For my A-Z challenge this year I'm taking a look at sports. Olympic ones, ancient ones, weird ones and some just non sporting sports. I'm not athletic or even particularly fit but there are some sports I enjoy watching and in composing my posts I've come across many that I'd never heard of. Join me in a sporting journey from the comfort of your couch (or wherever else you're reading this) and thanks for stopping by.
Judo is the only Olympic sport beginning with J. Originating in Japan, it's a traditional wrestling sport that dates back to the 1880s.
In Japanese the word ju-do means “the way of suppleness” referring to the story of the tree branch ‘bending’ under the weight of the snow and not breaking. I think I would break. Bouts last five minutes are look physically demanding.
It didn't appear in the Olympics until 1964 but women didn't compete until 1992. Events are organised by weight bands with lower and upper limits. The aim is to throw your opponent to the floor and subdue them. It's definitely a physical sport.
It's not one that I take much interest in unless there is a British competitor and then I might watch to see how they do. One thing that does surprise me is the outfit they wear. I understand the need for a belt considering beginners to the sport have to work their way through levels which are denoted by the colour of the belt but the pyjama style clothing seems to have to be frequently readjusted and the belt retied. I would find that so annoying. Although it's a bit irrelevant when I'm pretty sure I'm never going to be wearing it!
As for a weird J sport then Jugger must be the one. Invented for a 1989 film (The Salute of the Jugger or The Blood of Heroes depending on where it was released) the sport then took on a life of its own. It's played with a Skull, a ball shaped to look like a dog's skull, and various weapons with players taking on a variety of roles.
And then for a historical sport we have Jousting. Involving riders on horses and spears it sounds quite barbaric. Fortunately it became replaced by other equestrian sports in the 17th Century although it can still be seen in theatrical re-enactments. Personally I think it's a good thing it's historical!
I'm not happy sitting on a horse at the best of times let alone being clad in heavy protective clothing and holding what's basically a spear! How about you?