Alla fine degli anni '70 del 1800 un ragazzino magro e basso iniziò a prendere lezioni di jujitsu a Tokyo.
Le arti marziali non sarebbero state più le stesse.
In 1878 Jigoro Kano, the 17-year-old son of a saki maker, moved from the island of Honshu to Tokyo to attend Tokyo Imperial University. Shortly after arriving he started taking lessons in the Japanese martial art jujitsu. Kano was small, just over five feet tall, and weighed only about 90 pounds, but he was incredibly focused, and in just a few years became a master in the Tenjin-Shinyo-Ryu, or "Divine True Willow," school of jujitsu. Then he started studying other techniques -including western wrestling styles- and began developing his own moves, primarily takedowns. In 1882 Kano opened his own school, beginning with just 12 students. At the time he felt he was still teaching a form of jujitsu, but in 1884, at the age of just 24, he founded a new school of martial arts- judo, meaning "the gentle way."