by Kyuzo Mifune, judan

redball.gifPliable action of mind and physique surpass stiffening and sturdiness.
True spirit of Judo is nothing but the gentle and diligent free spirit. Judo rests on flexible action of mind and body. The word flexible however never means weakness but something more like adaptability and openmindedness. Gentleness always overcomes strength.
redball.gifTo display best vitality in the worst plight.
A danger is apt to be unforseen, and in such a case the worst possible plight will show itself. Judo should present its most substantial meaning in such a case. Judo’s specialty is quick shifting disadvantage to advantage, and freedom of action in the worst situation by detecting the opponent’s unguarded point quickly and changing your own position to overcome the danger.
redball.gifTo be careless is equal to lack of fixed principle.
You must give full attention and energy to studying Judo with zeal and sincerity. Shifting disadvantage to advantage is a subtle art and not an ounce of inattention is allowed.
redball.gifNever stick to a fixed idea, but be in a self-annihilating state.
To be flexible requires a lack of consciousness of life and death. If you are not afraid of the stronger opponent but a naive mind of selflessness is maintained, your activity will be hindered by nothing, and infinite change and adaptability can be displayed.
redball.gifNever despise trifles but keep faithful mind.
The mind, if slackened even a little, will cause defeat the same as fearing the opponent will make you unable to use full strength. If you are in a hurry to win the match, you will not grasp the truth of the moment. Truth is a free factor, not planned but found when the mind is in its natural state. It can be said that everybody is always with truth but your sincerity will enable you to get it without labor.

Kyuzo Mifune

Kyuzo Mifune at age 70 executing a perfect Sumi Otoshi

fanicon.gif

“I remember during the early part of January, 1909, I went to a certain restaurant, accompanied by Mr. Kyuzo Mifune, a fifth Dan teacher of the Kodokan. We noticed in one corner of the room a group of thirteen young fellows drinking sake, while in an adjoining apartment there were an elderly couple and some other visitors taking food. The members of the first-named group were seen to be putting their heads together at frequent intervals and to be busily whispering, at the same time casting glances in our direction. I did not take any special notice of what was going on, nor did I suspect that they had any designs upon us. Mr. Mifune and I went on chatting over our drinks. Presently one of the rascals approached us, calmly picked up my overcoat and hat, and tried to make off with them under our very noses. Of course I remonstrated, when the thief, evidently bent on picking a quarrel, insisted that the coat and hat were his property. A warm altercation arose, in the midst of which he assumed a threatening attitude, and was speedily joined by half a dozen of his comrades from the other side of the room. There being no alternative, Mr. Mifune took a hand in the game. He avoided unnecessary roughness, but in less than a minute he had them all down with a succession of swift blows. Then the rest of the gang set upon me, but I knocked them down one after the other, and the affair was over in less than three minutes. As our victims regained consciousness they lost no time in making themselves scarce, but we detained one of them, and forced him to confess. He admitted that their object had been to extort money from us by intimidation. They had been misled by our good clothes and had imagined that we would be easy prey. We let the fellow go instead of handing him. over to the police, as we considered he had received punishment enough at our hands. After the rascals had gone the old couple who had been interested spectators of the occurrence told us that they had just witnessed for the first time in their lives a practical display of jujutsu and were amazed at the wonderful feats which experts were able to perform against such odds.”
Recorded by E. J. Harrison in The Fighting Spirit of Japan (1913). In the text, Sakujiro Yokoyama is relating the incident to the author. At the time of this occurrence Sakujiro Yokohama held the rank of 7th Dan, the highest rank awarded by the founder of judo, Jigoro Kano, as of that date.