Philosophy of Judo

Jigoro Kano

Judo originated in Japan in the year 1882, when its founder, Jigoro Kano, a the age of 22, opened the first Judo institute named the Kodokan Judo Dojo. Kano was a student of Jujitsu at the age of 18 and after four years of study began to establish Judo as a national art. In 1909, Kodokan became an official foundation.

With the birth of Judo, Kano wanted to instill three basic maxims in each student: Jiko no kansei, Jitta kyoe, and Seiryoku zenryo. Similarly, the judoka has three tools to accomplish these maxim: the body, character, and intellect. The first maxim, Jiko no kansei, asked that every judoka strive for perfection as a human being...this could be seen in an individual who has good health, good character, intelligence and self worth. The second maxim, jitta kyoe, builds on the first maxim and calls for judoka to promote the welfare and benefit of others. That is to say as a judoka strives for perfection, he or she must also be aware of others needs. The third and final maxim, seiryoku zenryo, means maximum efficiency with minimum effort. In other words, a judoka must study the application of energy both on the mat and as a life-force.

It was at the turn of the 19th century when Judo began to expand globally. In fact, the United States first came into contact with Judo in 1889. Kano made a number of trips overseas to teach the educational value of Judo to foreign dignateries most of whom sent professors to Japan for instruction. Today, modern Judo is one of the most widley participated sports in the world. In 1964 it was added to the Olympic Games and now includes men's and women's divisions.

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