Judo, meaning gentle way , is a modern Japanese martial art and combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking the elbow or by applying a choke. Strikes and thrusts (by hands and feet) - as well as weapons defences - are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice.
The early history of judo is inseparable from its founder, Japanese Polymath and educator Jigoro Kano (1860–1938). Kano was born into a well-to-do Japanese family. His grandfather was a self-made man: a sake brewer from Shiga prefecture in central Japan. However, Kano's father was not the eldest son and therefore did not inherit the business. Instead, he became a Shinto priest and government official, with enough influence for his son to enter the second incoming class of Tokyo Imperial University.