Essential Principles of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Jan 8, 2006
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North American Tectonic Plate
Essential Principles of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune, judan

Pliable action of mind and physique surpass stiffening and sturdiness. True spirit of Judo is nothing but the gentle and diligent free spirit. Judo rests on flexible action of mind and body. The word flexible however never means weakness but something more like adaptability and openmindedness. Gentleness always overcomes strength.

To display best vitality in the worst plight.

A danger is apt to be unforseen, and in such a case the worst possible plight will show itself. Judo should present its most substantial meaning in such a case. Judo's specialty is quick shifting disadvantage to advantage, and freedom of action in the worst situation by detecting the opponent's unguarded point quickly and changing your own position to overcome the danger.

To be careless is equal to lack of fixed principle.

You must give full attention and energy to studying Judo with zeal and sincerity. Shifting disadvantage to advantage is a subtle art and not an ounce of inattention is allowed.

Never stick to a fixed idea, but be in a self-annihilating state.

To be flexible requires a lack of consciousness of life and death. If you are not afraid of the stronger opponent but a naive mind of selflessness is maintained, your activity will be hindered by nothing, and infinite change and adaptability can be displayed.

Never despise trifles but keep faithful mind.

The mind, if slackened even a little, will cause defeat the same as fearing the opponent will make you unable to use full strength. If you are in a hurry to win the match, you will not grasp the truth of the moment. Truth is a free factor, not planned but found when the mind is in its natural state. It can be said that everybody is always with truth but your sincerity will enable you to get it without labor.

Shai Hulud

Purple Belt
Nov 5, 2014
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St. Petersburg
That first principle you've mentioned I find to be the golden rule of Judo, as is with the spirit of the "Ju" character, or "gentle" or "giving way" principle of the sport. Strength and cardiovascular conditioning are all good in the sport of Judo, but the essential principle is that you learn to economically/efficiently use your energy in harmony with your opponent's, and not necessarily ramming heads and locking horns. It's a very naturalist approach to combat.

From the application of Kuzushi (off-balancing of opponent) to the application of the throw, both physique and mind must be in perfect coordination. There is no difference between strength (physique) and technique (mind). Pavel Tsatsouline, in his Naked Warrior book, defined strength as the ability to generate power under certain conditions, a concept I find incredibly relevant in Judo. :)

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