The Physics Of Forces In Judo: Making The Weak Equal To The Strong

Judo is a martial art that demands an intuitive understanding of the physics of forces, torques, stability and rotational motion. This article examines a few of the basic throws of this form of combat. The grace that each throw requires is not easily conveyed, but each throw can be broken into components that can be examined in terms of classical physics. The experiments I shall describe call for actual performance of the throws, but you should do them only under expert supervision since Judo if performed incorrectly can be dangerous to you and your opponent.

In judo the main goal is to overcome your opponent’s stability. The skill lies in the anticipation of his movements and the timing of your response. The idea is to avoid forcing your opponent into a firm resistance to your throw that would pit your strength against his. A small but skilled budo player has a distinct advantage over a larger but unskilled opponent if the contest of strength is avoided

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