Stories of Great Judoists

Histories of great judoists


Dzyhoro Kano, founder of Judo

Kanō Jigorō (嘉納 治五郎?, 28 October 1860 – 4 May 1938) was a Japanese educator and athlete, the founder of Judo. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport.Pedagogical innovations attributed to Kanō include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of dan ranking to show the relative ranking among members of a martial art style. Well-known mottoes attributed to Kanō include "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" (精力善用 Sei-ryoku Zen-you)and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit"(自他共栄 Ji-ta Kyou-ei).

In his professional life, Kanō was an educator. Important postings included serving as director of primary education for the Ministry of Education (文部省 Monbushō?) from 1898 to 1901, and as president of Tokyo Higher Normal School from 1901 until 1920.[1] He played a key role in making judo and kendo part of the Japanese public school programs of the 1910s.

Kanō was also a pioneer of international sports. Accomplishments included being the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (he served from 1909 until 1938); officially representing Japan at most Olympic Games held between 1912 and 1936; and serving as a leading spokesman for Japan's bid for the 1940 Olympic Games.

His official honors and decorations included the First Order of Merit and Grand Order of the Rising Sun and the Third Imperial Degree. Kanō was inducted as the first member of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Hall of Fame on 14 May 1999.

During the early 1880s, there was no clear separation between the jūjutsu that Kanō was teaching and the jūjutsu that his teachers had taught in the past. Kanō's Kitō-ryū teacher, Iikubo Tsunetoshi, came to Kanō's classes two or three times a week to support Kanō's teaching.[8][9] Eventually student and master began to exchange places, and Kanō began to defeat Iikubo during randori:[14]

“Usually it had been him that threw me. Now, instead of being thrown, I was throwing him with increasing regularity. I could do this despite the fact that he was of the Kito-ryu school and was especially adept at throwing techniques. This apparently surprised him, and he was quite upset over it for quite a while. What I had done was quite unusual. But it was the result of my study of how to break the posture of the opponent. It was true that I had been studying the problem for quite some time, together with that of reading the opponent's motion. But it was here that I first tried to apply thoroughly the principle of breaking the opponent's posture before moving in for the throw...

I told Mr. Iikubo about this, explaining that the throw should be applied after one has broken the opponent's posture. Then he said to me: "This is right. I am afraid I have nothing more to teach you."Soon afterward, I was initiated in the mystery of Kito-ryu jiujitsu and received all his books and manuscripts of the school.

 

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