Welcome to USA’s home of Traditional Judo For All

Traditional Kodokan Judo is simply the practice of Kodokan Judo as described in the text “Kodokan Judo” by Prof. Jigoro Kano, without the “overwhelming emphasis” on sport of Judo; studying the history, etiquette, waza and kata of Kodokan Judo and enjoying them for what they are – “The knowledge, skills and a way of life” based on principles taught by its founder, Prof. Kano.


"The Ultimate Goal of Kodokan Judo is the Perfection of Human Character and to Benefit the World.”

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  • Ju-no-Kata Competition
  • Promotion Presentation
  • Bethers teaching Kime no Kata
  • Ura Nage Action
  • Clinic Participants
  • Takahashi Throwing
  • Principles of Judo and Their Applications to all Phases of Human Activity

    Jigoro KanoProf. Jigoro Kano

    Jigoro Kano was the Founder of Kodokan Judo. The following is a transcript of a lecture he gave at the Parnassus Society, Athens, Greece, on June 5, 1934.

    Ever since I came to work in public, I have been engaged in Education, for some time filling the post of the Director of the Bureau of Primary and Secondary Education in Japan, and for 24 years being the Principal of the Higher Normal College in Tokyo.

    As is natural for a man of such a career, I had to answer many questions like the following:

    1. The use of religion as a means of moral culture no one doubts. But as morals are taught in religion not by reason, but by ‘faith’ or belief, there may be different persons having different beliefs. How can one decide which belief is correct and which is not? In this stage of enlightenment we must solve this question in a way to which everybody will agree. How do you solve this question?

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  • Rediscovering Kodokan Judo

    Llyr C JonesLlyr C Jones Phd

    It is well known that the word judo comes from a combination of two Japanese words – ju meaning gentle and do meaning path or way. This makes judo literally the gentle way.

    At the level of first principles, the essence of Kodokan Judo is the turning an opponent's strength and overcoming by means of skill rather than sheer strength. This theory is captured by the Japanese expression ju yoku go o seisu – usually translated in a number of ways e.g. softness overcomes hardness, flexibility overcomes stiffness, gentleness controls strength or win by yielding.

    This document is too long, please download to read the full text! (Webmaster)
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  • The Mission of Kodokan Judo

    D. Risei KanoD. Risei Kano

    The spiritual aspect of judo is rarely discussed in daily conversation among judo students. Students prefer to discuss how they or their competitor won a particular match or judo tournament. Judo is more than how an opponent or a method of self defense, it encompasses the hidden spiritual discipline with each person. The Judo Research and Development Group (JRDG), presents an excerpt from Mission of Kodokan Judo, from the February 1974 issue of Kodokan Magazine. This article was written by D. Risei Kano, the former President of the Kodokan.

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  • The Path of Traditional Judo

    Linda YiannakisLinda Yiannakis

    Traditional Judo is that practice of judo which reflects and adheres to the aims and principles of the art as Jigoro Kano presented them in his teachings and writings. Therein lies the problem for 21st century judoka who wish to practice in the old way. Judo has gone through many dramatic changes over the years since its introduction in 1882 and is now largely practiced as a sport. It is difficult to find a teacher, in the United States at least, who has received the core instruction of Kano’s original judo to pass on to today’s students. This dearth of specific instruction has given rise over time to various forms of what is called Classical Judo in this country, wherein ideas of traditional judo are often based upon much practice of omote kata (demonstration form) and the avoidance of competition. Neither of these notions reflects the program of Traditional Judo or serves to address in a complete way Kano’s oft-stated intentions for his art.

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  • Training in Kodokan Judo - One Perspective

    Bruce R Bethers

    The Objectives and Purposes of Training in Judo have been formulated since its original inception by its founder Dr. Jigoro Kano. The ultimate objective of Judo as intended by its founder, (according to noted author Donn F. Draeger, Judo Training Methods) could be summarized as "Physical Development, Contest Proficiency and Mental Development". It seems that some modern Judo Leaders have narrowed the objective of Judo to only "contest proficiency".

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  • Judo: The Japanese Art of Self Defense

    KanoProf. Jigoro Kano

    The purpose of my talk is to treat Judo as a culture, physical, mental, and moral -- but as it is based on the art of attack and defense, I shall first explain what physical Judo is.

    In the feudal period of Japan, Judo, then more commonly known as Jujutsu, was practiced by our samurai, together with other martial exercises such as fencing, archery, the use of spears and so forth. Judo was an art of fighting, generally without weapons, although sometimes different kinds of weapons were used. The attacks were principally throwing, hitting, kicking, choking, holding the opponent down, and bending or twisting the opponent's arms or legs in such a way as to cause pain or fracture. We have multitudinous ways of defending ourselves against such attacks.

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  • Inside Nage no Kata

    A Guide for the Doubtful Judoka

    Why bother with kata?

    Linda YiannakisLinda Yiannakis

    So, you have a grading coming up. Time to dust off Nage no Kata, trudge through those 15 techniques, and get that over with. Then you can forget all about it and get back to real judo: randori and shiai.

    Really, why do you have to spend time on that unrealistic anachronism that has no apparent connection to anything you want to accomplish in your practice? It’s slow and stilted – it can’t possibly have anything to do with the fast pace and excitement of randori and shiai.

    Nage no Kata might look to you to be just a choreographed exercise in which uke and tori agree, over and over again, to match steps for 2 or 3 paces, at which time tori executes a pretty throw and uke takes a pretty fall. But looks can be deceiving.

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USA TRADITIONAL KODOKAN JUDO™  is a Non-Profit Corporation and the USA National Governing Body (NGB) for Judo with the World Judo Federation (WJF).

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