About Judo! | Testimonials and Thoughts on Soft Judo | Buy Soft Judo Now!

Mechling Sensei and one of the Masters and the Kodokan in RandoriJudo is many things to different people. It is a fun sport, an art, a discipline, a recreational or social activity, a fitness program, a means of self-defense or combat, and a way of life. It is all of these and more.

Kodokan Judo comes to us from the fighting system of feudal Japan. Founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano, Judo is a refinement of the ancient martial art of Jujutsu. Dr. Kano, President of the University of Education, Tokyo, studied these ancient forms and integrated what he considered to be the best of their techniques into what is now the modern sport of Judo.

Judo was introduced into the Olympic Games in 1964 and is practiced by millions of people throughout the world today. People practice Judo to excel in competition, to stay in shape, to develop self-confidence, and for many other reasons. But most of all, people do Judo just for the fun of it.

Judo is Fun!

As in all sports, Judo has a strict set of rules that governs competition and ensures safety. For those who want to test their skills, Judo offers the opportunity for competition at all skill levels, from club to national tournaments, to the Olympic Games. There are separate weight divisions for men and women, and boys and girls.

Judo is best known for it's spectacular throwing techniques but also involves considerable grappling on the ground utilizing specialized pins, control holds, arm locks, and Judo choking techniques. Judo emphasizes safety, and full physical activity for top conditioning. Judo is learned on special mats for comfort and safety.

Judo is unique in that all age groups, both sexes, and most disabled persons can participate together in learning and practicing the sport. Judo is an inexpensive, year-round activity, that appeals to people from all walks of life. Many people over sixty years of age enjoy the sport, as well as very young boys and girls.

Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others. Judo provides the means for learning self-confidence, concentration, and leadership skills, as well as physical coordination, power, and flexibility. As a sport that has evolved from a fighting art, it develops complete body control, fine balance, and fast reflexive action. Above all, it develops a sharp reacting mind well-coordinated with the same kind of body. Judo training gives a person an effective self-defense system if the need arises.

The Judo Rank System

Judo created the system of ranks, now used in most other martial arts, that recognize a person's degree of knowledge, ability, and leadership. There are separate ranks for juniors (under 17) and seniors. Judo ranks are identified by colored belts, and ten degrees of advanced grades for black belts. Regular advancement encourages students to achieve more.

Principles and Goals of Judo

Judo, which is translated as the "gentle way", teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills. Skill, technique and timing, rather than the use of brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in Judo. For example, in Judo classes you may learn how to give way, rather than use force, to overcome a stronger opponent.

The principles of Judo, such as "Maximum Efficiency" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit", can also be used in our dealings with others in life. The ultimate goal in Judo is to develop oneself to the maximum extent possible, always striving for perfection, so that you can contribute something of value to the world. According to the American College of Sports Medicine:  Judo is the safest contact sport for children under age 13.  Judo is the second most practiced sport worldwide.

The Great Masters of JUDO
Jigoo Kano the Founder of JUDO with his best and most famous student Kyuzo Mifune 10th Dan and Legendary Grandmaster of the Kodokan
Founder of Judo - Jigoro Kano (Left) and his most reknown Grandmaster Kyuzo Mifune (right)
The center photo is K. Mifune with J. Kano
SOFT JUDO™ Instructors

Nick Mechling Sensei, Jin Iizumi Shihan, Chris Mechling Sensei
Friends and Other Teachers
Daigo the Head of the Kodokan Judo Institute and Mechling Sensei
Nick Mechling and Daigo Sensei -
Daigo is a Grandmaster (Tenth Dan) of Kodokan Judo
Osawa the Head Instructor of the Women's Section at the Kodokan and one of the few 10th Dan in Judo in Japan
Osawa and Iizumi Sensei
Osawa is a Grandmaster (Tenth Dan) of Kodokan Judo
Iizumi in Action

The pictures above were taken in the Kodokan - Judo's International headquarters where Iizumi learned and taught as a young man.
The Organization
Learn directly from one of the remaining great shihan from Japan, Jin Iizumi, along with co-instructors Nick and Chris Mechling.  Iizumi Shihan is active and still instructing students in SOFTJUDO at the Kokusai Budokan.  The dojo is located in North County of San Diego.  For more information on seminars or instruction contact:


Iizumi Shihan and Mechling Sensei c/o


2204 Sunset Cliffs Blvd - Second Floor
San Diego CA 92107
Tel - (619) 212-2554, Fax - (858) 777-3426

Testimonials | Buy Soft Judo Now!

Jin Iizumi’s Legendary Soft Judo DVD Series covers all of the fundamentals of Judo. Most Judo DVDs gloss over these key fundamentals. All the technical components of the series set it apart from others. Because Iizumi was trained by Mifune (direct student of Kano - Founder of Judo), he has insight others do not. This is shown in his DVD series. It is like having a modern Mifune in DVD form.  Judo using the proper principals should flow effortlessly. Iizumi Sensei has finally produced a DVD series that conveys these ideals in a easy to follow format.

Gary Goltz - 7th Dan Judo Black Belt - Over 40 years of experience in Judo - Chief Operations Officer of the US Judo Association. Gary is in charge of the largest Judo club in the US. 


As a six time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion and a two time ADCC World Submission Wrestling Champion, I strongly recommend the Legendary Soft Judo video series to anyone interested in pursuing a competitive grappling career, or simply learning to defend themselves.

I believe in Iizumi's approach to training, focusing the fundamentals. Without a solid foundation, you cannot hope to reach the highest levels of skill. The Legendary soft judo series takes you step-by-step through the learning process. The level of technical detail shown is exceptional. You will be exposed to the full spectrum of Judo throws, as well as important Judo pins and submission techniques from Shihan Iizumi.

I've been practicing Judo for over twenty years, and to me, Shihan Iizumi's instruction is invaluable. He has become my Judo sensei, and has helped me to prepare for tournament victories. I wish I had begun learning from him years ago. Every serious Judo or Jiu-Jitsu player ought to take the chance to study these DVDs.

Saulo Ribeiro - University of Jiu-Jitsu, San Diego Dojo

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