JUA — Judo Union of Asia

JUDO UNION OF ASIA, P.O. Box No. 795, Safat, 13008 KUWAIT
+ 965 2265349
General Secretary
KUMAR Mukesh
General Treasurer


The Judo Union of Asia (JUA) was established in 1956 with the aim of promoting and developing judo in Asia. Initially, it had seven founding members: Chinese Taipei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and Thailand. Mr. Risei Kano, the son of Professor Jigoro Kano, the father of modern judo, served as the first President of the JUA. Notably, Mr. Risei Kano also held the esteemed position of the elected President of the International Judo Federation.

The inaugural Asian Judo Championships for men took place in 1966 in Manila, Philippines, with the participation of teams from eight member national judo federations. Subsequently, the 2nd Asian Judo Championships (Men) was held in Kao-Hsiung, Taiwan, in 1970, followed by the 3rd Asian Judo Championships (Men) in Seoul, Korea, in 1974.

Over the years, the JUA’s membership steadily grew. By the end of 1970, national judo federations from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Vietnam, DPR Korea, Burma (now Myanmar), Singapore, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, and Syria joined, expanding the membership to 23 countries.

In 1980, a significant change occurred in the JUA’s leadership as Mr. Risei Kano stepped down from the presidency, and his son, Mr. Yukimitsu Kano, assumed the role. The 1st Asian Women’s Judo Championships took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1981, alongside the 4th Asian Judo Championships (Men).

Throughout the 1980s, the JUA continued to expand its membership, welcoming countries such as China, Macau, Nepal, Palestine, and Yemen. Later on, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan from the Central Zone also joined, bringing the total membership to 32.

In 1995, another significant change occurred when Mr. Yukimitsu Kano resigned after serving as JUA President for 15 years. Mr. Jagdish Tytler from India was elected as the new President during the JUA Congress held in New Delhi.

By the end of 1998, with the addition of Cambodia, Tajikistan, UAE, Qatar, Laos, and Lebanon, the JUA’s membership reached its current strength of 39 members.

In 1999, Mr. Yoshinori Takeuchi was elected as the President during the JUA Congress held in Wenzhou, China.

The JUA expanded its scope by organizing the first Asian Junior Judo Championships in Hong Kong, China, in 2000, followed by subsequent editions held annually since then, including the second championship in Vietnam in 2001.

The Judo Union of Asia continues its dedicated efforts to promote and nurture the sport of judo in the Asian region, providing opportunities for athletes, coaches, and officials to excel and contributing to the growth and development of judo at all levels.

Judo, known as the “way of gentleness,” was created by Professor Jigoro Kano as a synthesis of various martial arts. It emerged as an ideal form of physical exercise, self-defense, and a source of education and character development. Professor Kano emphasized that the efficient use of one’s mind and body was crucial for personal fulfillment. Judo holds the distinction of being the first Olympic sport originating from Asia and has its own unique characteristics and significance.

The origin and development of Judo as a combative sport showcased the superiority of technique over brute strength. Its evolution was founded upon high ethical standards and always maintained a deep respect for its technical system and combative methods.

Professor Jigoro Kano narrates the transformation from jujutsu to judo in his book “Kodokan Judo Jigoro Kano”:

“Many people are familiar with the terms jujutsu and judo, but how many truly understand their differences? Allow me to explain these two terms and shed light on why judo replaced jujutsu.

During Japan’s feudal era, numerous martial arts were practiced, including the use of the lance, archery, swordsmanship, and more. Jujutsu, also known as taijutsu and yawara, was one such art. It encompassed a variety of attack techniques such as throwing, hitting, kicking, stabbing, slashing, choking, joint manipulation, immobilization, and defenses against these attacks. Although the techniques of jujutsu were known since ancient times, it wasn’t until the latter half of the sixteenth century that jujutsu began to be systematically practiced and taught. Throughout the Edo period (1603-1868), it evolved into a complex art taught by masters from various schools.

During my youth, I studied jujutsu under many esteemed masters. Their extensive knowledge, acquired through years of diligent research and rich experience, proved invaluable to me. At that time, each master presented their art as a collection of techniques. However, none of them grasped the fundamental principle underlying jujutsu. When faced with discrepancies in technique teachings, I often found myself unsure of which approach was correct. This prompted me to search for a unifying principle within jujutsu, one that applied equally to striking an opponent and throwing them. After thorough study, I discovered a pervasive principle: to make the most efficient use of mental and physical energy. Guided by this principle, I reevaluated all the methods of attack and defense I had learned, discarding those that did not align with it and replacing them with techniques that correctly applied the principle. The resulting body of technique, which I named judo to distinguish it from its predecessor, is what is recognized as Judo.”

Professor Jigoro Kano’s systematic approach to refining and codifying jujutsu techniques based on the principle of maximum efficiency led to the birth of judo. From its inception, judo has continued to evolve, emphasizing mutual benefit, personal growth, and the cultivation of physical and mental well-being.