In May 1882 Jigoro Kano was inspired by traditional forms of combat to create a method of physical, intellectual and moral education, which he named judo.
Initially considered as a personal defense system, judo is step by step recognized for it educational value, its benefits for the development of the body and the character.
Judo became an Olympic sport in 1964 Tokyo Games in 1964, and thus became universal. The International Judo Federation today brings together and 5 continental unions with 195 national federations.
The Judo Of Kano: Philosophy And Education
Small, bullied by his classmates, Jigoro Kano wanted to strengthen his body and learn to defend himself. He studied jujutsu, but soon he realized, that the fight rather focused on a powerful body, not on spiritual and educational means.
Kano removed the dangerous techniques from jujutsu, he improved the art of falling, imposed that both fighters grab each other and created his own method by synthesizing the oldest forms of defense. In 1882, he opened a place that he called the Kodokan, the "place where the way is studied".
Judo techniques were divided into three categories: the throws or nage waza, the controls or katame waza and the kicks or atemi waza. In competition, atemi waza is not allowed.
Judo is taught through the randori, free practice, the kata, imposed forms, and the mondo, exchanges between the students and their teacher.
The emblem of the Kodokan is an octagonal mirror, the symbol of truth, the central red circle expressing a right and sincere spirit.
In 1922, Kano created the Cultural Society of the Kodokan. He wrote two maxims that define the philosophy of his method: Seiryoku zenyo, "the best use of energy" and Jita Kyoei "mutual aid and mutual prosperity".
In 1909, Kano was appointed to the International Olympic Committee and devoted his life to the development of education through judo and through sports in Japan and around the world.