A judo that incorporates kendo: Jigoro Kano's ideas and their theoretical development

Fumiaki Shishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Judo's founder, Jigoro Kano, stated by the end of his life that in the future judo should integrate the principles of kendo (Japanese swordsmanship). He also often mentioned that his vision of ideal judo was present in the extremely fluid randori sparring practices that took place during the early years of judo. These statements will be unexpected for most modern judo practitioners, who practice a competitive judo as a sport and are largely unaware of Kano's desire to make judo into a practical martial art. Kano's hope of combining the principles of judo and kendo to make a practical martial art was not realized during his lifetime, but his goal was pursued by his student, Kenji Tomiki. Professor Tomiki defined the principle of kendo as the "technical theory of chop and thrust while avoiding being touched" and worked towards integrating it with judo's throwing techniques. In particular, he noted that just as the proper moment to begin executing a sword technique is the moment of first contact between attacker and defender, the proper moment to begin executing a judo technique is also the moment of first contact between attacker and defender. Thus, the long periods of slow and indecisive wrestling that occur in modern judo tournaments after competitors have grabbed each other's uniforms fail to meet Kano's ideal. Instead, players should grasp lightly, move fluidly, and treat each moment as the moment of initial contact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Budo
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 5



  • Atemi-waza
  • Ju
  • Koshiki-no-kata
  • Shizen-tai
  • Tegatana
  • Tomiki

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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