Mind Over Muscle
Writings from the Founder of Judo
This book is a collection of the life's work and essential teachings of Jigoro Kano, who founded Kodokan Judo in Tokyo in 1882. Kodokan Judo was for Kano the culmination of a lifelong devotion to the jujutsu of the past, which he reorganized along educational lines while taking great care to retain its classical traditions. In doing so, he opened the path from jutsu (skill) to do (way), and broadened the horizons of knowledge until he reached the point at which he began to advocate seiryoku zenyo (maximum efficiency) and jita kyoei (mutual prosperity), which represent the universality and ideal of human existence, and are the core values of judo.
Throughout his life, Kano repeatedly emphasized grasping the correct meaning of judo and putting it into practice. That is to say, one must understand that judo is the way by which one can make the best use of one's mental and physical energy, and put that into use for the good of society. Because judo was defined in this way, what had once merely fallen under the category of martial art—a fighting skill used to defend against an attack—became subsumed into an altogether richer, more complex, and universal judo, which in turn evolved into a principle that can be applied across the spectrum of human life. The circumstances surrounding the development of judo are described throughout this book, as are its underlying principles, which the author believes have universal applicability to everyday life.
This book will be an invaluable addition to the libraries of all judo practitioners around the world.
“Judo is not merely a martial art but rather the basic principle of human behavior. When that basic principle is applied to defense against attack or applied as physical education in randori at the dojo, these are applications of that principle in judo, but are only one aspect of judo—it is wrong to assume judo ends in the dojo.”
“Judo is not what many people believe it to be; that is to say, judo is more than a fighting art practiced at the dojo. The basic meaning of judo is quite different, and is universal and profound.”
About the author
In the annals of Japan's modern martial arts, no name is better known than that of Jigoro Kano. Born in 1860 in Hyogo Prefecture, he created Kodokan Judo in 1882, the year after he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, majoring in literature, politics, and political economy. He was a professor and principal of Gakushuin, principal of the First Higher School, and later, the Tokyo Higher Normal School, and in 1889, as a member of the Imperial Household Department, he made a study tour of European Educational institutions. He became the first Japanese member of the International Olympic Committee in 1909 and the first president of the Japan Amateur Sports Association when it was founded in 1911. Elected to the House of Peers in 1922, he died at sea aboard the Hikawa Maru in 1938 while returning from an IOC meeting in Cairo.
Grandson of Jigoro Kano. The Fourth president of Kodokan and the president of the All Japan Judo Federation.
He has an M.A. in physical fitness from the Tokyo University of Education and has instructed judo in more than ten countries including Iceland and Thailand. He is the director of the Kodokan Judo Museum and Library, director of the Japanese Academy of Budo, chairman of the All Japan Judo Federation’s Committee of Education and Diffusion of Judo and a member of the federation’s Refereeing Committee.
NANCY H. ROSS
Freelance translator. She received the Distinguished Translation Award in the 4th Shizuoka International Translation Competition in 2003.