WHAT IS THE JUDO ? UNESCO has declared it as the best initial training for children and young people aged 4 to 21 and as a regular practice at any age with appropriate limitations. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) instead considers it one of the most complete sports, which promotes the values of friendship, participation, respect and effort to improve. This is judo: a martial art, a combat sport and a self-defense method born in Japan at the end of the nineteenth century thanks to Master Jigoro Kano and which became an Olympic discipline in 1964 on the occasion of the Tokyo Olympics.
The term judo translates into "way of kindness", because this discipline, although it is a martial art and a method of self-defense, does not involve the use of violence, but consists of techniques and holds whose goal is to render harmless the opponent, through his immobilization: “Training in the discipline of jūdō means reaching perfect knowledge of the spirit through attack-defense training and the assiduous effort to obtain physical-spiritual improvement. The improvement of the ego thus obtained must be directed to social service, which is the ultimate goal of the jūdō ”(Kyuzo Mifune, The Canon of Judo).
How judo is practiced.
Together with boxing, taekwondo, wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling, judo is one of the very few martial arts elevated to the rank of Olympic sport; this discipline is made up of techniques and holds deriving from the most ancient jujitsu, does not include blows and is based on 4 main principles:
• Projections: coming into contact with the opponent, you will have to perceive his so-called "weak plan" and act on it with the purpose of throwing it to the ground using its center of gravity.
• Knockdowns: alternative methods to projections, allow you to obtain the same result while exploiting the opponent's errors or excesses of strength.
• Submissions: levers, choking, pressure and twisting capable of causing great pain, potential damage, or knocking out the opponent.
• Fixed assets and dominant positions: they are put into practice once the opponent is on the ground.
Practitioners of this discipline are called judoists or more commonly judoka; the place where judo is practiced is called the dojo and the training takes place on a mat called a tatami. The tatami in Japan is made of rice straw, and is the normal flooring of traditional-style homes. Until about the seventies it was also used for the practice of judo, but today, for hygienic and ergonomic purposes, synthetic materials are used: in fact for the regular maintenance of the dojo it is important that the tatami mats are easy to clean, and to allow judokas to train comfortably and safely, they must be stiff enough so that they can walk on them without sinking, and adequately elastic to be able to cushion the fall. The judokas wear a uniform called judogi with a belt that goes from white to black for the recognition of rank and experience.
The benefits of judo.
Practicing judo, even for just a few years, brings with it many benefits, both physical and spiritual. In fact, this discipline, in addition to being a complete physical activity, which develops and increases aspects such as perspective, coordination, flexibility and balance, strengthens the spirit and mind, helping to develop self-esteem and self-control; the lessons temper the character and a deep education and respect towards the teacher and the opponent is required. From a physical point of view, the main benefits are:
• it burns calories and is a complete sport: judo is ideal for those looking for a complete sport and is also good for losing weight and keeping fit, since it activates the metabolism. Furthermore, being a contact sport, judo provides a 360 degree training, with a consequent increase in muscle mass;
• improves breathing: this discipline is highly beneficial on the respiratory level, because it teaches you to breathe better and to concentrate on the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. By optimizing lung ventilation, it also relieves discomfort such as asthma;
• improves circulation
• improves balance and agility, increases the elasticity of the muscles and the flexibility of the joints: since the goal of the judoka is to remain standing trying to knock the opponent to the ground, it is very important to train to be as agile as possible and to maintain balance even when making very rapid movements; From an emotional and psychic point of view, on the other hand, the greatest benefits deriving from the practice of judo are:
• respect for the opponent: this discipline teaches that even in a sport of self-defense one can leave violence aside, using methods and techniques that involve more spirit and balance;
• increases self-esteem, helps socialize and fight shyness - judo helps you not to be afraid of contact with others and to express yourself through your body. Furthermore, although the fight is between two opponents, the bonds that form with the other members of the team can be very strong;
• trains a person's spirit and moral abilities: judo is an excellent school for learning respect for others and for oneself. Furthermore, it teaches to correct aggressive attitudes, increasing the tolerance to frustration in a constructive way;
• increases concentration: those who practice this sport learn to think before acting, and not to get carried away by emotions in the most difficult situations.
THE HISTORY OF THE JUDO The Judo Judo (way of compliance) is a martial art, a combat sport and a Japanese method of self-defense formally born in Japan with the founding of Kōdōkan by Professor Kanō Jigorō, in 1882. The practitioners of this discipline are named judoists or more commonly judokas.
Judo later officially became an Olympic discipline in Tokyo 1964 and represented the third most universal sport at the 2004 Athens Games with athletes from 98 different countries, while 387 athletes from 135 different countries participated in London 2012.
Kyūzō Mifune (left) and Kanō Jigorō (right)
Historical-political context in Japan.
The historical context was particular: 1853 marked an important date for Japan: Commodore Matthew C. Perry, of the United States Navy, enters Tokyo Bay with a fleet of four warships (the so-called Navi Nere) by delivering a message asking for the opening of ports and commercial treaties to representatives of the Tokugawa shogunate. Japan, which until then had lived in complete isolation from the rest of the world (Sakoku), thanks to the Kanagawa Convention, finally opens its borders to foreigners. After the abdication of the last Tokugawa Yoshinobu shogun in 1867, the imperial power in fact regained political control of the country, and simultaneously with the Meiji Restoration, the promulgation of the 1876 edict forbidding the port of the daisho decreed its disappearance. of the samurai caste.
Armando Troni writes: "" The government assigned noble titles of various classes to the former daimyōs, according to the importance of their families, and a pecuniary indemnity proportional to their ancient income, in treasury bills. Finally, equality was declared between the four classes of samurai, peasants, artisans and merchants. The armed bodies of the samurai were dissolved [...] and a new division of the social classes was determined, which were in fact distinguished in: nobility, bourgeoisie, and people. Among the many reforms [...] we must still remember the adoption of the metric system and the Gregorian calendar "".
There were important cultural changes in the life of the Japanese due to the absorption of the Western mentality and of course this caused a rejection of everything that belonged to the past, including the warrior culture that had so affected the life of the people during the feudal period. Jū-jutsu, being an integral part of this culture, slowly disappeared almost entirely. Furthermore, traditional martial arts were also ignored due to the spread of firearms and many of the numerous Dojos then existing were forced to close due to lack of students; the few remaining were frequented by ex-samurai professional wrestlers paid precisely to fight (being their only means of livelihood) and who were sometimes involved in episodes of violence or crimes. This further influenced the negative judgment of the people towards jū-jutsu in which they saw an expression of violence and oppression.
"" For the new discipline I wanted to spread, I also deliberately avoided the traditional names that had been widely used until then, such as "jū-jutsu", "tai-jutsu", "yawara", [...] and I adopted "jūdō ". There were more than one reasons why I wanted to avoid traditional denominations. At that time many had a different concept of jū-jutsu or tai-jutsu from how I understood them; not thinking in the least of a physical and mental benefit, they immediately linked them to violent actions such as strangulations, dislocations, fractures, bruises and wounds ... It was an era in which social transformations forced the men of sword and jū-jutsu, a time famous, to face a new way of life, because they were losing the protection of the powerful feudal lords, so much so that some of them, dedicating themselves to the trade to which they were not educated, sometimes fell into a miserable life of a vagabond, while others, to land the money, they had to show their skills without shame. Therefore, when it came to the art of the sword or jū-jutsu, no one imagined that it was the very precious discipline that handed down the quintessence of samurai cavalry. These things led me to at least renew the name of the discipline, otherwise it would have been difficult for me to even find students who dedicated themselves to it. ""
The Meiji Emperor in 1872
Judo in the early years of the twentieth century experienced an extraordinary diffusion in Japan and at the same time began its spread in the rest of the world thanks to those who had the opportunity to get in touch with Japan, mainly traders and military, who once learned the basic techniques. then imported to their countries of origin. No less important was the arrival in Europe around 1915 of important Japanese masters, direct students of Jigoro Kano, who gave further impetus to the development of judo, including Gunji Koizumi in England in 1920 and Mikonosuke Kawaishi in France.
In Italy the first testimonies refer to a group of soldiers belonging to the Regia Marina who in 1905 held a demonstration of "Japanese struggle" in front of the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III. The officers Moscardelli and Michele Pizzolla, in service in Yokohama, obtained, according to what is contained in the Navy archives, the 1st dan of judo as early as 1889. However, it will be necessary to wait until the end of the ten years to begin talking about "judo", thanks to 'work of another sailor, Carlo Oletti, who directed the judo courses for the Army established in 1920. Until 1924, judo in Italy will remain confined to the military, when the FILG (Italian Federation of Japanese Wrestling) was established , then absorbed in 1931 by the FIAP (Italian Heavy Athletics Federation).
Birth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
As an appendix to the Kōdōkan Jūdō, in the 1920s, master Mitsuyo Maeda brought the fundamentals of ne-waza overseas by teaching them to Carlos Gracie and Luis França. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu then became a martial art in its own right through experimentation, practice and adaptations by the master Hélio Gracie and his brother Carlos.
Carlos Gracie and Helio Grace
Death of Kanō and postwar period.
Jigorō Kanō died in 1938, at a time when Japan, moved by a new imperialist push, was heading towards the Second World War. After the defeat, the nation was placed under US control for ten years and judo was subjected to heavy censorship as it was listed among the dangerous aspects of Japanese culture that often glorified war. The practice of the discipline was therefore prohibited and the numerous books and videos on the subject were largely destroyed. Judo was then "rehabilitated" thanks to the IOC of which Jigorō Kanō, the first Asian member, was a member as a delegate for Japan.
Olympic judo and the birth of traditionalist movements.
Starting after the war, with the organization of the first International and World Championships, and subsequently with its inclusion at the 1964 Tokyo Games, judo has increasingly approached Western combat sport and wrestling disciplines, slowly detaching itself from tradition. enough to assume its own identity as a sport in its own right.
Even the teaching and training methodologies have changed accordingly and in fact the search for the minimum advantage that allows you to win the race has begun to be favored, to the detriment of the search for the masterful technique that is attributed the immediate victory but at the same time exposes athlete at a greater risk of suffering a counterattack. This path was made possible by using techniques derived from free wrestling which, due to their effectiveness in the competition and biomechanical affinity, are well combined with the traditional techniques of judo while betraying their vocation and martial genealogy.
Olympic Judo pictogram
This inevitable implication was exacerbated with the entry into the scene in the eighties of the athletes of the former USSR, often experts in sambo, a fight that, purged of blow techniques, lends itself well to a competitive comparison and integration with judo.
Another notable impulse to the expansion of judo occurred in 1988 in conjunction with the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games where women's judo enters as a demonstration sport, and then again on the occasion of the 1992 Barcelona Games where women's judo is definitively included in the Olympic program.
As a consequence of this, however, over the years a tendency has developed to favor a type of teaching that enables the student-athlete to immediately earn points in the competition, sometimes preferring static positions absolutely contrary to classical judo philosophy. Furthermore, one of the consequences of this didactic structure is the scarce consideration of the educational and training aspects of the discipline, which is often a sign of poor preparation by the teacher, who does not understand the need to provide an adequate technical and moral basis to the student. before focusing on competitive practice.
"" As I repeat every time, judo is a discipline conceived as the Great Way, ie universal. It allows you to graduate the teaching according to need and personal interpretation. It can be conceived as bujutsu, it can constitute a physical education, involve mental and moral cultivation, to the point of allowing the application of acquired skills to daily living. Instead, the case of competitive sports is different, which represent a kind of physical activity essentially dedicated to the result of victory-defeat, even if the training to them, as long as it is performed correctly, brings a benefit on a physical and mental level. and therefore it can be effective and useful, which no one discusses.
The fact is that the difference is enormous: while in competitive sports the goal is confined to the narrow scope of seeking victory, that of judo proposes a broad and complex purpose, so much so that we can define competitive sports as a partial application of objective in which the discipline of judo is recognized. Therefore it is plausible, indeed legitimate, to interpret judo also in the agonistic and competitive meaning, even if this represents a kind of training that alone does not lead to the fulfillment of the real objective of the discipline. In other words: it is true that we must recognize the need for judo as a competitive sport in the demands of the times, but without forgetting even for a moment what its meaning and true function is. ""
In 1974 the FIAP was absorbed by FILPJ, (Italian Federation of Judo Weights), which in turn, also incorporating karate, will change its name to FILPJK (Italian Federation of Judo Karate Weights) in 1995. In July 2000 the National Assembly decides to split FILPJK into FIJLKAM (Italian Federation of Judo Fight Karate Martial Arts) and FIPCF (Italian Federation of Weightlifting and Physical Culture).
In Italy, particular merit goes to the Benemerito Maestro Tommaso Betti-Berutto, author of the text - used as a reference by at least two generations of Italian technical teachers, but certainly not free from serious imperfections for the dissemination of judo and for its constitution in federal organization. - "From white belt to black belt", to the Benemerito Maestro Giovanni Bonfiglio, pioneer of judo and martial arts in Sicily and Calabria since 1946, and to Avv. Augusto Ceracchini, five times Italian Champion and co-tutor of the Italian National Judo Academy, to the Benemerito Maestro Nicola Tempesta, 8th dan, father of the "Neapolitan school" of judo, nine times Italian Champion and first Italian Champion of Europe, and to Maestro Cesare Barioli, author of important texts on judo both of a technical nature and as an educational and training method.
And it is thanks to the example of maestro Cesare Barioli, in disagreement with the federal policy focused exclusively on the promotion of sports judo, that since the late seventies, in order to reaffirm the traditional value of judo, sports and cultural associations have been established which tend to revive the principles expressed by the Founder, although they too are dedicated to competitive activity. These associations are gathered within various sports promotion bodies recognized by CONI and non-profit sports associations; among them the most important are: AAdJ, Nihonden Judo®-ACSI, AICS, AIJ, AISE, CSEN, CSI, CUS, FIJT, UISP, etc.
In Japan in 2006 the intervention of master Yasuhiro Yamashita, 8th dan of Kōdōkan, entitled "In relation to Judo Renaissance", caused a great sensation, in which the emphasis is on a greater and more effective commitment by the most important world institutions in promoting judo as an educational method rather than just a sport.
"" If Judo becomes a form of training and development of the person in every nation, I think that human education will be able to advance. We are carrying out the "Judo Renaissance" project with this spirit, we are concretely committed up to this point. ""
Of course, as a whole, this traditionalist movement must not be conceived as an antonym of sporting practice, but as a fundamental complement to it. As Jigorō Kanō himself writes:
"" Even in the ancient period there were masters who imparted notions of an ethical as well as technical type: they were enlightened examples but who, keeping faith with their commitment as masters, necessarily had to privilege technique. In judo, on the other hand, teachers must perceive the discipline above all as education, physical and mental. ""
"" for those who prove to be particularly inclined to competition, it is legitimate to interpret the discipline in a sporty way, as long as it is not forgotten that the final objective is much wider.""
Features. "" Judo is the most effective way to use physical and mental strength. Training in the discipline of judo means achieving perfect knowledge of the spirit through attack-defense training and the assiduous effort to obtain physical-spiritual improvement. The improvement of the ego thus obtained must be directed to social service, which is the ultimate goal of judo. Jū is a beautiful concept concerning logic, virtue and splendor; it is the reality of what is sincere, good and beautiful. The expression of judo is through waza, which is acquired with technical training based on scientific study. ""
The term "jūdō" is composed of two kanji: (jū, yawara, kindness, adaptability, pliability, softness) and (via); and it is therefore also translatable as: "way of compliance", way of adaptability, way of kindness; thus making clear the yawara principle on which judo is based.
"" The term "jūdō" was used in remote times prior to the Meiji Restoration, but it was generally preferred to say "jū-jutsu", or more commonly "yawara", which summarizes the previous one: the one referring to true agility and one's own and the other to attack and defense techniques. ""
The judo of prof. Kanō is the evolution of Jujitsu from Tenshin Shin'yō-ryū and Kitō-ryū.
Jigorō Kanō and jū-jutsu.
The history of judo and judo itself are inseparable from the founder, Kanō Jigorō. Born in 1860 into a wealthy family, in 1877, although in contrast with his father's ideas about it, he came into contact with his first teacher Hachinosuke Fukuda of Tenshin Shin'yō-ryū through the "tanner" Teinosuke Yagi also a jū-jutsuka time of the same ryū.
"" Tenshin Shin'yō is a school born from Iso Mataemon combining the methods of Yoshin-ryū and Shin-no-shindo-ryū. In childhood, the Founder's name was Okayama Hachirogi, who became Kuriyama Mataemon at the age of majority, and was finally adopted by the Ito family and hired by the Bakufu as Iso Mataemon Ryu Kansai Minamoto Masatari. ""
Also, as Sanzo Maruyama explains, the name of the school comes from "" yo, which means "willow" and shin which means "spirit". The school of the spirit like the willow is inspired by the flexibility of the tree "", "" this school studied atemi, torae and shime, mainly in city costume. He didn't care about the projections. ""
Kosen Judo school
In 1879, Fukuda proposed to the young Kanō to participate in the jū-jutsu exhibition for the President of the United States of America Ulysses Simpson Grant, where the masters Iso and Fukuda would give a demonstration of the kata while Kanō and Godai Ryusaku of the randori. The President was very impressed by the performance and confided to Fukuda himself that he would like jū-jutsu to become more popular in the United States.
On the death of the 52-year-old master Fukuda, nine days after the famous performance, and formally received by the widow of Fukuda i denshō (transmission, tradition, legend), Kanō became the master of the dōjō.
Shortly after Kanō joined the dōjō of Masatomo Iso, disciple of Mataemon Iso founder of the style, who was happy to take him as his assistant. Master Iso taught mainly kata and atemi-waza.
Following the death of master Iso and the achievement of a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Tokyo Imperial University in 1881, Kanō found himself again looking for a new teacher. He therefore first asked the master Masaki Motoyama for a respected master of the Kitō-ryū, but he was no longer able to teach due to his age, suggested that he make a request to the master Tsunetoshi Iikubo, a friend of Motoyama and an expert in kata and nage- waza.
Brian Watson writes: "" There are many notable differences between the Tenshin Shin'yō style and the Kitō style. For example, the Tenshin Shin'yō possesses more strangulation and immobilization techniques than the Kitō, while the latter has always had more effective throwing techniques. ""
"" After two years of study and training, which began around 1878, my physique began to transform and at the end of three years I had acquired considerable muscular strength. I felt lightness in my soul and I realized that the somewhat irascible character that I had as a boy became more and more meek and patient and that my nature acquired greater stability. It wasn't just that: I was aware that I had gained spiritual benefits. Therefore, at the end of my jū-jutsu studies, I came to my own truth: that is, that this teaching could be applied to resolve any circumstance in any moment of life, so much so that the conviction that this psychophysical benefit had to be brought to the attention of everyone and not just reserved for a small circle of practitioners. ""
The Kitō-ryū diploma issued in October 1886 to Jigorō Kanō
The Kōdōkan .
At the same time as the teacher at Gakushūin, prof. Kanō had decided it was time to leave his student accommodation and found his own Dojo.
Cesare Barioli writes: "" In February 1882 he rented an accommodation in the temple of Eishō, in Shitaya-kita, in the Umebori district. ""
And Watson explains: "" In a Tokyo neighborhood known as Shitaya-kita Inarichō, he found a Buddhist temple called Eishōji which had several empty rooms available to rent. After visiting the temple and contacting the abbot, a monk named Shunpo Asahi, Jigorō decided to rent three rooms: the smaller one he kept for himself, the middle one he destined for the reception of his students, and the larger one transformed it in a dōjō with a tatami consisting of twelve mats. ""
Incidentally, the Eishōji according to today's Tokyo toponymy, is located in the Higashiueno district, Taitō, in the vicinity of Ueno Park, while the current headquarters of the Kōdōkan, consisting of eight floors and operational since 1958, is located in Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, also in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The professor. Kanō then took up the term "judo", which Terada Kan'emon, the fifth sōke of Kitō-ryū, had coined when he created his own style and founded his school, the Jikishin-ryū, but which, as Kanō himself does note, "" it existed even before the Meiji Restoration (an example is the Chokushin-jūdō school). "" The style was also known as "Kanō jū-jitsu" or "Kanō jū-dō", later as "Kōdōkan jū- dō "or simply" jū-dō "or" jūdō ". In the first period, it was also called "jū-jitsu", from which persistent ambiguities arose, especially abroad until the 1940s.
In support of the scientific nature of the Kanō method, writes Shun Inoue: "" From the beginnings of Kōdōkan, instead of binding to a single school, Kanō created a new, "scientific" martial art by selecting the best techniques of the jūjutsu schools. Initially he combined wrestling and vital point strike techniques of Tenshin Shin'yō-ryū with the projection techniques favored by Kitō-ryū. But Kanō did not limit his research to the techniques of these two schools alone. [...] In addition to the use of scientific principles, Kanō pioneered a new teaching method and a new conception of the relationship between teacher and pupil. [...]
Kanō, a rationalist, believed in the power of science and wanted Kōdōkan judo to have a scientific foundation.
Kanō puts it just as if the development and spread of Kōdōkan judo were a "victory of science". ""
"" Obviously it was not possible to thoroughly examine every technique of Kōdōkan judo on a scientific basis. But in general, since they were modeled according to scientific principles, their superiority over the old schools was immediately evident. "" (Jigorō Kanō)
Regarding the members of the first Kōdōkan, Watson writes again: "" Jigorō's first student in the new dōjō was Tsunejirō Tomita, a young man from the Izu peninsula, in the Shizuoka prefecture "" and "" the second student to be admitted to the dōjō was a boy named Shirō Saigō, who would later become one of the best judokas of his generation. Among the other students who joined the Kanō school there were various university colleagues of Jigorō, students and former students of Gakushūin, and some of his friends. "" Furthermore, relations with the teacher Iikubo were certainly not interrupted, indeed, Kanō willingly accepted the visits of the Kitō-ryū sōke both from a technical point of view, as the students could learn the details of her jū-jutsu directly from Iikubo, and obviously from a personal point of view due to the deep esteem that each one had other. However, the master of the temple, Mr. Asahi, priest of Jōdo-shū, one of the oldest Buddhist sects in Japan, due to the noises due to the practice, repeatedly had to scold Kanō and his followers, until it was decided to build the first real and dōjō outside the temple premises.
Judo, therefore, strictly related to the art of combat, was completely tested during the period between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The recognition of his practical and theoretical excellence in the field of unarmed bujutsu (martial arts) helped to save many other ryū (school, style) and methods from oblivion, despite the certainly not favorable historical period. In fact, as early as 1905, most of the old schools of jū-jutsu had integrated with the Kōdōkan, thus contributing to the development and diffusion of the Kanō method throughout the world.
The philosophy of Kōdōkan judo.
In 1882 Kanō Jigorō was a teacher of English and economics at Gakushūin. Equipped with extraordinary pedagogical skills, he sensed the importance of motor activity and combat training, if taught adequately for the physical and intellectual development of young people.
"" Traditional jū-jutsu, like so many other bu-jutsu disciplines, focused strictly and exclusively on attack-defense. It is likely that many masters also gave lectures on the meaning of the Way and equally on moral conduct, but in fulfilling their duty as teachers, the primary goal remained to teach the technique. The case of Kōdōkan, on the other hand, is different, where importance is given above all to the acquisition of the Way and technique is conceived solely as the means to achieve this goal. The fact is that research on jū-jutsu led me to a Great Way that pervades the entire technical system of art, while the effort and attempts to define the extent of the discovery clearly convinced me of the existence of the Master Way, which I defined it as "the best application of mental and physical strength". ""
Therefore, Kanō Jigorō Shihan eliminated from the randori all the actions of armed and sudden attack, which could lead to the (sometimes serious) injury of the students: these techniques were ordered only in the kata, so that they could be practiced without danger. And in fact, one of the fundamental characteristics of judo is the ability to perform a technique without the practitioners getting injured. This happens thanks to the concomitance of several factors such as uke's ability to fall, the correct application of the technique by tori, and the presence of the tatami that absorbs uke's fall. In real combat, as can be a dangerous situation against an armed attacker or not, a technique performed correctly could cause severe impairment or even be fatal.
In fact, we must never forget the martial legacy of judo: prof. Kanō studied and deepened the nage-waza of Kitō-ryū, the katame-waza and the atemi-waza of Tenshin Shin'yō-ryū and established his own personal system of effective and rewarding combat education, supported by strong ethical and moral values aimed at individual growth and the training of people of value.
Barioli writes: "" This is the difference of conception between jūjutsu and judo. From the technique and experiences of combat developed in the medieval period, to arrive all together to grow and progress with the best use of energy, through mutual concessions and mutual understanding. "" This was the true evolution compared to the jū-jutsu that took place. also through the formulation of the fundamental principles that governed the new discipline: seiryoku-zen'yō (the best use of energy) and jita-kyō'ei (all together for mutual well-being).
The qualities on which the founder's moral code rests and which every judoist should aim for during practice and everyday life refer to the ideals of bushidō: gi (honesty), yū (courage), jin (benevolence), rei (education), makoto (sincerity), meiyo (honor), chūgi (loyalty)..
Jigorō Kanō statue at the entrance to Tokyo's Kōdōkan
To achieve this, according to the teachings of prof. Kanō, it is necessary to profitably use one's resources, one's time, work, study, friendships, in order to continuously improve one's life and relationships with others, thus conforming one's life to the fulfillment of the principle of the "best use of energy ". Hence the high educational value of judo.
Judo aims to achieve the synthesis between the two typical expressions of ancient Japanese culture, namely Bun-bu, the pen and the sword, civil virtue and warrior virtue.
"" Doctor Kanō used a very old Japanese ideal: strength and culture joined together. Culture without force is ineffective, force without culture is barbaric. Doctor Kanō exemplified this ideal in his person; he created judo, but he was also a prominent figure in national education, as well as principal of two important high schools and author of the writings collected in three important volumes. He explained that the ideogram "bun" included the concepts of culture, refinement, good character, clarity of vision and intelligence. "Bu" means ability to fight, willpower, concentration, ability to remain calm. He divided this ideogram into two parts; [...] The lower left part means "check" or "stop", the upper right part was the old character which meant "spear". The ideogram, as a whole, means "to control the spear". It means that one must learn to use the spear, not for the purpose of attacking, but to "control the spear" with which one is attacked. This was to be the fundamental basis of the bu strength that is obtained by practicing judo or other martial arts. ""
The samurai Miyamoto Musashi (bushidō)
According to the teaching method of Prof. Kanō, Kōdōkan judo basically consists in practicing the fighting technique and in theoretical research, both of which are elaborated by the "yawara" principle.
"" Yawara means adapting to the opposing force in order to gain full control. Example: if I am attacked by an opponent who pushes me with a certain force, I must not oppose him, but at first I must adapt to his action and, using his strength, attract him to me by making him bend his body forward [.. .] The theory applies to any direction in which the opponent exerts force. ""
Judo offers a rich repertoire of fighting techniques, usually categorized as below. These techniques include the application of the yawara principle (not only in the context of passive elasticity understood in the Buddhist sense, but also as an active principle of counterattack), enuclete the principles of attack-defense typical of the Kanō method and demonstrate its effectiveness. both in real combat and in sports competition.
The place where judo is practiced is called Dojo (place (study) of the street), a term also used in Japanese Buddhism to indicate the room used for the practice of zazen meditation (Zen position), and by extension, it indicates a place where the reihō (etiquette) is a fundamental requirement.
"" When you visit a dōjō for the first time, one is generally struck by its cleanliness and the solemn atmosphere that pervades it. We should remember that the word "dōjō" comes from a Buddhist term referring to the "place of enlightenment". Like a monastery, dōjō is a sacred place visited by people who wish to perfect their body and mind.
The practice of randori and kata is performed in the dōjō, which is also the place where the fighting competitions are held. ""
In the Dojo, judo is practiced on a mat called a tatami. The tatami in Japan is made of rice straw, and is the normal flooring of traditional-style homes. Until about the seventies it was also used for the practice of judo, but today, for hygienic and ergonomic purposes, synthetic materials are used: in fact for the regular maintenance of the dōjō it is important that the tatamis are easy to clean, and to allow judokas to train comfortably, they must be rigid enough to be able to walk on them without sinking and adequately elastic to be able to cushion the fall.
Kōdōkan Jūdō Institute of Tokyo
The dōjō has an organization defined in four main areas arranged indicatively according to the cardinal points:
North: Kamiza (place of honor), representing wisdom, is reserved for the sensei (teacher) who holds the dōjō behind which the image of Jigorō Kanō Shihan is affixed.
East: Jōseki (place of the high degrees), which represents virtue, is reserved for sempai (major companion), illustrious guests, or in general for yūdansha (bearers of dan).
South: Shimoza (lower place), representing learning, is reserved for mudanshas (non-dan bearers).
West: Shimoseki (place of low degrees), which represents righteousness, is generally empty, but is occupied by the 6th kyu when necessary.
The order to be respected is always the one whereby, turning their gaze to kamiza, the practitioners arrange themselves from the lower to the higher grades, from left to right. The shimoza leader, usually the most experienced among the mudanshas, is usually in charge of respecting the reihō. In particular, he is in charge of informing fellow practitioners about: the assumption of the seiza (formal position) on his knees, of the mokusō (contemplative silence) and its term yame (end), of the greeting to the founder shōmen-ni-rei (greeting al main), the greeting to the sensei-ni-rei master (greeting the teacher), the greeting to all otagai-ni-rei practitioners (mutual greeting), and returning to the standing ritsu position (standing).
In traditional dōjō, moreover, there is usually a space adjacent to the wall where the weapons for the practice of kata are kept: bokken (wooden sword), tantō (dagger), bō (stick), and kenjū (pistol); and the nafudakake (table of names), where the names of all the judokas belonging to the Dojo are posted in order of rank.
The judokas wear a uniform called jūdōgi (judo uniform) composed of zubon (trousers) of white cotton reinforced especially at the knees and a uwagi (jacket, tunic) also white of reinforced cotton, held together by an obi (belt) colored. Introduced by Jigorō Kanō in judo for the first time, the use of the color of the belt serves for the recognition of the rank and therefore presumably of the experience of the judoka.
During the competitions the contenders wear a white or red obi, generally alone or more rarely in addition to their own (and only if this is black), in order to be clearly distinguished and to avoid errors in the attribution of competition scores. In international competitions, the color of the jūdōgi differs instead of that of the belt, to make the contenders even more distinguishable for both the referee and the audience, especially on television.
Profile of the illustrious masters of Kodokan Judo.
10th DAN - Males:
Yoshitsugu Yamashita (Japan, 1865–1935, also known as Yoshiaki Yamashita) posthumously promoted in 1935. A pioneer of judo in the United States, he was the first judoka to be recognized as jūdan.
Hajime Isogai (Japan, 1871–1947) promoted in 1937.
Hidekazu Nagaoka (Japan, 1876–1952) promoted in 1937.
Kyūzō Mifune (Japan, 1883–1965) promoted in 1945. He is considered the greatest judo expert after Jigorō Kanō.
Kunisaburō Iizuka (Japan, 1875–1958) promoted in 1946.
Kaichirō Samura (Japan, 1880–1964) promoted in 1948.
Shotarō Tabata (Japan, 1884–1950) passed in 1948.
Kotarō Okano (Japan, 1885–1967) promoted in 1967.
Matsutarō Shoriki (Japan, 1885–1969) promoted in 1969. He is also known as the father of Japanese professional baseball.
Shōzō Nakano (Japan, 1888–1977) promoted in 1977.
Tamio Kurihara (Japan, 1896–1979) promoted in 1979.
Sumiyuki Kotani (Japan, 1903-1991) passed on April 27, 1984.
Ichirō Abe (Japan, 1923–) promoted on January 8, 2006. Former director general of the All-Japan Judo Federation.
Toshirō Daigō (Japan, 1926–) promoted on January 8, 2006. Two-time champion of the All-Japan Judo Championship and former manager of the Japanese national judo team. He is currently the Kōdōkan Teacher Director. His nickname is "Mr. Kōdōkan".
Yoshimi Ōsawa (Japan, 1927–) promoted on January 8, 2006. Great promoter of women's judo.
9th DAN - Males:
Haruki Uemura (Japan, 1951–) promoted in 2007. World Champion in Vienna in 1975 and Olympic champion in Montréal 1976. He is the current president of the Kōdōkan Jūdō Institute.
Fusatarō Sakamoto, student of Torajiro Yagi of Tenshin Shin'yō-ryū.
Shiro Yamamoto 1934 (promoted in 2013).
9th DAN - Females:
Keiko Fukuda (Japan / United States, 1913–2013) passed on January 8, 2006. Nephew of Hachinosuke Fukuda and expatriate in the United States. She is the only woman in the world ever awarded this degree.
RULES(For the programs and technical regulations, the WKLF refers to the relevant international Federations)