Kanō Jigorō quotes

Kanō Jigorō photo
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Kanō Jigorō

Birthdate: 28. October 1860
Date of death: 4. May 1938
Other names: Кано Дзигоро

Kanō Jigorō 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" and "mutual welfare and benefit" .

In his professional life, Kanō was an educator. Important postings included serving as director of primary education for the Ministry of Education from 1898 to 1901, and as president of Tokyo Higher Normal School from 1900 until 1920. 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 ; 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 Hall of Fame on 14 May 1999.

„Judo teaches us to look for the best possible course of action, whatever the individual circumstances, and helps us to understand that worry is a waste of energy.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Source: Kodokan Judo (1882), p. 23
Context: Judo teaches us to look for the best possible course of action, whatever the individual circumstances, and helps us to understand that worry is a waste of energy. Paradoxically, the man who has failed and one who is at the peak of success are in exactly the same position. Each must decide what he will do next, choose the course that will lead him to the future. The teachings of judo give each the same potential for success, in the former instance guiding a man out of lethargy and disappointment to a state of vigorous activity.

„Carefully observe oneself and one's situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one's environment“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Budo Secrets (2002)
Context: Jigoro Kano's Five Principles of Judo:
1. Carefully observe oneself and one's situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one's environment,
2. Seize the initiative in whatever you undertake,
3. Consider fully, act decisively,
4. Know when to stop,
5. Keep to the middle.

„In Randori we teach the pupil to act on the fundamental principles of Judo, no matter how physically inferior his opponent may seem to him, and even if by sheer strength he can easily overcome him“

—  Kanō Jigorō

"Judo: The Japanese Art of Self Defense", as translated in A Complete Guide to Judo : It's Story and Practice (1958) by Robert W. Smith http://www.judoinfo.com/kano2.htm
Context: In Randori we teach the pupil to act on the fundamental principles of Judo, no matter how physically inferior his opponent may seem to him, and even if by sheer strength he can easily overcome him; because if he acts contrary to principle his opponent will never be convinced of defeat, no matter what brute strength he may have used.

„There are people who are excitable by nature and allow themselves to become angry for the most trivial of reasons.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Source: Kodokan Judo (1882), p. 23
Context: There are people who are excitable by nature and allow themselves to become angry for the most trivial of reasons. Judo can help such people learn to control themselves. Through training, they quickly realize that anger is a waste of energy, that it has only negative effects on the self and others.

„One more type who can benefit from the practice of judo are the chronically discontented, who readily blame others for what is really their own fault.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Source: Kodokan Judo (1882), p. 24
Context: One more type who can benefit from the practice of judo are the chronically discontented, who readily blame others for what is really their own fault. These people come to realize that their negative frame of mind runs counter to the principle of maximum efficiency and that living in conformity with the principle is the key to a forward-looking mental state.

„Another tenet of randori is to apply just the right amount of force — never too much, never too little.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Source: Kodokan Judo (1882), p. 23
Context: Another tenet of randori is to apply just the right amount of force — never too much, never too little. All of us know of people who have failed to accomplish what they set out to do because of not properly gauging the amount of effort required. At one extreme, they fall short of the mark; at the other, they do not know when to stop.

„In randori we learn to employ the principle of maximum efficiency even when we could easily overpower an opponent.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Source: Kodokan Judo (1882), p. 23
Context: In randori we learn to employ the principle of maximum efficiency even when we could easily overpower an opponent. Indeed, it is much more impressive to beat an opponent with proper technique than with brute force. This lesson is equally applicable in daily life: the student realized persuasion backed up by sound logic is ultimately more effective than coercion.

„I do not feel inclined to take any initiative. For one thing, Judo in reality is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact, it is a means for personal cultural attainment.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

Budokwai Bulletin (1947)
Context: I have been asked by people of various sections as to the wisdom and possibility of Judo being introduced with other games and sports at the Olympic Games. My view on the matter, at present, is rather passive. If it be the desire of other member countries, I have no objection. But I do not feel inclined to take any initiative. For one thing, Judo in reality is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact, it is a means for personal cultural attainment. Only one of the forms of Judo training, so-called randori or free practice can be classed as a form of sport. Certainly, to some extent, the same may be said of boxing and fencing, but today they are practiced and conducted as sports. Then the Olympic Games are so strongly flavored with nationalism that it is possible to be influenced by it and to develop "Contest Judo", a retrograde form as ju-jitsu was before the Kodokan was founded.

„Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

As quoted in Dynamic Judo (1967) by Kazuzo Kudo; also in Chasing Dragons : An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film (2006) by David West, p. 10
Context: Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength. By training you in attacks and defenses it refines your body and your soul and helps you make the spiritual essence of Judo a part of your very being. In this way you are able to perfect yourself and contribute something of value to the world. This is the final goal of Judo discipline.

„Generally speaking, if we look at sports we find that their strong point is that because they are competitive they are interesting, and young people are likely to be attracted to them. No matter how valuable the method of physical education, if it is not put into practice, it will serve no purpose — therein lies the advantage of sports. But, in this regard there are matters to which we must also give a great deal of consideration. First, so-called sports were not created for the purpose of physical education; one competes for another purpose, namely, to win. Accordingly, the muscles are not necessarily developed in a balanced way, and in some cases the body is pushed too far or even injured. For that reason, while there is no doubt that sports are a good thing, serious consideration must be given to the selection of the sport and the training method. Sports must not be undertaken carelessly, over-zealously, or without restraint. However, it is safe to say that competitive sports are a form of physical education that should be promoted with this advice in mind. The reason I have worked to popularize sports for more than twenty years and that I have strived to bring the Olympic Games to Japan is entirely because I recognize these merits. However, in times like these, when many people are enthusiastic about sports, I would like to remind them of the adverse effects of sports as well. I also urge them to keep in mind the goals of physical education—to develop a sound body that is useful to you in your daily life — and be sure to consider whether or not the method of training is in keeping with the concept of“

—  Kanō Jigorō

http://www.judoinfo.com/seiryoku2.htm seiryoku zenyo
"Judo and Physical Training" in Mind Over Muscle : Writings from the Founder of Judo (2006) edited by Naoki Murata, p. 57

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„If there is effort, there is always accomplishment.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

As quoted in Black Belt : Judo Skills and Techniques (2006) by Neil Ohlenkamp, p. 36

„To ask may be but a moment's shame, not to ask and remain ignorant is a lifelong shame.“

—  Kanō Jigorō

This is quoted in several published books as a Japanese proverb, without any mention of Jigoro Kano as author.
Misattributed

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