Teacher Institute

For nearly 70 years, the USJF Teachers Institute has been designing and delivering professional instructional courses for the judo community nationwide.

USJF Teacher and Assistant Teacher Manual


Hayward Nishioka – 9th Dan,  Professor of Kinesiology, Los Angeles City College

Mitchell Palacio – 7th Dan, Professor of Kinesiology, City College of San Francisco


Chapter 1


In an old Japanese school building in Seattle a group of judokas sit around after a vigorous work out to chat a bit. John, a beginner, is a high school student who came to judo to get tougher after being bullied at school only to find that he gets a thrashing. Here they are intended to strengthen the body and ultimately the individual. He is intrigued by the contrasting aggressiveness on the mat to the camaraderie displayed off the mat.
Read More
Today a visiting black belt, although quite a bit older, seemed to dance through most of the participants during randori practice. Now in his civilian clothes the man looked small and almost grandpa-ish. He was talking about the “good old days” when judo visitors from Japan would come in and no one could budge them, but everyone went flying. Wow! and the throwing techniques, not that Yuko stuff they have today. They were fantastic bone crushing Ippons. “Back then, judo was different”. It was an art form; something that Japanese Americans could be proud of,” remarked Yoshida sensei, one of the senior advisors to the club. “Yes, that’s true but today it’s an Olympic sport.” One that everyone in the world can be proud of retorted Ben Murphy the head instructor. Everyone shook their heads in agreement, smiled and the conversation went on.
As the conversation went on, each sentence brought up a new question in John’s mind. Was judo really better in the past? I thought judo was for self-defense or is it a sport? Then who made it into a sport? How did it become an Olympic sport? What is the difference between jujitsu and judo? Who invented this sport anyway? Oh, now they are talking about philosophy. What does that have to do with judo? John wanted to break in and ask these questions but as a newcomer, he thought he had better wait, and besides the conversation was intriguing. He would have to find the other pieces of this judo puzzle later.

Key Points

Similar to John, there are many who have questions about the historical events that led up to the development of Olympic sport judo. Following are a few key points anyone in the sport of judo should know about:

1. What historical events eventually shaped modern sport judo?

2. What are some of the more important events and dates?

3. Who was the founder of judo?

4. What prompted Kano to start up judo rather than jujitsu?

5. What differentiated judo from jujitsu?

6. What events were occurring in other parts of the world?

7. Who was judo’s first ambassador to the United States?

8. What was the first dojo in the United States?

9. What was the first U.S. National Organization? When did it begin?

10. When was judo first introduced to the Olympic movement?

11. When and where was the first World Judo Championship held?

12. Who was the first World Judo Champion?

13. Who are the other U.S. World Champions?


One of the earliest drawings of man’s quest to defeat another in hand to hand combat can be seen on the walls of the tomb of Beni-Hasan in Egypt made some 4000 years ago. The drawings illustrated by stick figures, show a system of wrestling type moves. It seems every culture has some systematic means of overcoming an adversary in the field but few have recorded these events.

In Japan, the first instance of a method of combat being recorded was in 23 A.D. with the mention of “Chikara Kurabe” in one of the ancient chronicles. But this is conjecture since the keeping of records began in the mid 400 A.D. range, and the best known chronicle is the “Kojiki” (712 A.D.). ‘Chikara Kurabe’ at any rate literally means strength comparison and was most probably more akin to sumo. Twenty-Three A.D. is at about the time of Jesus Christ, the Roman legions, the bronze age and Gladiators. Japan, an island nation, in 23 A.D. was more concerned with local tests of one on one in comparison to large-scale knowledge of the arts of war practiced by Europeans who were constantly subject to outside forces.

Systematic Japanese fighting methods really had their emergence with the Kamakura Era around the 1100. This was when Japan produced great artisans skilled in the art of making armor and weapons; swords made by Okazaki and Masamune were particularly treasured. Zen was also introduced and practiced by the governing warrior class. The ideas of selflessness in battle, resolving to be calm in the face of death, and the ephemeralness of the fortunes of life; one minute rich, next poor, or visa-versa fit the needs of the day.

Around this time the invading Mongols under Kublai Kan, grandson of Genghis Kan, were repulsed by a great storm at sea giving rise to the legend of the “Kamikaze” or Divine Wind, saving the Bakufu (Provisional Government) Leader, Yoritomo Minamoto from almost certain disaster. The invasion of the Japanese islands brought in a new consciousness; Japan could be taken over by an outside force different from their factionalized civil wars. Subconsciously it may have created a need for unification of forces of people of like language and customs.

Strife in the emerging nation during the Kamakura era and subsequent Ashikaga era did much to give form to the ideals of Bushido, the way of the warrior. While some of these ideals are anachronistic, other more positive ones still prevail in many of the martial arts of today. Chivalry, skill, bravery, loyalty, honor, and dedication, are but a few of the qualities that abound in the legends left behind by the heroic deeds which contributed to the emerging national psyche.

At the end of the period known as the Sengoku-Jidai (civil war years) 1534-1615 in which Japan’s destiny and character was being forged by three great leaders, Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toetomi, and Eiyasu Tokugawa, other forces were also at work. There was trade with foreign countries in which the merchant class, Buddhist monasteries, and local Daimyos (governors) would act in consort to accomplish extensive trade with China and Portugal. Items of trade included the import of textiles, embroideries, iron, books, pictures, guns, and drugs. Exports included sulfur, copper, lacquer ware, swords, and halberds; which brought five to ten times more income than at home. Although this trade continued even into the Tokugawa period in selected ports, the Tokugawa regime went into an isolation mode, which lasted from 1615 until 1854.

While Japan entered a time of isolation and peace, the rest of the world was busy with ideas and technological advances which dwarfed the concept of keeping to oneself. In 1619 Johannes Kepler’s Laws of Planetary motion, the founding of the Royal Society in 1662 and the Academie de Sciences in 1666, far surpassed anything found in Japan. Notables like Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, were in an environment conducive to learning. These scientists and thinkers were in part responsible for the surprise that befell Japan some two hundred and fifty years later when Commodore Perry with his steam belching fleet of four ships cruised into Edo (Tokyo) harbor in 1853. The moral of this story is that isolationism prevents a sharing of ideas and growth. It was time for Japan to wake up!

Commodore Perry and his black ships precipitated the modernization of Japan. Prior to his arrival the country was largely agrarian and isolated from the events of a fast moving outside world.


Jigoro Kano was born on October 28, 1860; six years and seven months after Japan was forced to open its doors to the West by Perry’s second visit in March 1854. In 1860, the population of the United States was 32 million but was soon to diminish that number by a civil war. Japan was in a state of turmoil as it struggled to adjust to the rest of the world that had not been asleep. In 1867, Emperor Meiji was installed and was the symbol of modernization. Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the last of the Tokugawa shoguns but was forced to resign and with him the feudal system was also abolished.

The Meiji Era began with fervor as a postal system and education system take center stage. Newspapers came into existence, along with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar. Yataro Iwasaki, a commoner, founded Mitsubishi in 1873 and industrialization began. An army was established comprised of commoners trained in German army tactics. The Samurai class rebelled against

Sir Isaac Newton

the idea that a group of commoners in uniform could constitute an army. The Satsuma rebellion ended that discussion as modern equipment and methods trounced the Samurai uprising of 1877.

Emperor Meiji’s restoration was not without strife although once in power a truly modern nation was born. During his reign Japan was to experience many firsts: a constitution, foreign diplomats and diplomacy, newspapers, education for the common masses, a university, a rail system, trade and banking improvements, textile industry, a steel industry, ship building, a modern army, and success in two foreign wars.

1877 also marks the entry of Kano into Toyo Teikoku University, (now Tokyo University). Kano’s education to this point was extensive for the period. He was trained in Confucian classics and studied English under Mitsukuri Shuhei, a renowned thinker of the day. Much of what Kano thought can be easily read for he kept much of his notes in English. He also had a penchant for math but what he wanted to do dearly was to develop his body, or at any rate defend himself for he was slight and frail in stature. As a means of physical culture and training he enrolled in a jujitsu school, much to his father’s dismay.

Hachinosuke Fukuda, grandfather to famed 10th dan, Keiko Fukuda, was Jigoro Kano’s first jujitsu instructor. Tenshinshinyo ryu jujitsu was mostly comprised of pins, chokes and locks, and was practiced through formal movement patterns known as kata or form. Kano was so adept after just two years of training he was asked to perform for the visiting Ulysses S. Grant in 1879. Wanting to learn more he enrolled in Kito ryu jujitsu in 1881. Kito-ryu was markedly different from his earlier style called Tenshinshinyo ryu for it concentrated in throws and practice did not rely solely on kata but on free movement. Tsunetoshi Iikubo was the instructor and had a great influence on Kano for he stressed the soul as well as the body.

1882 was a momentous year. In the United States Jesse James is killed, William Bonney, AKA “Billy the Kid,” met the same fate the year before. In the East, Japan built its first railroad, and Jigoro Kano at the young age of twenty two founded the Kodokan. It was a humble beginning with only nine students in a ten tatami” room at Eishoji Temple. One tatami is equal to 1meter by 2 meters. Conditions at the temple were rough as complaints of loud noises and things being broken become more commonplace.

Most would be depressed under these conditions. But Kano was persistent, intelligent, and dedicated. Trying to decide on a system of training for their officers, in 1886 the Tokyo police force sponsored a tournament in which some of the leading schools of the day were invited to participate. The Kodokan, with the exception of a draw or two, wins all other matches and sparks an interest in the public eye. Membership over the years increases as follows: 1882 = 9, 1886 = 179, 1906 = 8,375, 1916 = 15,926, 1926 = 36,601, 1936 = 78,874, 1946 = 225,497, 1956 = 355,138, 1960 = 490,157. Currently, individual countries rather than the Kodokan keep membership estimates.

When viewing the progress of judo it is simply amazing that within Kano’s own lifetime, membership increases from 9 members in 1882 to approximately 80,000 members by 1939. Kano was a leader amongst men and possessed the right qualities at the right time. Trained in the classics, yet studied and was adept at English, loved mathematics, but more than these individual skills was his ability to fuse ideas together that created a better sport. Always the valiant eclectic, he was not afraid to try something new; at 22 years of age, he was appointed as a professor at Gakushuin University. In addition to this position he founded not only the Kodokan but Kanojuku, a preparatory school, and also the Koubunkan an English language school all within the same year, 1882. In 1899 he founded the Koubungakuin a school for foreign students from China. Noticing a lack of an official sports organization in Japan in 1911, he creates the Japan Athletic Association.

Between 1882-1911, Kano begins to excel as an educator and in four years becomes the head instructor at Gakushuin University. 1889 marked Kano’s first of many trips abroad where he studied European educational systems as an Attaché of the Imperial Household. Upon his return he reportedly married and eventually had eight children. As if he didn’t have enough to do in the world, Kano becomes the principal of a high school in Kumamoto in 1891. Then in 1893, returns to Tokyo and assumes the presidency of a teachers college (now Tsukuba University). Through the years he distinguishes himself as an educator, physical educator, statesman, writer, philosopher and linguist. In 1902 and 1905, he represents the Ministry of Education and visits China. His college studies in Political Science and literature aid him greatly in establishing him as a statesman and a man of letters. All these abilities came to fruition in 1909 when an invitation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to Japan to participate in the Olympic movement resulted in the only possible choice for a representative, Jigoro Kano. Thus, he became the first Asian member of the IOC. Later in his career he is accorded entry into The House of Peers and given the rank of Count.

The Development of Judo

What was born out of the fires of the Sengoku Era was about to die in the ashes of the last of the Tokugawa period. Japan was quickly making strides to catch up with the rest of the world after having been asleep for some two hundred and sixty five years. The basic mood of the nation at that time was “Out with old in with the new.” Thus, jujitsu was considered out of step with the times.

It took a man of letters and of action to breathe life back into an art form that was about to be discarded. There were very few who could explain by words, what many a master of the arts intuitively understood when executing phenomenal maneuvers. Nor were there individuals who could translate into words the common denominators that made these arts important not in terms of self-defense but of living life. Kano fortunately could and did.

Jigoro Kano, educator, statesman, and founder of modern judo, did much in the development of Japan’s fledgling, Meiji era education system.

To more accurately assess the thinking of Jigoro Kano and the evolution of how he came to explain judo as he did, one would have to study his writings, the dates they were written, and study them within the context of the social events that may have influenced his thinking. The Meiji restoration era, nationalism, empire building, his education, and his travels abroad shaped the words that explained judo and its broader purpose.

Japan had just emerged out of the isolationism imposed by the Tokugawa regime. It found itself at the back of the line in technological advances and understood it was in a very weak position. It wanted to understand the West, and needed to find a way to quickly catch up with the rest of the world least they be victimized by their neighbors. To aid in this endeavor the newly installed emperor Meiji dedicated his efforts to modernization. Large scale government reforms were made in which education, media (then newspapers), transportation, communication, the making of a national army were instituted in an effort to create a strong national consciousness that could stand proudly amongst neighboring nations.

Things were moving fast in Japan and much was being accomplished in a very short time. Within 27 years after the installation of Emperor Meiji, Japan had become an industrialized power. So much so that in Asia it was the dominant power and proved itself in battles with China in 1894 and Russia in1904, coming out the winner in both instances. In this climate of success and of building national pride it was important to maintain strong bodies and good discipline. It fell to Jigoro Kano the educator to add to the strength of his nation by incessantly writing and publishing articles emphasizing the benefits of judo and the martial arts, not only as a means of strengthening the body, but through its practice learning many valuable lessons that could be applied to daily life. In a sense the spirit of the samurai was kept alive through the reintroduction of the martial arts through education. His writings and philosophy of judo as a sport of far reaching qualities differentiated it from jujitsu.

Inherent in the activity was the idea that if one used his body efficiently, although he may be smaller, he could overcome a larger adversary who did not. This concept not only applied to the diminutive Jigoro Kano but appealed to the small island nation of Japan as its foes seem always larger. Brousse and Matsumoto in Judo a Sport and Way of Life wrote, “He sensed and developed the guiding principle behind jujitsu where others had seen a collection of techniques.” The ultimate goal was to make the most efficient use of mental and physical energy. It is little wonder that he was to come up with the maxim, Seiryoku Zenyo, “the best use of one’s energy, vigor, vitality”, an ideal which is essential to any vigilant culture or nation much less a sport.

The Success of Judo Rather Than Jujitsu

Many will say that the biggest difference that led to the success of judo rather than jujitsu in Japan was the 1886 contest held by the police in which Kodokan judo prevailed over all the other systems of the day. This may be true in part but there have been many victories by one organization over another that have not lasted the test of time. One of the overriding reasons for the success of judo was Kano’s position as a major player in the development of education during the Meiji era. He was well educated, experienced, and traveled abroad specifically to learn about western educational systems. He was the expert and he was in charge of developing the country’s teachers; teachers who would of course learn judo at school, then turn around and teach it at a middle school, high school, or college. To this day judo is taught in schools throughout Japan as part of the physical education program.

Another reason for judo’s success was Jigoro Kano himself. He was a tireless recruiter of judo practitioners and supporters. Everywhere he went he spoke of the many attributes of judo: fitness, character building, economy of motion, self-actualization, self-defense, and a model for a way of life. He himself was the embodiment of the attributes of which he spoke. Kano also had a keen awareness of timing and knowledge of who were the change agents who he could entrust to influence the masses. He utilized the opportunity to speak with leaders such as Pierre de Coubertin, Originator of the Modern Olympic Games, John Dewey, one of the architects of modern education in the United States and many others. These people outside of his country were introduced to judo, not just for it’s physical characteristics, but more so for its positive effects on the improvement of the quality of life for society through its practice.

Jigoro Kano’s command of the English language should not be forgotten here, for it opened the door to introducing the then little known sport of judo to the west. According to Naoki Murata, head librarian at the Kodokan. “Many of Kano’s notes of judo were written not in Japanese but in English.”

Pierre de Coubertin

Although it is not often mentioned as a reason for judo’s rise as an exportable item we must not discount the effect of the two wars that suddenly placed Japan in the forefront of public curiosity. First China, then Russia, two large countries succumbing to the smaller Japan. Moreover, Russia, although having its own internal problems, was once considered a white European power. Could it be that some secrets out of the East could be used to win the war over its larger opponents? Could these same secrets also be found in this mysterious activity called judo? Here too, the larger individual could be overcome by the smaller. At any rate people flocked to see this wondrous activity that the devotees were eager to teach. Especially keen on its investigation were the armed services, police, and the elite.

On a more clouded note, the ability of judo and jujitsu to infiltrate the upper crust of society gave it importance in the Meiji era as a means of understanding foreign cultures and was sometimes used as an unofficial information highway through which crucial bits of information gleaned from casual conversations aided in making major policy or strategic decisions. For foreign countries, it also allowed a glimpse into Japanese culture as well. Thus, the exportability of judo and jujitsu was yet another factor to consider.

Educational Tool

While many looked upon judo and jujitsu as a means of unarmed combat Dr. Kano came to view his judo as a ready-made educational tool; first to develop his nation and to eventually benefit the world. In its practice, he could see economy of motion, the interplay of individual forces creating something bigger than its individual parts, the development of the individual into something he would not otherwise be, but for the practice of this physical activity. Kano’s broader view of this activity, when he compared it to other sports, prompted modifications that could help it survive and be included as a sport and an educational tool. Hence, methods of falling were improved and practiced, dangerous techniques were excluded from its practice, rules of gamesmanship began to replace the air of dueling to determine superiority. These issues aided the acceptance and transformed judo from a cultural martial art to a modern sport.

We should not forget the era to which Jigoro Kano was born into was the critical mass of emerging sports. (In 1846 with Alexander Cartwright as the inventor of baseball.) The rough and ready game of football was first played between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869, Walter Camp formulated the American football’s first rules in 1876 and in 1867 The Queensbury Rules of Boxing by John Graham Chambers. In Canada ice hockey was invented by JGA Creighton, basketball in the United States by Naismith in 1891, and volleyball by William Morgan. In Japan, it was Jigoro Kano with judo, 1882. Even the Modern Olympic Games emerged front this period with the leadership of Pierre de Coubertin.


Yoshiaki Yamashita

In various parts of the world as practitioners of judo fortuitously or purposely ventured out, there was always a curious audience. One of the first to take judo outside of Japan was in 1903 when Yoshiaki Yamashita was invited to the United States by Railroad magnate Graham Hill and taught at Annapolis Naval Academy. Included on his list of many important persons of the era, he was instructor to President Theodore Roosevelt who eventually earned a brown belt. A brown belt then was a very respectable rank during the time when there was not much inflation of rank. Yoshiaki Yamashita eventually received the very first 10th Dan awarded by Dr. Kano in 1935.

Yukio Tani

In 1905, judo appeared in Great Britain in the person of Yukio Tani. There is a plethora of tales about this colorful individual as he traveled about the British Isles making a living by taking on all comers. Sometimes he would have easy opponents and sometimes not. Losing some but winning most. Sometimes he was sober other times he was not. Nevertheless, it was always interesting to see a smaller man confront larger men and come out on top.

Gunji Koizumi

Tani was followed by Gunji Koizumi one year later. Koizumi was instrumental in the development of British judo and was the founder of the Budokwai in London in 1918. Both Tani and Koizumi were instructors there. Originally they were jujitsu enthusiasts and only after a visit by Dr. Kano in 1920 did they switch over to become members of the Kodokan. Both were also present at the incipience of the European Judo Union in 1937 when the first European Judo Championships took place in Dresden, Germany. The events were to inspire other continents to do likewise and the result was to eventually culminate in the creation of a world championship.

Mikinosuke Kawaishi

The founding of French judo is credited to Mikinosuke Kawaishi who arrived in 1935 and introduced judo through a system based on numbers and French words rather than on difficult to remember or pronounce Japanese terminology. This plus the ingenious colored belt system did much to popularize judo in France. France lists over 500,000 registered judokas and is the second largest judo population in the world.

Takugoro Ito

In the United States during the turn of the century large pockets of Japanese settlements could be found. They were in Hawaii (then not yet a state), Seattle, and Los Angeles. Many of the immigrants left Japan in search of job opportunities and adventure. They brought with them their customs, language, and work ethics. They were successful particularly in two fields, farming, and fishing. Amongst the cultural activities of dance and flower arrangement was judo. 1907 saw the establishment of the first permanent dojo with Takugoro Ito as the instructor in Seattle, Washington. Ito was later to go to Los Angeles and is credited with the establishing of the first dojo in Los Angeles. It was named Rafu Dojo and while it is no longer there as of 2002, the restructured 1920 wooden Seattle dojo is still standing. Between 1903 and the present, judo has spread eastward across the United States to include all races and creeds. In 1964 the First U.S. Olympic Judo Team was represented by a Japanese American lightweight, a Jewish American middleweight, an American Indian light heavyweight, and Black American heavyweight.

Judo Organizations in the United States

Associations of black belt holders (Yudanshakai) developed first, followed by the formation of the first national organization. This was accomplished in 1952. Originally the organization was known as the JBBF or Judo Black Belt Federation but was subsequently changed to The United States Judo Federation (USJF). The USJF’s strength lies in the clustering of different dojos to provide a quality program which is grass roots oriented. In 1965, a second national organization was formed from what was originally the Armed Forces Judo Association, now known as the United States Judo Association (USJA). It was also grass roots oriented, well organized paper wise, and gave the individual clubs and their instructors more autonomy because they were usually in isolated areas of the United States where services were hard to come by. In 1980 through an act of Congress The National Sports Act of 1979 United States Judo Incorporated (USJI) was formed. It then became the direct link to the United States Olympic Committee and replaced the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Ultimately the two National Organizations, USJF and USJA became “A” class members and each individual State organizations as “B” members of USJI. USJI has since changed its name to USA Judo.

The United States has had three world champions as a result of our efforts in the field of competition. Our very first World Champion in 1984 was AnnMaria Burns, now known as Dr. AnnMaria Rousey. Our second World Champion was Michael Swain in 1987, Jimmy Pedro Jr. in 1999 and out most recent is Kayla Harrison, 2012. Each are still active in the sport and continue to contribute to the development of judo in the United States.

Development of International Championships and Olympic Judo

1st Pan American Judo Championships

The popularity of judo continued to grow but organizationally Europe seemed far and away the leader in promoting judo as a worldwide sport. In 1951 they formed the International Judo Federation consisting of mostly European Nations with Argentina requesting entry into the organization. Following the lead of the Europe, other continental unions were hurriedly devised. The first Pan American Judo Championships were held in 1952 in Havana, Cuba where judo had been introduced only two years earlier.

1st World Judo Championships

1956 was a momentous date for it marked the date of the First World Championships, held in Tokyo Japan. During this championship, there was only one category, the Open weight in which weight was not a consideration. Shokichi Natusi of Japan was the first World Champion. In July of 1960 at the 58th International Olympic Committee meeting it was voted and passed 32 to 2 to have judo as a demonstration sport in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. While there were some apprehensions as to Japan taking all the gold medals in their native-born sport, the 1964 Games had one great surprise for the world. In spite of the objections made against the idea of weight categories by Japan, its inclusion was a precondition to entry to the Games. Thus included were four weight divisions. It was a foregone conclusion that Japan would win all four gold medals except the apple cart was overturned by a Dutchman named Anton Geesink who pinned the All Japan Champion and became the first non-Asian to win an Olympic Gold medal in judo. This did much to show the rest of the world that judo was truly an international sport. In 1988, Seoul Korea Olympics, women were finally allowed to compete largely due to the efforts of the American, Rusty Kanokogi, and then International Judo Federation president Shigeyoshi Matsumae.

Geesink Subdues Sone to Win World Judo Title.

Paris, Dec 3 (UPI)— Anton Geesink of Holland beat Koji Sone of Japan Saturday in the final of the World Judo Championships to become the first non-Japanese ever to hold the title.

Chapter Review I

1. List four reasons why someone would benefit from judo history.

2. Describe how jujitsu may have evolved from man’s need for protection. In addition, what era did it make the most advances.

3. Explain what the “Sengoku Jidai” was and name three warlords of that period.

4. List three positive qualities of “Bushido.”

5. What were the characteristics of the Tokugawa era and what was its result.

6. List three reforms of the Meiji restoration period.

7. What two jujitsu styles did Jigoro Kano study? Who were the Teachers and what did he learn from each?

8. What were three positive qualities that set Jigoro Kano apart from many of the other jujitsu instructors?

9. List at least five of Kano’s major accomplishments.

10. Explain how Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort works in judo and in life.

11. List two persons that Kano introduced to judo that were important.

12. Name three pioneers of Judo who traveled abroad and their contribution to the sport.

13. What were four early events of judo in the United States in the early 1900?

14. What are the starting dates of the three national organizations?

15. Give at least three important dates and events in the history of Judo.

16. List a minimum of three important persons in judo and their contribution to the sport.

17. List some differences between Judo and Jujitsu.

18. List the three U.S. World Champions and the years they won


Chapter 2


1. How do we define philosophy?

2. What does philosophy have to do with judo?

3. How did Jigoro Kano come to develop a philosophy for judo?

4. What are the important issues raised by Kano?

Read More

Judy: I just don’t get it. What does judo, a physical activity, have to do with a mental activity like philosophy?

Philip: That’s a good question. We do see some outward manifestations of things like, discipline, hard work, skill, toughness, and respect, but we usually have to dig deeper to find out about the philosophy of judo.

Jack: That’s just it. Everyone seems to talk about the philosophy of judo but where do we find it? Besides, I certainly didn’t find any judo names in my philosophy book. I saw figures from Plato to Derrida, and a whole lot of names in between, but no one from judo or any philosophy of judo. Maybe Judy is right. What does judo have to do with philosophy?

Robert: What does it matter? Judo is fun and I’d be doing it, philosophy or not.

Key Points

1. How do we define philosophy?

2. What does philosophy have to do with judo?

3. How did Jigoro Kano come to develop a philosophy for judo?

4. What are the important issues raised by Kano?

5. How do some of these principles evolve out of the practice of jujitsu or judo?

6. What implications can some of Dr. Kano’s ideas have on judoka?


Philosophy speaks to a number of issues amongst which are: epistemology; the science of knowledge, ethics and morality; the idea of good and evil, logic; how to reason, existentialism, finding meaning of our existence through our free will, metaphysics; God, a supreme plan, the soul, death, and beyond, consciousness. Philosophy is the love of knowledge. In the loose sense of the word, it is a well from which ideas about the things we do not know may be molded into subjects, which we then may study. In some instances philosophy developed into a systemized science laying the foundation for chemistry, physics, astronomy, as well as the basic disciplines like psychology and law.

Western Philosophers

Some of the early champions of western philosophy were Plato and Aristotle. Much of the original methodology of philosophy came from these Greek men. It was Plato who told us that Socrates was famous for questioning answers rather than answering questions. Aristotle, a student of Plato, was teacher to Alexander the Great. The influence of both men was felt far and wide, and helped to continue the practice of a love of knowledge. In addition, Athens, 470-399 B.C., conditions were just right with a leisure class that had time to reflect on the question why which marked a key point in the development of philosophy.


The phrase critical mass is often used to illustrate the idea that various conditions are just right or ripe for an event to occur. Critical mass assumes a causation factor. In other words, because of certain preceding events, the following event is primed to occur. Judo philosophy also had events surrounding its development. Japan had come out of isolation by the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa with the United States. In 1868, Emperor Meiji was restored to power and there was a great push to modernize Japan. Along with the feudal system, all things connected to it were discarded. This included all of the old martial arts of ancient Japan. Modernization for Japan meant learning from the West; the West that had so traumatically invaded their isolation. Language became an important tool of advancement and those who possessed the ability to speak foreign languages, especially English, were in demand. It was necessary to import new ideas and ways of thinking in order to build a nation. These ideas would eventually knit together the fibers that would make Japan more than a loose collection of islands. Emperor Meiji called for quick action to modernize. The result was Japan’s first railroad system, postal service, modern military system, constitution, civil codes, and an education system. Jigoro Kano, who was born in 1860, was only eight at the time when all this began. Even at this young age, Jigoro’s future was being shaped, as he was enrolled in English classes while still in Kobe, Japan.

Young Jigoro Kano was educated in Confucian classics from the age of ten and continued his studies even after his move to the Tokyo area. The Confucian classics provided Kano with his first formal introduction into ethics, morality, which provided him with an awareness of social obligation. Additionally, he studied English even after his arrival in Tokyo under Shuhei Mitsukuri a fellow student of famed educational reformer, Yukichi Fukuzawa. His father’s foresight was in preparation for life in the new Japan.

A young Jigoro Kano embarking on a journey that is to change the face of education and sports, not only for Japan but for the world. He took jiu-jitsu, added philosophy and created judo.

Shuhei Mitsukuri, Yukichi Fukuzawa, Arinori Mori, and Masanao Nakamura were known as the “Meirokusha” and were the equivalent of a modern think tank.

At seventeen, Jigoro Kano entered Tokyo University and studied political science, economics, and philosophy, under Harvard trained Ernest Fenollosa. Among the philosophers Kano studied were Spencer, Mill, Burnham, and Sidgewick. No doubt, the influence of these men and philosophers, like his use of English, was to remain with him and serve him well in the era of an emerging Japan. In addition to Jigoro Kano’s ability to absorb information was an emerging talent to analyze, synthesize, and create new and interesting ways by which progress could be realized.

The Birth of Judo

At about the same time that Jigoro Kano was in Tokyo University he was also pursuing his study of jujitsu. He had begun his study of the art due in part to his small stature and large appetite for confrontation. In his youth, he was short tempered, but seemed always to lose his battles to larger opponents. He needed an equalizer and jiu-jitsu was what interested him. At first his practice of this art was not looked upon kindly by his father but eventually his father was reported to have said, “Well, if you are so intent.” On his father’s advice, young Jigoro earnestly studied Jiujitsu, with physical and mental zeal. Through his study of Jujitsu various questions constantly plagued him. These questions or stumbling blocks became the eventual cornerstone to the development of judo. Naoki Murata lists them as follows.

1. When Jigoro Kano started jujitsu under Hachinosuke Fukuda, one of his first lessons found himself flying to his back by a throw. He got up and asked, “How did you throw me?” Fukuda merely motioned to come on. So Kano attacked, and gain, he found himself on his back. Once again, he inquired, “How did you do that?” Still no answer. Only a hand gesture to come on. Obediently, Kano got up and attacked, all the more determined to overcome Fukuda’s upright posture. Alas, a third time Kano was, unceremoniously bounced on his behind. Undeterred Kano again asked, “How did you do that!” This time the master’s reply was “Don’t talk. Just keep trying 1000 times and you will learn.”

Despite all his years of education, Kano could not explain how he was being tossed aside like some unwanted crumpled up piece of paper. Why wasn’t there some logical explanation for this physical phenomenon! Was there not a better way to teach these techniques other than just practice?

2. His second mental stumbling block came after four years of having practice jiujitsu. One day during practice with his instructor Tsuneotoshi Iikubo, Kano was able to throw him repeatedly. Master Iikubo stopped and asked, “How did you throw me”? Kano replied, “I noticed that each time that you where about to throw you first pulled or pushed your opponent off-balance first, before entering in to finish the throw. I merely did the same.” Iikubo then awarded Kano a certificate of graduation in recognition of his understanding of the art. Kano, in his own mind wondered if his insight and explanation into how a throw was set up was a good enough. By this explanation alone, could he teach jujitsu? On one hand, there was his former instructor, Hachinosuke Fukuda who had no ability to verbally explain what was occurring in the process of a throw, but was expert at throwing, on the other hand would mere words suffice to teach a throw?

3. Jigoro Kano was an avid collector of jujitsu manuscripts. Many of them still can be found at the Kodokan Institute in Tokyo, Japan. In them, he found his third question. He was perplexed as to which one was truly the very best system of techniques.

4. One of the important principles in jujitsu was a principle of “Jiu-no-ri.” The principle of giving way rather than opposing force. For example, if a force of 10 units were in direct opposition to another force of 3 units then, the 10 units of force would be 7 units. If instead of being in direct opposition, the 3 units returned in the same direction as the 10 unit force, a force could be turned to the advantage of 13 units. This was an explanation that was often use in reference to the application of a throw, where someone larger was rushing forward to attack and a smaller person turned and used this onrushing force against the opponent.

Unfortunately, this principle did not always work well in all instances. In some examples where a choke or an arm bar, giving way may not produce the best results. Search as he did Jigoro Kano could not find a universal principle, which would work in every instance. .

5. A fifth question that Professor Murata cites is really not a question or doubt but rather a revelation on the part of Jigoro Kano. It was through his long and arduous practice of the art that he found himself changed. He was much stronger and healthier. Because of his physical prowess, he had more confidence in himself. With more confidence, his demeanor also changed. This led him to believe the physical activity of judo could improve the character of the practitioner. Moreover, if jujitsu could improve one person why not many persons, better yet a large group, or benefit society.

Basically, these were some of the stumbling blocks Kano solved, leading to the idea and formulation of judo as a mental as well as a physical activity.

The Three Guiding Principles

Parallel to Jigoro Kano’s questions were the ideas prevailing during his time. San-iku-shugi or the The Three Guiding Principles included the concepts of intellectual (chiiku), moral (tokuiku), and physical (taiiku). “These were new terms,” states David Waterhouse, in his paper, Kano Jigoro and The Beginning of Judo, 1983. He believes that they were taken directly from Herbert Spencer, whose paper was entitled, Education, Intellectual, Moral, and Physical, published in 1861. Speculation though it may be his contact with philosophical ideas added to his beloved physical activity of jujitsu and suited the needs of an emerging nation as well. Prior to the Meiji era, there was no national educational system, much less a concept of physical education or sports. These were important ideas, which Jigoro Kano played an important part in instituting into Japan. Kano was one of the first Japanese to play baseball in Japan. This had a profound effect on the concept of team type activities, as he also included team competition into the Kodokan menu.

In Japan’s newly formed educational system, Kano played a large role in the development of one of Spencer’s three needed areas of development; the physical area. Moreover, Kano included in his statements and awareness of the other two areas of Spencer’s areas of development. Character was also discussed by Kano, “Because we are all alive in this world as humans, we must abide by the rules of humans. Once we lose the desire to live as humans, we lose our worth.” As to intellect, he wrote, “For the realization of a fuller life. It is imperative that we have and strive to develop our intelligence. Intellect aids greatly in building character.” For his efforts in the physical realm, Jigoro Kano is often referred to as the father of modern sports in Japan.

For the West, the idea of gamesmanship had been popularized by the 1500 with knights who participated in mock battles during tournaments. This activity found favor with kings as a exercise in warring skills while keeping mortality to a minimum. This tradition was passed on to where today’s mock battles are fought in the form of football games and wrestling matches. During World War II Winston Churchill stated, “The battles at Dunkirk were won on the playing fields of Eaton.” acknowledging the contribution of sports to the war effort. Actually, the 19th century, provided the world with many new sports and games. Games added not only to a nation’s competitive spirit, but also to its health. The emergence of the modern Olympic Games in 1896 also added to the ideals of sportsmanship, character building, a sound mind in a sound body, and acted as a weathervane to a nation’s vitality.

It was within the Meiji era that Jigoro Kano became an educator, physical educator, and later statesman, writer, member of the International Olympic Committee, and founder of many of Japan’s prestigious organizations, but for the judoka his most important legacy to the world was Judo. He was the right man at the right time. Jigoro Kano’s ability to speak English was one of his greatest assets. Through his language skills, he was able to glean Western ideas on education and physical education. One auspicious event was his meeting with American Educator John Dewey, with whom he had many valuable exchanges. Through his ties with the Ministry of Education he reintroduced many of the martial arts, not as a feudal way of fighting, but as a means of developing the fitness level and the character of its participants. Dr. Kano’s was reformulation of the reasons for the practice of the martial arts, was revolutionary for Japan. The idea was that martial arts were to be practiced, not to inflict damage or death, but rather as a means of enhancing life. Amongst these martial arts, was his newly formed jujitsu which he named judo, the “gentle way.” an activity that could bring to life the ideals of “san-iku-shugi.”

John Dewey was one of America’s architects of modern education, and was a leading exponent of pragmatism. It is unclear as to what extent he may have influenced the fledging Japanese educational system but he did befriend Jigoro Kano and exchange many ideas as evident by the letters which remain.

Small Judo — Large Judo

From almost the very start, serious thought was put into what we so loosely know as the gentle way, judo. According to Asian studies professor, David Waterhouse of the University of Toronto, “The name judo, the pliant way, comes from Kito-ryu, having been long used in Jikishin-ryu, an old branch of it.” The use of the suffix do in judo has ties to Taoism and Buddhism and in Chinese characters when written means road or way. According to Professor Naoki Murata, Kodokan historian, “The reason that the ju of judo was kept by Professor Kano was out of respect for tradition.” Together judo took on a different flavor. Not only was there a tradition of power but thought, philosophical thought that could aid in the development of a thin emerging nation.

In the case of judo, its meaning was that through its practice, one would develop concepts, skills, and attitudes that would assist one in everyday life situations. Dr. Kano in his writings also emphasizes the idea of small judo versus large judo. Small judo is concerned only with techniques and building of the body. Large judo is mindful of the pursuit of the purpose of life: the soul and the body used in the most effective manner for a good result.

One of Dr. Kano’s more interesting statements concerning education, and in particular, physical education was, “The body is the instrument for the purpose of life, without which there is nothing.” Such a simple but ever so profound statement. The implication is that care must be taken to ensure its proper functioning. In addition, that the mind cannot function, experience, or learn, without having a body. The body is the package in which the mind functions and that their functioning is integrally linked. One Japanese word for experience, taiken, means to experience with the body.


Although Dr. Kano was widely known as a scholar, there was a side of him which favored experience over knowledge purely based on books. Many of his maxims are derived from life experiences that led to a certain conclusion. David Waterhouse, in his paper, “Kano Jigoro and The Beginning of the Judo Movement” writes, “As far as I can judge, Kano’s thinking evolved to meet the changing circumstances of the movement, which he created”. He was a pragmatist (in a loose sense of the word) and he mistrusted abstract principles based on book learning. In a note written in 1902 or 1903, he made a distinction between learning which is alive and learning which is dead. The former was a practical use, the later serve no purpose. “If one reads books, excessively, even if one does many things, what one knows may or may not be useful, depending on the circumstances.”


The maxim, Mutual Welfare and Benefit Ji-ta Kyoei, can be thought of as referring to Kano’s concept of the interdependence of body and mind, but more importantly here, the interdependence of one person working with another person. It was the resulting revelation of years of physical practice that enable Kano to understand the benefits of mutual encounters. In Buddhism, the two paths are ji-riki (self strength) and ta-riki (other’s strength). In judo, there is also the strength of the individual, which is pitted against the strength of others resulting in a positive change. An example is the mutual benefit found in judo’s randori practice, which is done, not by oneself, but with another and results in the eventual development of both individuals. Judo is mindful of this resulting benefit from the practice of two individuals, and thus bow in gratitude and respect before and after the practice session.


A seldom quoted maxim is that of Ji-ko no Kansei or self-perfection. Most likely ignored because of the seemingly egocentric motives at the time of judo’s mass importation into the United States just after World War II. In addition, the other maxim of Mutual Welfare and Benefit, already has inherent in the word mutual, implication that oneself as well as another is involved. Today it has been told that we must improve ourselves. Scores of self-help books attests to this fact. The dilemma, however, arises when one asked, “How is it that you can have both self centered act and mutual welfare and benefit at the same time? Doesn’t someone lose out when one person thinks of improving himself?” Kano explained it thus. “Needless to say, there is a gap between utopia and the sometimes reality of things. Let’s say that rather than two individuals we think on a larger scale and have two countries at war and one of them is your country. Whose side would you favor then?” He continues, “Build yourself first, then you may help others.”

In the short-term, one side suffers a loss, but both have gained from the experience, and at a later time under different conditions the outcome may be different. One need only think of our next randori practice session or shiai tournament. Who will win? What was gained? Competition tends to breed excellence, and in the long run there is mutual gain from the encounter.


Seiryoku Zenyo is commonly translated to mean Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort. When Dr. Kano was still a student he found his roommate would always finish his homework earlier and in addition get better grades. Why was it that he had the same amount of homework, as his roommate, same instructors, yet this result? He decided to observe his roommate which eventually resulted in the maxim of Seiryoku Zenyo, maximum efficiency with minimum effort. He states, “In order to study the maxim of

Seiryoku Zenyo we must first know what energy is. Energy is life force or the essential force for living. A correct use of this energy will result in maximum efficiency with minimum effort.”

As per energy expenditure and a judo throw, do we expend more energy to throw a person if he is off-balance or on balance? Do we expend more or less energy if we have our center of gravity above or below our opponent’s center of gravity? Do we use energy more effectively if we do the technique quickly or slowly? Is it possible that there is a more efficient way of applying energy? Could one say from this use of energy, one could learn and understand the principle of maximal efficiency with minimum effort?

It is through practical experiences that judoka may learn lessons. The lessons may have to be translated from the practice of judo into words and usable concepts but the body experiences of judo are kept for reference and understood at a very basic level. Here are a few concepts that are realized through practice, and with a little imagination can be translated into usable concepts for everyday living, large judo:

1. Over a period of time and through diligent practice, one can become better at judo(at a hobby, sport, work, etc.).

2. There are subtle techniques that allow one person to do better than another person who does not have technique.

3. Although one may not be so skilled to begin with, if one has heart one may still succeed.

4. There are different types of strengths in each of us.

5. Over a period of time we rely on different strengths at different times.

6. Energy utilized in a successful ways can instill confidence.

While different ideals may abound within philosophy, it is more an ongoing process rather than a set of immutable ideas. There are philosophical thoughts surrounding judo. Initially in the martial art of jujitsu, the sole thought was how to kill, maim, or control. At that time, it entailed a philosophy based on survival by hand-to-hand combat. With the opening of Japan, it had to change or disappear. Kano remolded jujitsu. This replacement became a way of life, with lessons in its practice that could be applied to everyday life. He named it judo. Today it is an Olympic sport, which is practiced in over 200 nations worldwide. The emphasis of the goals and philosophy of judo have been broadened and while there is a current emphasis towards the idea of judo being a sport concerned mainly with winning and losing, there are still other elements to judo which keep it grounded to the grass roots development of individuals into productive citizens.

The goals of judo are diverse. They provide for a wide range of participants with varied interests: It can also serve as a means of self defense; the police use many of the techniques of judo to subdue criminal offenders; For children, judo provides a positive atmosphere where they learn discipline and mutual respect. Children account for more than 75% of our judo population; older participants practice it for recreational and fitness value, and education’s use of judo is to change behavior in a positive way. Each has it’s own set of specialized ideals and goals concerning judo. Each draws from judo’s philosophical core.

Chapter Review II

1. List and discuss at least two major areas of philosophy.

2. List the names of two Greek philosophers that influenced western philosophy.

3. What critical event, in which the United States played a part, changed the course of Japan forever? Give dates, place, names, and events?

4. Who was the person instrumental in the modernization of Japan? What was the date he started and what things did he change?

5. Name three subjects that Jigoro Kano studied that had a great influence in his life?

6. List the names of two instructors who taught Jigoro Kano.

7. List the four great questions that Jigoro Kano encountered in his study of jujitsu. Also, include the great revelation he had after many years of practice.

8. Discuss the san-iku-shugi and its origin.

9. What did Jigoro Kano say about the following topics: character, intellect, and the body?

10. Discuss what is meant by small and large judo.

11. What are the three maxims of judo?

12. List three lessons that might be learned from the practice of judo.

13. List four reasons people engage in the practice of judo.

14. List and explain two important concepts of judo.


Chapter 3

Ethics deals with rules of conduct designed by and for a particular group or culture. It is an attempt by the group or culture to determine what is acceptable and what is not. This is particularly difficult as many questions arise as to how we come to determine and accept these values. Do these values arise naturally from our need to survive or are they man made or perhaps edicts from a higher power God, Buddha, Allah, Brahma. Other questions arise as to a reward and punishment system. Who or what takes precedence in meting out justice. Relativism further clouds the issue as time place, situations, space, and progression can be added to the mix.

Read More

The taking of life has in general been regarded as a negative but is this a natural supreme being or man made rule? What are exceptions to this rule? What of human sacrificial rites, war, self-defense, defense of others? What of suicide bombers? Again is it a natural occurrence, an edict from a higher source, or man made rule that decides what is right and what is wrong? Can it be that, what we have are man made rules that may be judged in one way and possibly another way in an afterlife? Almost every decision we make carries with it a potential ethical issue. Examples can be found in the products that we may consume. The purchasing of shoes made by child labor in third world countries, products made from endangered species, e.g. ivory, rhinoceros horn, turtle shell, etc., the use of fossil fuel and its effect on the environment. Even in the acts we choose to engage in or not to engage in may have ethical consequences. Should one vote? Should one not vote? Should I stay neutral? Should I engage in sex? Should this be just to satisfy a biological urge or an act of love? What effects will these choices create? What is right and what is wrong? What makes something right at a moment in time wrong at another moment in time? Why is it that some acts prohibited in one culture are acceptable in another culture? These are some of the questions that make up the subject matter of ethics.


Some philosophers claim that ethics comes from some force or being. Yet others claim that ethics comes from man alone. When we look around, there is no other animal that celebrates the idea of ethics. Only humans go so far to create elaborate rules placed into symbols called words; which in turn are codified into books; which in turn dictate acceptable behavior. These symbols and the resulting adherence can result in acceptance or rejection, prosperity or poverty, even life or death.

Our modern rules in the United States evolve from trying to live within a large social group of people with many divergent views and backgrounds. The rules are largely influenced by an evolution of philosophy and religion. The distinction between the two is at times difficult to discern; what is morally called for and what is legally required. For example, a house is on fire and someone from the second floor calls for help. You see the person in time to help but rather than risk it you stand and watch the fire. Morally you may want to help. Legally unless you have some special relationship to the person you can stand around and do nothing and just watch with impunity.

A Few Milestones

Four to five million years ago, hominids roamed upright in Africa. These apes without tails were our ancestors. Their stature and cranial capacity were much smaller than that of modern man. Their biped position freed their hands to make crude tools evidenced by unearthed obsidian hand axes. The use of fire was found in caves near Beijing, carbon dated to 500,000 years ago.

Our first evidence of symbols being used are found at the caves of Chauvet Pont de Arc. These cave wall paintings are found deep within the cave and in this dark chamber it is believed that it was a place of ritual rites of passage where the initiate was taught what was to be expected of him. The carbon dating here is closer to 33,000 BCE (before the Christian era). Some 29,000 years later stick figures demonstrating wrestling skills are depicted on the tomb walls of Beni Hassan (4,000 BCE). (The illustrations while showing activities demonstrate what was acceptable. ) These pictograms were symbols informing the viewer of desired behavior within that society.

While physical evidence of acceptable behavior manifested in primitive art or tools can be dated, it is difficult to date when humankind began to consciously think of ethical issues, what is good, and what is bad beyond primal issues.

Before the scientific age phenomena not understood were attributed to the gods. Greek mythology portrays gods as picaresque sometimes exhibiting the foibles of humans and sometimes playing a part in changing the course of destiny by interceding in mans affairs. Even in this age of quarrelsome mercurial gods, by 5th century BCE. man had progressed to create city-states with a leisure class. Socrates (469-354 BCE), Plato (428-354 BCE), and Aristotle (384-322 BCE) were great thinkers who were products of the era.

Socrates, the man who didn’t answer questions but who questioned answers died at his own hands when a jealous politician convinced the state to sentence him to die claiming that he incited the young of Athens. Socrates could have easily escaped but stated he was a citizen of Athens and would abide by the decision of the state that gave him life and now was about to take it away. The legacy left by Socrates is that words are powerful and can cause great good or great harm. Moreover, that principles are worth dying for.

Plato was a student of Socrates. Some say that, if it were not for Plato, Socrates would not be known. Socrates left no written records. This task was left thankfully to Plato. Plato raises just about every question that is considered in today’s philosophy. We know him best for The Republic, The Allegory of the Cave and the idea of a platonic relationship. He divided knowledge into empirical and reason. He was a moral absolutist and believed that morality should be decided by experts and not by the masses.

Aristotle thought the ordinary man should determine what is right and what is wrong. He also believed in a trial and error system that eventually would realize the correct result, providing the individual was calm, rational, and devoted to finding the best result. He favored the mean or middle road, courageous but not to the extent of fanaticism. Aristotle was a student of Plato who eventually went to be the teacher of Alexander the Great.

The Christian era ushered in a completely different way of thinking of right and wrong. In the Old Testament, the idea was retribution; an eye for an eye. Christ taught do unto others as you would have done unto you. Furthermore, he professed to forgive those who do wrong to you. For those times and even today these are enormous promulgations. Remember there was great persecution of Christians in the early years but time eroded Rome’s power, and by 400 A.D. Christianity continued to grow ever stronger. The Pope held more power than did the Emperor.


Although Christianity was still in its infancy, its written bible and the promise of an afterlife either in heaven if one was good or hell if one was bad created a consciousness in western society that has extended even to this day. In the beginning, there was much intermixing of ideas, cultures, myths and cults of the time that went into forming Christianity. Even politics entered the picture as St Augustine (354-430) tried to meld the church and the state together though both at the time were not really well defined.

St Augustine argued that the source of evil is lust and if one is to be virtuous one needed to control the body’s will. Strangely enough, he also believed in predestination. The doctrine that says whatever might happen was preordained and we really didn’t have a choice of the outcome. Although the idea that God was all knowing and knew the course of one’s life even before living seems contrary to the argument we could possibly become virtuous by controlling our lust and our body. (This would raise the question of free will that we controlled our own destiny.) These questions to this day plague us.

Some 400 years were to pass before St. Augustine’s doctrine of predestination was to be challenged. John Du Scot (800-877), an Irishman, was one of the first to publicly announce he did not believe that we were preordained to be either good or bad. Few however were ready to risk excommunication and the wrath of the now powerful Catholic Church which continued to embrace the teachings of St. Augustine. Roughly, another 400 years had to pass before the dogmas that influenced life in the dark ages were beginning to have to share space in the minds of men with new and thought provoking ideas. Beginning somewhere near the time of John Du Scot humankind began to seek answers beyond those needed for daily existence. By 1200, universities were being established throughout Europe. Much of the new findings of these universities came in conflict with the old dogmas of the church.

Were it not for St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) the Catholic Church could have taken another path and possibly faded away rather than to continue to thrive as an institution and contribute to the moral conscience of the western world. New ideas seemingly threatened the dogmas of the church. Aquinas, embraced learning, stated that knowledge glorified rather than detracted from God’s plan. Surely, had the church taken a hard stand it would merely be a matter of time and science before it would meet its demise. Through Thomas Aquinas’ efforts, catholic education became more in the line with Aristotelian reasoning even allowing the questioning of dogmas while still holding steadfast to their beliefs.

The antithesis of moral consciousness was exemplified by the book “The Prince” written by Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) a diplomat in the service of Cesare Borija. In it, he illustrates unethical machinations for those aspiring to rule. So deceitful were some of the methodologies that it became the very first book to be banned by the Catholic Church. Surely, the book supported the position held by philosopher Thomas Hobbs (1859-1952) that man was basically a nasty creature. On the other hand Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) believed mans nature to be good.

Other philosophers took positions between the two poles. Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) felt there were two types of virtues which we ascribe to, self-preservation and friendship. Karl Marx (1818-1883) felt that social classes determined morals and that the dominant class will prevail. Jeremy Bentham (1738-1842) felt morals should be decided by how people respond to pain and pleasure. He also believed that all laws should be passed with this general code in mind.

Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed in choosing duty over want. That is to say if stealing brought pleasure but became commonplace then society would break down. For Kant the selection of duty was so inflexible not even a white lie would be tolerated. Modern thinkers believed that rather than narrowing the range of acceptability one should widened the field by asking questions: What is human nature? What about the part that language plays in moral issues? What part does past experiences play? Is morality subjective or objective? What of consciousness and morality?

Philosophers like David Flume (1711-1776), A.J. Ayers (1910-1989), Richard Hare (1919—) advocated study of words and their originate in order to understand human nature and morality. Thinkers such as Sigmund Freud (1865-1939) and Jacques Lacan (1901) ushered in a new way of thinking in determining what is moral or ethical when confronting not only the conscious but also the subconscious and unconscious mind.

The aforementioned persons are just a few of the influential thinkers who have contributed to our vocabulary and understanding of the study of ethics. Although they are not always associated with their main ideas their legacy is unknowingly exhibited in the decisions we subconsciously make on ethical issues. Much of the ideologies we have briefly discussed may also be found as the basis of sophisticated legal decisions that govern this nation.

Question: What are the ethical dilemmas facing a Judo Instructor?


Chapter 4

1. What are the governing forces that allow one person to throw another person? What different terminology is used in physics, in biomechanics?

2. What are kuzushi, tsukuri, kake, and kime?

3. How is a judo throw explained in terms of modern biomechanics?

4. Does the cognitive understanding of how a throw is accomplished enable the practitioner to throw someone or is there a missing element?

Read More

Teaching Tools

Chapter 5

Read More

Lesson Planning

Chapter 6

Read More

Planning Effective Practices

Chapter 7

Read More


Chapter 8

Read More


Chapter 9

Read More