJ exploded in the 1990's when Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993 and Rickson Gracie had success in the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan in the early 1990's.
Whilst 1993 was a great year for the Gracie family, 1994 was a year of legal turmoil and political rifts occurred between some family members. As nature took it's course and the power of evolution continues, some great BJJ practitioners evolved their techniques and created new versions of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu such as Gracie Barra (Carlos Gracie Jnr), Gracie Humaita (Rickson & Royler Gracie), Renzo BJJ (Renzo Gracie), RCJ Machado BJJ (Machado Brothers), 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu (Eddie Bravo) and many more...
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu first opened in South Korea in 2004 and together with Gongkwon Yusul and evolving Hapkido schools, the mixed martial art scene continues to grow throughout the country.
Where Judo and mainstream Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have lost martial flavour and become sports, there are some Jujitsu schools where, similarly to Hapkido, have adapted their arts techniques for self defence such as Gracie Jiu Jitsu (Rorion Gracie) system and some Japanese Jujitsu academies.
Pictured are photos of GIANT Instructor Giorgio Repice with Royce and Rickson Gracie, and also Rigan and Carlos Machado.