jigoro kano

In my last Blog I covered how Jigoro Kano in developing judo by eliminating the jujitsu techniques which would lead to injuries, created the ability to randori free practice at full intensity.

The result of this intense level training, coupled with a high degree of safety, was that judoka became very effective fighters. Kano's student Mitsuyo Maeda traveled to South America and Cuba engaging in matches resembling today's UFC but much rougher.

Back in Japan at the Kodokan the battle between judo and the various remaining jujitsu styles continued.

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Martial artists often think, If only my style could get into the Olympics! Seldom do they consider all the implications. In this story, two judo veterans weigh in on how being in the Games has changed their art.

In case you live in a cave, here’s a news flash: 2016 is an Olympic year. The 31st Summer Games are scheduled to take place August 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro. Whenever the world’s premier sporting event rolls around, we find ourselves reflecting on how the Olympics have affected the martial arts. Part 1 of this article examines whether the Games have been good for judo. For input, we interrogated Gary Goltz and Hayward Nishioka, prompting them with questions and hoping they’d offer opinions on other topics that are of concern to them and practitioners of their martial art.

— Editors

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Without a doubt, Bruce Lee is planet Earth's most famous fighter, but his influence extends far beyond the martial arts. Find out how extensive — and long-lived — it is.

A great artist is measured not just by his fame or even his achievements. He’s measured by his influence on others. Fame alone is nothing. An artist can be well-known for quality work or infamous for terrible work. Achievements are similar. A man can spend a lifetime creating technically amazing things, but his list of achievements is as inspiring as an accountant’s ledger. Influence is different. Great artists make people want to be artists. This is taken from literary theory — specifically, the work of literary critic Harold Bloom — but it applies to the martial arts, too. Just like Bloom’s “strong poets” who influence all subsequent poets, we have our collection of martial artists whose influence permeates certain arts. Examples: Karate was never the same after Mas Oyama created kyokushin, and the contemporary grappling arts are infused with the strategies and techniques of Jigoro Kano’s judo. In our time, only one martial artist has achieved an influence that spans everything: Bruce Lee.

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As reported in the February 1971 issue of Black Belt, these words of wisdom come from judo founder Jigoro Kano.

As reported in the February 1971 issue of Black Belt, these words of wisdom come from judo founder Jigoro Kano. "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."