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What is Judo?

What is Judo?

Judo (Kodokan Judo) was started by Kano Jigoro Shihan (professor) in 1882. He was 22 years old and had just graduated from a university.

Judo was derived from Jujutsu that was a Japanese traditional martial art. Jujutsu is a martial art that uses techniques such as throwing, holding, choking, hitting and kicking to subdue the opponent.

Kano Shihan studied two styles of Jujutsu, Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and Kito-ryu among many Jujutsu schools. Not only learning Jujutsu techniques, he began to think that he was able to develop fine people by indicating the way of living through Jujutsu training.

Finally, he sublimated Jujutsu that was a fighting method into Judo that aims at character-building. His dojo was named Kodokan that means "a school for studying the way", "the way" being the concept of life itself. Then he started to teach Judo there.

(→History of Kodokan Judo

Here we introduce two fundamental principles that were established by Kano Shihan.

Seiryoku zenyo and Jita kyoei

Seiryoku zenyo: Maximum-efficiency
Jita kyoei: Mutual welfare and benefit

Kano Shihan hoped that trainees learn through Judo training the way to use their body and mind most efficiently and achieve the perfection of their character and also hoped that they use their ability for the development of the society.
Let's aim at becoming a respectable person by applying the Judo mind to daily living.

Scrolls that contain esoteric techniques of
Tenjin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu

What images was the Kodokan symbol derived from?

The red circle expresses an iron-core that is fired, and the white outward means the floss silk that wraps the core. The floss silk is pure white and has toughness although it is soft. The more one forges iron, the more it becomes strong.

The symbol expresses the idea that Kodokan members should always have the following spirit: Soft-outward and hard-inward. That is to say, they should have a mighty heart and strengthened physical ability while they behave softly, calmly and rightly to others.

The symbol was made in 1940 improving a symbol that was set by Kano Shihan in the early days of Kodokan. It expresses the spirit of soft-outward and hard-inward. The flower-shaped outward expresses a flower shaped mirror that means trainees should have always Shihan's words in their mind.