The philosophy of the Renaissance Yawara parallels that of many modern forms of Budō, (i.e. kendo, judo, and aikido) and entail cultivating the mind and conditioning the body through rigorous training for the purpose of improving the self.


Prof. Kano incorporated practical ideas into the traditional martial art of jujutsu, restructuring that discipline into what is now famous as “Judo.” He inspired all those who practiced Judo to pursue a scientific approach in observing, matter-of-factly, a sense of justice, fairness and modesty. His goal was to inspire students to use the skills and experiences acquired through their practice of Judo in order to contribute to the wider area of society. Accordingly, Prof. Kano described the values for life re ected in the combined virtues of “Seiryoku- Zenyo ( 精力善用 )” and “Jita-Kyoei ( 自他共栄 )” – which stress the most effective and ef cient use of one’s energy in the daily life, while serving others and the international community, thus contributing simultaneously to the development
of society large. For Kano, Judo was the means to cultivate one’s body, mind and skills.


The benefits that come from Kodokan Judo are usually explained by the following four points:

  • Methods of physical education. (“taiiku-ho” / 体育法)
  • Methods of cultivating the spirit. (“shushin-ho” / 修心法)
  • Methods of consoling the spirit. (“ishin-ho” / 慰心法)
  • Methods of self defense. (“goshin-ho” / 護身法)


“There are two types of judo. “Small judo is concerned with only techniques and the 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.” – Jigoro Kano


“In the Kodokan, each person practices randori by grasping his opponent’s collar and sleeve. This must be done for beginners to improve their skill, but that method is not the ultimate one. If you grasp your opponent’s collar and sleeve, you must grasp extremely softly and without strength. Otherwise, you cannot move quickly.” – Jigoro Kano


“Regardless of winning or losing, you need to follow the right path and, even if you lose by following this right path, it is more valuable than winning being against the path.” – Jigoro Kano


“Through our training we forge our spirits (kokoro) and bodies, and so doing we concern ourselves with being useful in more peaceful pursuits.” – Kenji Tomiki


“When Kano Sensei set about to modernize he singled out the aspect of combat that occurs after the opponents have closed and updated those methods. Classical jujutsu, you see, included movements to deal with the situations before the outbreak of grappling. The person who was most knowledgeable regarding these pre-grappling movements and responses was Ueshiba Sensei.” – Kenji Tomiki


Tomiki’s work (goal) was to modernize jujutsu from a distance (prior to grabbing) just as Kano had done with jujutsu once grabbing had occurred.  As Ueshiba as expert at a distance, it was logical that he would work to modernize Ueshiba’s techniques.  Tomiki made great strides during the Manchuria years in fleshing out his theory of “rikaku taisei.” This term refers to the use of techniques for dealing with attacks by an opponent separated from the defender. This was part of Tomiki’s view of a “complete judo” which encompassed two parts: “grappling judo” (kumi judo) which equated to Kodokan Judo, and “separated judo” (hanare judo) which was equivalent to aikido.


“I have always interpreted judo and aikido as being basically the same, unified thing. Technically, they are one.” – Kenji Tomiki


Tomiki’s view of the martial arts with his personal emphasis on jujutsu as a means for edification of the individual was heavily influenced by Kano’s philosophy. On the one hand, Tomiki regarded the traditional martial systems of Japan as feudalistic, brutal and thus unsuited for the modern age. Yet, at the same time, he wished to guarantee the survival in some form of these highly-refined technical traditions which had been developed over hundreds of years. His solution was therefore to modify the classical ryuha eliminating dangerous techniques without, however, losing sight of their historical rationale. The framework of modern physical education provided the ideal vehicle to accomplish this end. The practice of kata would permit the preservation and transmittal of the classical forms while competition insured that the trainee would gain a practical understanding of the application of offensive and defensive techniques. While the role of sports was significant in Tomiki’s thinking, it formed only a part of his eclectic system. Moreover, he recognized the danger inherent in an over-emphasis on competition that spawned an undesirable “victory above all” attitude in participants.