- A martial art that has no rules is nothing but violence.
- Randori practise is something that is done to give life to the real power of those techniques that were learned through kata. That is to say, randori provides the power to complete a painted dragon by filling in the eyes.
- The weed crushed and pressed by the heavy rock may slowly and gently grow up anew helped by the fresh air, sunshine, and sympathetic rain. On the other hand, the rock is often broken through exposure to nature and weathering. Life is a strong power to grow in tenderness; this fact may be considered as having a close relation with human life. At the same time tenderness has sometimes stronger power against stiffness or hardening due to extreme strain.
Kyuzo Mifune, Canon of Judo
- There is progression from bujutsu (martial techniques) to budo (martial way) to bushin (martial spirit). The techniques (jutsu) themselves are vehicles that allow the practitioner to approach the two higher levels of ethical behavior and spiritual insight.
Budo Secrets by John Stevens
- A good Judoka never anticipates his action in a match, but his mind is as clever as a polished mirror which enables him to foresee precisely anything to happen and he displays freedom of his physique to cope with any change. Such mental state and physical action are called sei or tranquility and do or action, sometimes they are called ju and go or tenderness and sturdiness, in and yo or negative and positive, etc.
Kyuzo Mifune, Canon of Judo
- Of course the strong are strong and the weak weak.
Kyuzo Mifune, Canon of Judo
- The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong — but that’s the way to bet.
- There is no doubt that armlocking is a dangerous business.
Neil Adams, 1981 World Champion
- Skate to where the puck is going and not to where it’s been.
- Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.
- It is said that the stalk of rice with the most fruit bows the lowest. The warrior that has the most confidence in his abilities to fight is usually the most humble person you will ever meet.
- Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
- He who sleeps on the floor cannot fall out of bed.
- A Chinese story, kind of a Taoistic story about a farmer. One day, his horse ran away, and all the neighbors gathered in the evening and said ‘that’s too bad.’ He said ‘maybe.’ Next day, the horse came back and brought with it seven wild horses. ‘Wow!’ they said, ‘Aren’t you lucky!’ He said ‘maybe.’ He next day, his son grappled with one of these wild horses and tried to break it in, and he got thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbors said ‘oh, that’s too bad that your son broke his leg.’ He said, ‘maybe.’ The next day, the conscription officers came around, gathering young men for the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And the visitors all came around and said ‘Isn’t that great! Your son got out.’ He said, ‘maybe.’ You see, you never really know in which direction progress lies. Alan Watts
- Success is nothing more than taking advantage of an opportunity.
- The first commandment of Judo:
Respect thine opponent, else shall the earth rise up and smite thee on the back
- A man found that his axe was missing, and suspected his neighbor’s son of having taken it. Observing the youth walking around, the man was convinced that his was the walk of a thief. The youth looked like a thief and talked like a thief; everything he did pointed to his having stolen the axe.
Then one day the man happened to find his missing axe. After that, he noticed his neighbor’s son wasn’t behaving like a thief anymore.
- According to Kano, the word judo had two connotations. One is judo in the wide sense and the other one is judo in the narrow sense. Judo in the narrow sense connotes that form which has evolved from the ancient military art of jujutsu. Kano stated : “Although Kodokan judo begins with the randori and the kata, unlike jujutsu, it is based on the principles of physical education and lays stress on the harmonious development of body muscles. The principle described as the way to use body and mind most efficiently is indeed the great principle of humanity. It is a moral doctrine.” In other words it is judo in the wide sense.
Kano’s ideals of judo and education consisted in “perfecting one’s self and benefiting the world. He wrote : “In order to perfect myself, I do not for a moment forget to be of service to the world[..] I will dedicate my future activities to the service of society and for this purpose I shall strive to build up my character and form a firm foundation for my life.
The second principle of Kano’s philosophy of education was “the utmost use of one’s energy or, in short, the maximum of efficiency. What Kano called energy did not simply imply physiological energy or physical vigor, it connoted the “living force” including both the spiritual and physical aspects of life.
M. Maekawa, Y. Hasegawa, “Studies on Jigoro Kano, Significance of His Ideals of Physical Education and Judo”, Bulletin of the Association for the Scientific Studies of Judo, Kodokan, 1963.
- What Western brain could have elaborated this strange teaching, never to oppose force by force, but only direct and utilize the power of attack; to overthrow the enemy solely through his own strength, to vanquish him solely by his own efforts? Surely none! The Western mind appears to work in straight lines; the Oriental, in wonderful curves and circles. Yet how fine a symbolism of Intelligence as a means of foiling brute force! Much more than a science of defense in this jiujitsu: it is a philosophical system; it is an economical system; it is an ethical system (indeed, I may say that a very large part of jiujutsu training is purely moral); and it is, above all, the expression of a racial genius as yet but faintly perceived by these Powers who dream of further aggrandizement in the East.
Lafcadio Hearn, Out of the East, 1895
- The principle of gentleness is explained in brief as follows. Victory over the opponent is achieved by giving way to the strength of the opponent, adapting to it and, taking advantage of it, turning it, in the end, to your advantage.
Kodokan, What is Judo, 1947
- Recently in our country, there has been a steadily increasing number of people who dislike work and pursue leisure and extravagance. Almost everywhere individuals and organizations are fighting with resultant loss of energy that is needed for positive action. In order to save them from this situation, a principle of judo, based on the maximum efficiency concept should be applied as one aspect of modern society and as a natural result of the application of the principle of maximum efficiency, a mutual welfare and prosperity is believed to be the only effective way to ease and neutralize the forces among these individuals and organizations.
Jigoro Kano, quoted in Kodokan Magazine, February 1974 from his writings of 40 years earlier
- When there is opposition, harmonize with it on the spot.
- Remain unshaken regardless of the circumstances.
- The essential elements of budo are: the timing of heaven, the utility of earth, and the harmonization of human beings.
- When an attack does arise, move to meet it swiftly, boldly, and fearlessly. Or better still, make your opponent feel welcome to attack, then capture his spirit when he enters your sphere.
- First know yourself, and then know others.
Gichin Funakoshi, founder of karate
- Although I became 8th dan, I am still going on with my practice and study of judo because I don’t regard judo practice and study as just competition and a matter of winning and losing.
Of course I tried my best to win during competitive meetings in my youth. I also spent lots of time with my students and younger colleagues in order to get results in competitions as a coach after I stopped competing. But I always believe that the final aim of judo practice and study is to form the best human beings for society.
Originally ju came from the principle of yawara or suppleness which means the way to control the opponent by using his power, without resisting his power. At first, Dr. Jigoro Kano used this principle to explain judo, but then he understood that this principle was not sufficient.
He concluded that we could develop our mental and physical fitness through judo practice and study, and experience the essence of judo. Furthermore, our final aim of judo practice and study is to make ourselves perfect and work for the benefit of society.
To achieve these aims, three different ways of practice, borrowed from former times, should be taken into consideration. It explains that practice must be changed according to the proficiency of the opponent while keeping in mind the purpose and aim.
Namely, the type of opponents can be divided into three:
1. Practicing with opponents of a higher standard
You should try your own techniques with full strength for improvement of skill, and should not consider defense. Defense towards the opponent should be with only tai sabaki or body management, but you should not mind being thrown if the skill of the opponent exceeds your defense.
2. Practicing with opponents of an equal standard
You should try your own skill and strength as much as you can.
3. Practicing with opponents of a lower standard
You should bear in mind the principle of techniques and try to throw the opponent with reasonable and suitable techniques. You should also give the opponent enough opportunities to try techniques so that the opponent can improve as well.
Moreover, when you practice with a teacher, you should be careful to learn the principles of techniques without excessive defense and do this relentlessly because you are learning for your own improvement.
When you practice with children, you should be careful to give them the chance to use the techniques they know and accept being thrown if the technique is applied with proper timing so that children can improve their skills in the future.
I hope that judo will flourish around the world, so as many people as possible can partake and benefit from this wonderful sport and way of life.
Ryozo Nakamura, director of the IJF Education Commission