In 1882 Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) founded Kodokan Judo at Eishoji Temple in Tokyo. It used to be the culmination of a lifelong devotion to the jujutsu of the past, which he reorganized at the same time as taking great care to retain its classical traditions. Historically, martial arts were practiced only by the elite in Japan. Kano, a renowned educator in addition to a sportsman, is credited with popularizing the martial arts, and in particular, judo, among people in all levels of society.
When he used to be young, Kano studied jujutsu, a martial art practiced in Japan since feudal times, which involved throwing, hitting, kicking, stabbing, slashing, choking, bending and twisting limbs — and defenses against these attacks. After years of studying, he realized that even supposing various jujutsu techniques were taught, there used to be no person core value holding them together. Kano identified an all-pervasive principle — to make the best use of mental and physical energy — and combined only those techniques in which this principle used to be appropriately applied into modern judo. “Ju” means gentleness or giving way. “Do” means principle or the way. Judo, due to this fact is the Way of Gentleness, which implies that first giving way results in ultimate victory. The Kodokan is literally, “the school for studying the Way.” This book is a collection of Kano’s essential teachings, selected and compiled from his wealth of writings and lectures spanning a period of fifty-one years. Today the International Judo Federation has 187 member countries and regions. As an official sport of the Olympic Games, judo has inspired young people of all nationalities, and Kodokan is universally recognized as the Mecca of Judo.