At its simplest, judo is fundamentally Japanese hand-to-hand combat whose main objectives and characteristics include takedowns, ground fighting, pins, arm bars and chokes.
Strikes (fists, feet, etc.) and weapons are also part of judo, but only in its prearranged form (or kata) and are not allowed in competition judo.
Judo is also one of the most effective forms of self-defence because of its focus on close quarter combat and its use of techniques to counter kicks and punches.
Finally, UNESCO declared judo as the best initial training for children and young people between the ages of 4 and 21, as it allows for a complete physical education with emphasis on all of the following psychomotor aspects:
- Spatial location, perspective, ambidexterity, laterality, throwing, pushing, crawling, jumping, rolling, falling, independent joint coordination of hands and feet, etc.;
- The relationship with others, using play, opposition games and sparring as a dynamic integrating element to introduce both adaptable techniques and tactics; and
- General physical fitness.