26 March 2020


Translations of Jigoro Kano


Associate Professor in Japanese Language and Civilisation from the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès and member of the EJU Scientific Commission, Mr Yves Cadot (6th Dan), has translated original text from Jigoro Kano. We will continue with the part three for the attention of judo specialists.

The text translated firstly in to French – with the link available in his quote directly below – and then in to English has allowed a further insight in to the workings of Jigoro Kano. 

Because many of us are frustrated in these days of closed dojos, deprived of the physical link to our discipline, to others, and because judo teaches us to transform situations into opportunities, I suggest we take this opportunity to take an account of our own practice through the writings of Kano Jigoro. 

The idea is to offer every day, until the reopening of the dojos, a quote, a few lines or pages, raw, without comments (but sourced!) to feed our knowledge, feed our thinking, cultivate us. You will find them, if possible in the early morning, in my Hypotheses.org research notebook (Le dire en corps), in the section ‘Une journée, un texte’.

Part Three: For the attention of judo specialists. 

“There are many other skills as well as those mentioned above that a teacher should have, but it is certainly not necessary to list them one by one. Simply, what I would really like here for the teachers of judo to pay attention to is that the goal of judo is to be found at the same time in physical education, training of the spirit, attack – defence, that it is eminent, that it knows no bounds and that, consequently, to devote oneself to this work is pride for the man as well as a pleasure but that, to really obtain results in this work, it is necessary to be dedicated to it with great resolution and, beforehand, acquire training that will enable you to accept responsibility for this. However, when we look generally at those who are devoted today to the education of judo, we can doubt that they are fully aware of taking on a responsibility of such importance.

If you really want to fulfil your mission as a judo teacher, training such as that of current teachers is totally insufficient. There is a great need to cultivate the formation of personality and temperament and, of course, also knowledge about judo as well as technique. Most judo teachers have a lot of free time between their teaching hours. I would like that this time be used more effectively than today. If you use it well, you can even become a remarkable scholar after ten years. And, even from the point of view of specialisation in judo, one can really do research of such value that has not been possible until today. However, I think that if among the many judo teachers, no one has yet remarkably made it so far, it is certainly due to the fact that they neglected to use this free time.

Provincial teachers, although there are rare exceptions, in general, do not progress technically or in opposition. This is because, in the regions, as there are few people advanced in judo, they mainly exercise only with low-level people and cannot improve. It’s understandable. But, in reality, it is nothing more than a lack of research. It is obvious that training among a large number of skillful people is the most favourable to progress. But even practicing almost only with poorly trained people, the technique progresses in proportion to the ingenuity that you will place there. And in particular things like theoretical research on judo or mind training do not necessarily require strong partners.

However, since those in the provinces did not achieve notable results even in what is possible to work on, have not yet come to the point of presenting the results of extensive research. So, what I ardently desire is that all those who, throughout the country, made judo their specialty effectively use all the time not directly dedicated to their work for the development of their bodies as well as for the training of their spirit and they become, as time goes by, whether it’s five years or ten years, remarkable people. As today the Kodokan judo is still only in its infancy, it is by stimulating the courage of all the teachers that I project its development and want to greatly increase the results of this work.”

This specific text is available in both French and Japanese here. Traduction de travail de : Kanô Jigorô 嘉納治五郎. “Jūdō no senmon-ka ni tsugu 柔道の専門家に告ぐ (A l’attention des spécialistes du judo)”. Jūdō 柔道. février 1917.


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Author: Sören Starke