October 2001 The Bulletin - Editor’s comment
Welcome to the third edition of the 'Bulletin' -
In this issue we have an original article from 1933 from a speech given by Kano—at which he is cited as being—Honorary Professor of Higher Normal College and Member of House of Peers, Japan; President of Kodokan (an institution for the study and practice of Jiudo) (original founder of Jiudo and Kodokan), Honorary President, Japanese Amateur Athletic Association (founder and former President, member of the International Olympic Committee.
Last issue we had a piece on the Kodokan symbol—apparently this has caused controversy because it was not a cherry blossom—but the imperial mirror—more to follow in the next bulletin! Enjoy your reading—
Regards— Diana Birch
The Contribution of Judo to Education-Part 1 - Professor Jigoro Kano
This was originally a course of four lectures delivered by Jigoro Kano at the Drill Hall of the 13th Battalion London Regt. - The first lecture took place on August 28 1933 Report in Nichi Ei Shinshi: September and October 1933.
The object of this lecture is to explain to you in a general way what JIUDO is. In our feudal tunes there were many military exercises, such as fencing, archery, the use of spears, etc. Among them there was one called JIUJUTSU, which was a composite exercise. consisting principally of the ways of fighting without weapons, using occasionally daggers, swords, and other weapons.
The kinds of attack were mostly throwing, hitting, choking, holding the opponent down, and bending or twisting the opponent’s arms or legs in such a way as to cause pain or fracture. The use of swords and daggers was also taught We had also multitudinous ways of defending ourselves against such attacks. Such exercise, in it primitive form, existed even in our mythological age. But systematic instruction, as an art, dates from about three hundred and fifty years ago.
In my young days I studied this art with three eminent masters of the time. The great benefit I derived from the study of it led me to make up my mind to go on with the subject -more seriously, and in 1882 I started a school of my own and called it Kodokan. Kodokan literally means a school for studying the way,’ the real meaning of the ‘way’ being the concept of life. I named the subject I teach JIUDO instead of JIUJUTSU. In the first place I will explain to you the meaning of these words. JIU means gentle or to give way; JUTSU, in art or practice; and DO, way or principle, so that JIUJUTSU means an art or practice of gentleness or of first giving way in order to gain final victory; while JIUDO means the way or principle of the same.
Let me now explain what this gentleness or giving way really means. Suppose we assume we may estimate the strength of man in units of one. Let us say that the strength of a man standing in front of me is represented by ten units, whereas my strength, being less than his, is represented by seven units. Then if he pushes me with all his force I shall certainly by pushed back or thrown down, even if I use all of my strength against him. This would happen because I used all my strength against him, opposing strength with strength. But if, instead of opposing him, I were to give way to his strength by withdrawing my body just as much as he had pushed, remembering at the same time to keep my balance, then he would naturally lean forward and thus lose his balance.
In this new position he may have become so weak (not in actual physical strength but because of his awkward position) as to have his strength represented for the moment by, say only three units, instead of his normal ten units. But meanwhile I, by keeping my balance, retain my full strength, as originally represented by seven units. Here then I am momentarily in an advantageous position, and I can defeat my opponent using only half my strength, that is half of my seven units, or three and one-half against his three. This leaves one-half of my strength available for any purpose. In case I had greater strength than my opponent I could of course push him back. But even in this case, that is, if I had wished to push him back and had the power to do so, I should first have given way because by doing so I should have greatly economised my energy. That is one simple instance of how an opponent may be beaten by giving way. Other instances may be given.
Suppose that my opponent tries to twist my body (as demonstrated) intending to cause me to fall down so. If I were to resist him I would surely be thrown down, because my strength to resist him is not sufficient to overcome his. But if on the other hand, I give way to him, and while doing sol pull my opponent (as demonstrated) throwing my body voluntarily on the ground, I could throw him very easily.
I will give another example. Suppose that we are walking along a mountain road with a precipice on the side (as demonstrated) and that this man had suddenly sprung upon me and tried to push me down the precipice. In this case I could not help being pushed over the precipice if I attempted to resist him, while, on the contrary, if I give way to him at the same time, turning my body round (as demonstrated) and pulling my opponent towards the precipice, I can easily throw my opponent over the edge.
I can multiply these examples to any extent, but I think those I have given will suffice to enable you to understand how I may beat an opponent by giving way, and as there are so many instances in Jiujutsu contest where this principle is applied the name Jiujutsu (that is, gentle, or giving-way art) came to be the name of the whole art. But, strictly speaking, real Jiujutsu is something more. The ways of gaming victory over an opponent by Jiujutsu are not confined to gaining victory first by giving way. We sometimes hit, kick, and choke in physical contest but, in contra-distinction to giving way, these are different forms of positive attack. Sometimes an opponent takes hold of one’s wrist. How can one release himself without using his strength against his opponent’s grip? The same thing can be said when somebody grips him from behind. If, thus, the principle of giving way cannot explain all the tricks in Jiujutsu contest, is there any principle which really covers the whole field? Yes, there is, and that is the principle of the maximum efficient use of mind and body and Jiujutsu is nothing but an application of this all-pervading principle to attack and defend.
Can this principle be applied to other fields of human activity? Yes, the same principle can be applied to the improvement of the human body, making it strong, healthy, and useful, and constitutes physical education. It can also be applied to the improvement of intellectual and moral power, and constitutes mental and moral education. It can at the same time be applied to the improvement of diet, clothing, housing, way of social intercourse, and carrying on of business, and constitutes the study and training in the ways of living. I gave this all-pervading principle the name of’ Jiu-do’ So Jiudo, in its broad sense, is a study and a method of training in mind and body as well as in the regulation of life and affairs. Jiudo, therefore, in one of its phases, can be studied and practised with attack and defence for its main object. Before I started Kodokan, this attack and defence phase of Jiudo only was studied and practised in Japan under the name of Jiujutsu, sometimes called Taijutsu, meaning the art of managing the body or Yawara, the soft management. But I came to think that the study of this all-pervading principle is more important than the mere practice of Jiujutsu, because the real understanding of this principle not only enables one to apply it to all phases of life but is also of great service in the study of the art of Jiujutsu itself.
It is not only through the process I took that one can come to grasp this principle. One can arrive at the same conclusion by philosophical interpretation of the daily transactions of business, or through abstract philosophical reasoning. But when I started to teach I thought it advisable to follow the same course I took in the study of the subject, because by doing so I could make the body of my pupil healthy, strong, and useful. At the same time, I could assist him gradually to grasp this all-important principle. For this reason I began the instruction of Jiudo with training in Randori and Kata.
Randori, meaning free exercise, is practised under conditions of actual contest. It includes throwing, choking, holding the opponent down, and bending or twisting his arms or legs. The two combatants may use whatever tricks they like providing they do not hurt each other and obey the rules of Jiudo concerning etiquette.
Kata, which literally means form, is a formal system of prearranged exercises, including hitting, cutting, kicking, thrusting, etc., according to rules under which each combatant knows beforehand exactly what his opponent is going to do. The training in hitting, kicking, cutting, and trusting are taught in Kata and not in Randori, because if they were used in Randori cases of injury might frequently occur, while when taught in Kata no such injury is likely to happen because all the attacks and defences are prearranged.
Randori may be practised in various ways. If the object is simply the training in the methods of attack and defence, then the attention should be especially directed to the training in the most efficient ways of throwing, bending, or twisting, without special reference to developing the body or to mental and moral culture.
Randori can also be studied with physical education as its main object. From what I have already said, anything to be ideal must be performed on the principle of maximum efficiency. We will now see how the existing systems of physical education can stand this test. Taking athletics as a whole, I cannot help thinking that they are not the ideal form of physical education, because every movement is not chosen for all-round development of the body, but for attaining some other definite object. And furthermore, as we generally require special equipment and sometimes quite a number of persons to participate in them, athletics are fitted as a training for select groups of persons and not as the means of improving the physical condition of a whole nation. This holds true with boxing, wrestling, and different kinds of military exercises practised all over the world. Then people may ask, ‘are not gymnastics an ideal form of national physical training?’
To this I answer that they are an ideal form of physical education from their being contrived for all-round development of the body, and not necessarily requiring special equipment and participants. But gymnastics are lacking in very important things essential for the physical education of a whole nation. The defects are:
1. Different gymnastic movements have no meaning and naturally are devoid of interest.
2. No secondary benefit is derived from their training.
3. Attainment of skill cannot be sought for in gymnastics as in some of the other exercises.
From this brief survey over the whole field of physical education, I can say that no ideal form has yet been invented to fill all the necessary conditions for it.
This ideal form can only be devised from a study based on maximum efficiency. In order to fulfill all those conditions or requirements a system of all-round development of the body as a primary consideration must be devised, as in the case of gymnastics. Next, the movements must have some meaning, so that they could be engaged in with interest. Again, the activities should be such as require no large space, special dress, or equipment. Furthermore, they must be such as could be done individually as well as in groups. Those are the conditions or requirements for a satisfactory system of physical education for a whole nation. Any system that can meet successfully those requirements can, for the first time, be considered a programme of physical education based on the principle of maximum efficiency.
I have been studying this subject for a long time and have succeeded in devising two forms which may be said to fulfill all those requirements. One form is what I named ‘representative form.’ This is a way of representing ideas, emotions, and different motions of natural objects by the movements of limbs, body and neck. Dancing is one of the instances of such, but originally dancing was not devised with physical education for its object, and is therefore not to be said to fulfill those requirements. But it is possible to devise special kinds of dancing made to suit persons of different sex and mental and physical conditions, and made to express moral ideas and feeling, so that conjointly with the cultivation of the spiritual side of a nation it can also develop the body in a way suited to all. This representative form is, I believe, in one way or another practised in America and Europe, and you can imagine what I mean; therefore I shall not deal with it any further.
Kodokan literally means a school for studying the way,’ - The ‘way’ being the concept of life