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    Kanos examples of Seiryoku Zenyo or Jita Kyoei for everyday life



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    Re: Kanos examples of Seiryoku Zenyo or Jita Kyoei for everyday life

    Post by Anatol on Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:05 am

    Just repeating one of my former postings to see the context:

    "Prof. Kano’s penname, until he was 60, was “Kônan (甲南).” During his 60's, he wrote under the name “Shinkosaï (進乎斎)” changing it again to “Ki-Issaï (帰一斎)” in his 70’s.

    The name “Kônan” was chosen after Rokko mountain (六甲山) near Kano’s hometown, and hence this was chosen as his first penname.

    “Shinkosaï” was inspired by a phrase of Zhuangzi (荘子), an ancient Chinese philosopher. Echoing an ancient story regarding a cook who valued “the way” more than skills, Prof. Kano intended to include the value-based meaning in his penname “Shinkosaï” stressing the importance of pursuing one's path as a human being rather than acquiring skills."

    Most important:

    You have to understand the classical chinese concepts and ideas of the hundred schools of thought (諸子百家), to draw your own conclusions, because as Kano was a japanese scholar at the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century  the Laozi (Daode Jing) doesn't arise out of nowhere and also even translations of sinologists have their shortcuts, limitations in style and poetry, flaws, personal bias and affinities.

    Kano emphases the "De" in a traditional confucian meaning as learning and selfperfection, benevolence and righteousness to contribute to a better society. In classical daoism the "De" of confucianism is rejected as a beginning of separation from the Dao and from naturalness and simplicity.

    Laozi 38


    A man of the highest virtue does not keep to virtue and that is whyhe has virtue.
    A man of the lowest virtue never strays from virtue and that is whyhe is without virtue.
    The former never acts yet leaves nothing undone.
    The latter acts but there are things left undone.
    A man of the highest benevolence acts, but from no ulterior motive.
    A man of the highest rectitude acts, but from ulterior motive.
    A man most conversant in the rites acts, but when no one responds rollsup his sleeves and resorts to persuasion by force.

    Hence when the way was lost there was virtue;
    When virtue was lost there was benevolence;
    When benevolence was lost there was rectitude;
    When rectitude was lost there were the rites.


    Laozi 48


    In the pursuit of learning one knows more every day;
    In the pursuit of the way one does less every day.
    One does less and less until one does nothing at all, and when onedoes nothing at all there is nothing that is undone.

    Classic Daoism renewals "De" in its oldest meanings as power or old (highest) virtue (like arete in greek). There is a very well written long paper in english devoted to the developments and meanings of "De" in ancient china, written by Scott Barnwell (pdf file):


    The Daoist "De" is more like the "shan" = zen as in "zeiryoku zenyo" as "good" and "virtuous" in a most matching/fitting way with nature, naturalness and simplicity and not as a human concept/idea to correct the way (dao) of society with etiquette and laws.

    This kind of "De" is also very interesting for Judoka (at least for me ...), because of "best use of energy" or "minimum effort, maximum efficiency" and "to fit in in a perfect way".

    Zhuangzi 19.13

    The Artisan

    The artisan Chui made things round (and square) more exactly than if he had used the circle and square. The operation of his fingers on (the forms of) things was like the transformations of them (in nature), and required no application of his mind; and so his Intelligence was entire and encountered no resistance. To be unthought of by the foot that wears it is the fitness of a shoe; to be unthought of by the waist is the fitness of a girdle. When one's wisdom does not think of the right or the wrong (of a question under discussion), that shows the suitability of the mind (for the question); when one is conscious of no inward change, or outward attraction, that shows the mastery of affairs. He who perceives at once the fitness, and never loses the sense of it, has the fitness that forgets all about what is fitting.

    (translated by Legge)

    Zhuangzi 3.2.:

    The Cook

    His cook was cutting up an ox for the ruler Wen Hui. Whenever he applied his hand, leaned forward with his shoulder, planted his foot, and employed the pressure of his knee, in the audible ripping off of the skin, and slicing operation of the knife, the sounds were all in regular cadence. Movements and sounds proceeded as in the dance of 'the Mulberry Forest' and the blended notes of the King Shou.' The ruler said, 'Ah! Admirable! That your art should have become so perfect!' (Having finished his operation), the cook laid down his knife, and replied to the remark, 'What your servant loves is the method of the Dao, something in advance of any art. When I first began to cut up an ox, I saw nothing but the (entire) carcase. After three years I ceased to see it as a whole. Now I deal with it in a spirit-like manner, and do not look at it with my eyes. The use of my senses is discarded, and my spirit acts as it wills. Observing the natural lines, (my knife) slips through the great crevices and slides through the great cavities, taking advantage of the facilities thus presented. My art avoids the membranous ligatures, and much more the great bones. A good cook changes his knife every year; (it may have been injured) in cutting - an ordinary cook changes his every month - (it may have been) broken. Now my knife has been in use for nineteen years; it has cut up several thousand oxen, and yet its edge is as sharp as if it had newly come from the whetstone. There are the interstices of the joints, and the edge of the knife has no (appreciable) thickness; when that which is so thin enters where the interstice is, how easily it moves along! The blade has more than room enough. Nevertheless, whenever I come to a complicated joint, and see that there will be some difficulty, I proceed anxiously and with caution, not allowing my eyes to wander from the place, and moving my hand slowly. Then by a very slight movement of the knife, the part is quickly separated, and drops like (a clod of) earth to the ground. Then standing up with the knife in my hand, I look all round, and in a leisurely manner, with an air of satisfaction, wipe it clean, and put it in its sheath.' The ruler Wen Hui said, 'Excellent! I have heard the words of my cook, and learned from them the nourishment of (our) life.'

    (translated by Legge)

    Zhuangzi 19.10:

    The Swimmer

    Confucius was looking at the cataract near the gorge of Lu, which fell a height of 240 cubits, and the spray of which floated a distance of forty li, (producing a turbulence) in which no tortoise, gavial, fish, or turtle could play. He saw, however, an old man swimming about in it, as if he had sustained some great calamity, and wished to end his life. Confucius made his disciples hasten along the stream to rescue the man; and by the time they had gone several hundred paces, he was walking along singing, with his hair dishevelled, and enjoying himself at the foot of the embankment. Confucius followed and asked him, saying, 'I thought you were a sprite; but, when I look closely at you, I see that you are a man. Let me ask if you have any particular way of treading the water.' The man said, 'No, I have no particular way. I began (to learn the art) at the very earliest time; as I grew up, it became my nature to practise it; and my success in it is now as sure as fate. I enter and go down with the water in the very centre of its whirl, and come up again with it when it whirls the other way. I follow the way of the water, and do nothing contrary to it of myself - this is how I tread it.' Confucius said, 'What do you mean by saying that you began to learn the art at the very earliest time; that as you grew up, it became your nature to practise it, and that your success in it now is as sure as fate?' The man replied, 'I was born among these hills and lived contented among them - that was why I say that I have trod this water from my earliest time. I grew up by it, and have been happy treading it - that is why I said that to tread it had become natural to me. I know not how I do it, and yet I do it - that is why I say that my success is as sure as fate.'

    (translated by Legge)

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    What does "Jundo Seisho" (Accordance with the Way Overcomes Winning) mean?

    Post by noboru on Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:30 pm


    What does "Jundo Seisho" (Accordance with the Way Overcomes Winning) mean?
    The true purpose of the Kodokan is something far greater. In the dojo, we may become distracted by matters right before our eyes such as winning or losing, so we often end up thinking about the rationale that naturally occurs for winning or losing, and neglecting our efforts to cultivate virtue in the space between them. Therefore, if we seek to fully achieve results by following the discipline of Judo in order to cultivate the body, wisdom, and virtue, then we must make particular efforts to use our resources and engage in practice with that in mind.
    The matches between schools I have observed in recent years have made me wonder whether the participants have forgotten the lofty purpose of Judo, and mistakenly think that the purpose of Judo lies in matters right before their eyes such as winning or losing. If one wins, one must win in accord with the Way, and if one loses, one must lose in accord with the Way. Even if one loses while acting in accord with the Way, there is greater value than if one wins by departing from the Way.
    One aspect of Judo is the discipline of competition. At the same time, Judo is a method for training the body and cultivating wisdom and virtue. As these disciplines result in greater strength in competition, Judo must also achieve these other purposes.
    During matches between schools, however, when one side takes the offensive, the other side often simply retreats, so the two sides never have the opportunity to use their techniques on each other. Not only does this way of holding a match lack value in training the body, but it is also uninteresting and gives both sides few opportunities to exercise their resourcefulness. It also leads to one side looking down on the other as cowards, and that state of mind will naturally be manifested in their behavior. The other side will realize that they were behaving in a cowardly manner, but they will still end up feeling negatively toward their opponents. As just one example, if something like this happens frequently, then ultimately the matches do not bring the schools into harmony with each other, but instead cause discord. This is not the fault of Judo. We must consider it the fault of those who used Judo wrongly.
    You may then wonder whether this way of holding matches is appropriate as a discipline in competition itself. It is not at all. When schools hold a match, winning or losing is not the purpose. The real purpose is ensuring that when the need arises—although we can't know when this will be—we will not blunder in taking action that determines victory or defeat. Matches between schools are no more than one kind of practice in the course of our discipline. That is why what is important in matches is not winning or losing, but rather the commitment to cultivating our real abilities so that we will not lose when a match takes place in deadly earnest. However, if we do not bring our strengths fully into play with each other, but instead only run away from each other or devise defensive measures, this is neither interesting nor allows us to make progress in our abilities. That is why engaging in a match with this kind of attitude is not advisable from any perspective.
    When a match between schools is held in a sensible manner, then not only is it interesting, but it is of course effective as physical training and it also yields considerable results for the cultivation of wisdom and virtue. Furthermore, it is an appropriate method for promoting the spread of Judo.
    When a match is held between schools with the goal of fully achieving that purpose, then the thinking of both sides in the match must conform totally to the Judo spirit. First of all, as I explained earlier, neither winning nor losing is the main purpose of the match. It is a secondary purpose. The main purpose is to refine our own abilities through that experience, and practice acting as hosts to the other side and having friendly contact with people from the other school. We should enjoy matching our techniques against those of people from the other school. We should wonder what kinds of techniques these people with whom we don't usually have matches might have. Will they use some totally unexpected technique on us so that we lose? Since they don't know our techniques, what kinds of mistakes will the other side make? This is not just a match of Judo techniques. It is a chance to compare the spirit and attitudes that we have cultivated through the discipline of Judo with the spirit and attitudes of our counterparts, and if there is any area where we don't match up, to find out how we can learn from them, or if we are ahead in an area, how we can guide them. We are currently from different schools but someday we will both be responsible adults working in our society, so we should take this opportunity to become friendly with each other. We should make the effort now so that someday when we are out in the world together, we won't have the kind of small-minded attitude that could divide us just because we attended different schools. We must hold matches of this kind with this mindset. If matches between schools take place in a spirit like this, then I expect the kinds of difficulties about which we have been hearing up to now to disappear, and all the headmasters to join together in encouraging matches between their schools.
    It is regrettable but must be acknowledged that matters have not yet progressed to that point. Ultimately, this is because the spirit of Judo culture is not yet being manifested. The technique of Judo is important. It is precious. However, if technique existed all on its own and was not accompanied by the cultivation of wisdom and virtue, then society would not place so much value on Judo experts. Technique separate from cultivation in other areas is comparable to the technique of tumblers. I would not consider it worthy of any particular respect. People who pursue the discipline of Judo gain the ability to make a significant contribution to society because they have accumulated experience in studying and practicing both literary and martial arts, and then they also become worthy of the respect of people in society.
    *** Today there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of Kodokan Judo practitioners, and I would like all of them to taste what Judo truly is. Beyond that, there are people who have not yet even entered into the practice of Judo, and I would like to bring the benefits of Judo to them as well.


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    柔道十二訓 Judo’s 12 Precepts

    Post by noboru on Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:52 am

    Below is translations of some Kanos Judo’s 12 Precepts - Kanô Jigorô from years 1930 - 1935. I search points 11 and 12 very interesting. It could be short "Kano's manual for orientation in everyday life". :-)

    Lance wrote:
    Here's a very rare writing by Kanô shihan, and I just took a (very!!) rough cut at a translation; it is very indirect and complex.
    柔道十二訓 Judo’s 12 Precepts - Kanô Jigorô, 1930
    Practicing jûdô as Budô
    1. Practice kata and randori as carefully as if your opponent is armed with a live sword.
    2. Do not forget that the objective of jûdô study is to improve every day, not to win or lose.
    3. Jûdô practice is not limited to the dojo.

    Practicing jûdô as Physical Exercise
    4. Avoid dangerous techniques and optimize your exercise to train your body.
    5. Do not neglect proper food, sleep and rest.
    6. Exercise correctly, not carelessly, in accordance with proper principles.

    Practicing jûdô as Spiritual Training
    7. Conduct kata and randori with your best effort.
    8. Endeavor to practice not only with your powers of judgement, but also with your powers of intuition.
    9. It is necessary to consider others’ reactions to you in your self reflection.

    Practicing jûdô principles in Daily Life
    10. In the basics of your daily life, bear in mind the principle of ‘Seiryoku Zenyô Jita Kyôei’ .
    11. When faced with occasional inconsistencies in your teachings, keep in mind the principle of ‘Seiryoku Zenyô Jita Kyôei’.
    12. When faced with many pressures, even the daily necessities of life in mind, one by one consider your problems, keeping in mind the principle of ‘Seiryoku Zenyô Jita Kyôei’.

    Draft translation July 2016
    Lance Gatling, Director / Instructor, Embassy Judo

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    Points for Dan holders (yudansha) from Jigoro Kano - 1935

    Post by noboru on Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:57 am

    Next translation from Lance - points for Yudansha from Jigoro Kano - 1935

    Lance wrote:The rules of the Kodokan Yudanshakai (Dan Grade Holders Association, i.e., 1 dan and higher ranks) circa 1935. Rules that make a lot of sense today.
    1. Yudansha must constantly exhibit the spirit of Kodokan Judo.
    2. Yudansha must master the essence of judo through constant, exhaustive training and polishing of their character by being exemplars for less experienced judoka.
    3. Yudansha must abide by the rules of judo and take the initiative to kindly show less experienced judoka the rules.
    4. Yudansha must exhaust all efforts and take advantage of cooperation to develop and diffuse judo.
    5. Yudansha with opinions regarding judo should offer them to Shihan (i.e., Master Kano) through the Kodokan Management Division.
    Translated by Lance Gatling
    Embassy Judo
    Director / Instructor
    Jan 2017

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    Re: Kanos examples of Seiryoku Zenyo or Jita Kyoei for everyday life

    Post by NBK on Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:09 pm

    I don't think either of the above 2 - the 12 precepts and instructions to yudansha - have ever been translated before.

    The first in particular was a surprise to me, written mid-1930s. By that time Kano shihan had a very clear image of judo as a sort of secular philosophy, but that ran afoul of the predominate imperialist / militarist thought. He did write of the responsibilities for Japanese to be good subjects, but apparently wanted judo to be more universal.

    Some short time after the 12 precepts were published in a book only published in very small numbers, there was essentially a revolt in the Kodokan board. Kano shihan was almost pushed out of his position as 'kancho', the head of the Kodokan. I think the two are not necessarily unrelated - while Imperial and militarist rationale was used to justify most everything, including kendo, sumo, you name it, Kano shihan remained opposed.

    But after putative board revolt, Kano shihan did change. There's not a lot written about it, but there is some evidence.

    Lance Gatling

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    beginning and ending with respect (a bow)

    Post by noboru on Thu May 03, 2018 7:53 pm

    Source: http://www.judo-ch.jp/english/kanou_life/kanou/10/

    Jigoro Kano and the Olympics
    The death of Jigoro

    Jigoro did not return to Japan immediately after Tokyo won its hosting bid in Cairo. Instead, he attended the memorial service being held for Baron de Coubertin in Athens. He then traveled to the United States via Italy and France. In the United States, he met with the other IOC (International Olympic Committee) members and thanked them for their cooperation in Japan's bid to host the Olympics, and requested their help in ensuring that as many athletes as possible participate. This was very much in keeping with Jigoro's Judo creed of "beginning and ending with respect (a bow)". Having completed this duty, Jigoro boarded a ship for Japan, and died en route, never to set foot in his homeland again. His advanced age, combined with fatigue from the journey, had brought on pneumonia.

    Jigoro's life thus ended without his witnessing the Tokyo Olympics for which he had worked so diligently. His last words show that he was thinking of Judo to the very end: "Photographs are a good way to depict "Kata" (form) ... ".

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