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The purpose of Judo

Judo is loved by all generations. You can see people of all ages from six to over eighty years, and people of all professions, nationalities and sexes enjoying Judo at the Kodokan. They all have their own purposes. Some of them want to be strong, some want to be healthy, some want to strengthen their mind, some want to appreciate the pleasant feeling after perspiring, some want to be able to defend themselves, some want to become instructors of Judo, and some are already devoted to training others. Why is Judo attracting people of all ages and people with so many different purposes?

The purpose of Judo
Kano Shihan throwing Yoshitsugu YAMASHITA with Uki-goshi

Prof. Kano created Judo from Jujutsu as the means to learn the great principle of humanity, not only to learn Waza.
He named the training institution "Kodokan". The word "Kodo" means to learn, prove and practice the principle. The fact that Prof. Kano named Judo "Kodokan Judo" shows us how he made much of the principle and made it a principal objective of life to learn. Prof. Kano himself said that the purpose of Judo is to strengthen body by practicing attack and defense, to complete the personality by training the mind, and finally to devote oneself to society.

The principle of Waza

Waza is based on the fundamental principle of Judo that is, "Maximum Efficient Use of Mind and Body". The theories of Tsukuri and Kake are expressing the principle from Waza's viewpoint.

Tsukuri is made up of Kuzushi which means to destroy your opponent's posture or balance, and "holding yourself ready" to make your attack easier. To actually apply your contemplated technique, when his posture has already been broken by Tsukuri, is called Kake. Tsukuri and Kake can also be called technical principles of Judo.

While you are practicing Tsukuri and Kake, both depend upon the fundamental principle of "Mutual welfare and benefit" and "Maximum efficiency," you can understand and master the principle which can be applied to all phases of human life. You proceed from Waza to Way by practicing Judo.

The principle of Waza
Female trainees learning from Kano Shihan
(early Taisho period)