What does "Jundo Seisho" (Accordance with the Way Overcomes Winning) mean?
The true purpose of the Kodokan is something far greater. In the dojo, we may become distracted by matters right before our eyes such as winning or losing, so we often end up thinking about the rationale that naturally occurs for winning or losing, and neglecting our efforts to cultivate virtue in the space between them. Therefore, if we seek to fully achieve results by following the discipline of Judo in order to cultivate the body, wisdom, and virtue, then we must make particular efforts to use our resources and engage in practice with that in mind.
The matches between schools I have observed in recent years have made me wonder whether the participants have forgotten the lofty purpose of Judo, and mistakenly think that the purpose of Judo lies in matters right before their eyes such as winning or losing. If one wins, one must win in accord with the Way, and if one loses, one must lose in accord with the Way. Even if one loses while acting in accord with the Way, there is greater value than if one wins by departing from the Way.
One aspect of Judo is the discipline of competition. At the same time, Judo is a method for training the body and cultivating wisdom and virtue. As these disciplines result in greater strength in competition, Judo must also achieve these other purposes.
During matches between schools, however, when one side takes the offensive, the other side often simply retreats, so the two sides never have the opportunity to use their techniques on each other. Not only does this way of holding a match lack value in training the body, but it is also uninteresting and gives both sides few opportunities to exercise their resourcefulness. It also leads to one side looking down on the other as cowards, and that state of mind will naturally be manifested in their behavior. The other side will realize that they were behaving in a cowardly manner, but they will still end up feeling negatively toward their opponents. As just one example, if something like this happens frequently, then ultimately the matches do not bring the schools into harmony with each other, but instead cause discord. This is not the fault of Judo. We must consider it the fault of those who used Judo wrongly.
You may then wonder whether this way of holding matches is appropriate as a discipline in competition itself. It is not at all. When schools hold a match, winning or losing is not the purpose. The real purpose is ensuring that when the need arises—although we can't know when this will be—we will not blunder in taking action that determines victory or defeat. Matches between schools are no more than one kind of practice in the course of our discipline. That is why what is important in matches is not winning or losing, but rather the commitment to cultivating our real abilities so that we will not lose when a match takes place in deadly earnest. However, if we do not bring our strengths fully into play with each other, but instead only run away from each other or devise defensive measures, this is neither interesting nor allows us to make progress in our abilities. That is why engaging in a match with this kind of attitude is not advisable from any perspective.
When a match between schools is held in a sensible manner, then not only is it interesting, but it is of course effective as physical training and it also yields considerable results for the cultivation of wisdom and virtue. Furthermore, it is an appropriate method for promoting the spread of Judo.
When a match is held between schools with the goal of fully achieving that purpose, then the thinking of both sides in the match must conform totally to the Judo spirit. First of all, as I explained earlier, neither winning nor losing is the main purpose of the match. It is a secondary purpose. The main purpose is to refine our own abilities through that experience, and practice acting as hosts to the other side and having friendly contact with people from the other school. We should enjoy matching our techniques against those of people from the other school. We should wonder what kinds of techniques these people with whom we don't usually have matches might have. Will they use some totally unexpected technique on us so that we lose? Since they don't know our techniques, what kinds of mistakes will the other side make? This is not just a match of Judo techniques. It is a chance to compare the spirit and attitudes that we have cultivated through the discipline of Judo with the spirit and attitudes of our counterparts, and if there is any area where we don't match up, to find out how we can learn from them, or if we are ahead in an area, how we can guide them. We are currently from different schools but someday we will both be responsible adults working in our society, so we should take this opportunity to become friendly with each other. We should make the effort now so that someday when we are out in the world together, we won't have the kind of small-minded attitude that could divide us just because we attended different schools. We must hold matches of this kind with this mindset. If matches between schools take place in a spirit like this, then I expect the kinds of difficulties about which we have been hearing up to now to disappear, and all the headmasters to join together in encouraging matches between their schools.
It is regrettable but must be acknowledged that matters have not yet progressed to that point. Ultimately, this is because the spirit of Judo culture is not yet being manifested. The technique of Judo is important. It is precious. However, if technique existed all on its own and was not accompanied by the cultivation of wisdom and virtue, then society would not place so much value on Judo experts. Technique separate from cultivation in other areas is comparable to the technique of tumblers. I would not consider it worthy of any particular respect. People who pursue the discipline of Judo gain the ability to make a significant contribution to society because they have accumulated experience in studying and practicing both literary and martial arts, and then they also become worthy of the respect of people in society.
*** Today there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of Kodokan Judo practitioners, and I would like all of them to taste what Judo truly is. Beyond that, there are people who have not yet even entered into the practice of Judo, and I would like to bring the benefits of Judo to them as well.