Since the fundamental principle acquired
through the practice of Jujitsu has been elevated to a finer
moral concept called Judo, The Way of Gentleness, it may well
be said that the primary objective of practicing Judo is perfection
of character. And to perfect one's character, one must be
grateful for the abundant blessings of Heaven, Earth, and
Nature, as well as for the great love of parents: one must
realize his enormous debt to teachers and be ever mindful
of his obligations to the general public.
As a member of a family, one's first duty
is to be filial to parents, to be helpful and harmonious
with one's wife or husband, and to be affectionate to brothers
and sisters, so that the family may be a sound, successful,
and harmonious unit of the community.
As a member of a nation one must be grateful
for the protection which one derives as a citizen; one must
guard against self-interest and foster a spirit of social
service. One must be discreet in action, yet hold courage
in high regard, and strive to cultivate manliness. One must
be gentle, modest, polite, and resourceful; never eccentric,
but striving always to practice moderation in all things.
One must realize that these qualities constitute the secret
of the practice of Judo.
Anyone who practices Judo should neither be
afraid of the strong nor despise the weak: nor should he
act contrary to the strength of his enemy because of the
art he has acquired. For example, when a boat is set afloat
on water, one man's strength is sufficient to move the boat
back and forth. This is only possible because the boat floats;
for if, on the other hand, the boat is placed on dry land,
the same man's strength is scarcely sufficient to move it.
It is necessary, therefore, that the weak should learn this
fact with regard to the strong.
The forms and techniques should be remembered
as the basic art of Judo. One should never use these arts
against anyone without sufficient justification. Therefore,
refrain from arrogance and do not despise a small enemy
or a weak opponent.
Every student of Judo should realize that
honesty is the foundation of all virtues. Kindness is the
secret of business prosperity, Amiability is the essence
of success, Working pleasantly is the mother of health.
Strenuous effort and diligence conquer adverse circumstances.
Simplicity, fortitude, and manliness are the keys to joy
and gladness; and service to humanity is the fountain of
mutual existence and common prosperity.
As aptly expressed in the poem The boughs
that bear most hang lowest, one should never forget the
virtue of modesty as one attains proficiency in the art
of Judo. Do not disdain or regard lightly either literary
or military art; each is important and deserves equal cultivation
and respect. Within constant motion and change there is
tranquility; and within tranquility, there is motion and
Remember always parental love and one's enormous
indebtedness to teachers. Be grateful for the protection
of Heaven and Earth. Be a good leader to younger men. To
lead younger men well, will in the long run, mean to attain
proficiency in the skill of Judo.
Like a drawing in India ink of the whispering
of wind in the pines, the secrets of Judo can only be suggested.
Only through personal experience can one comprehend the
mystic ecstacy of such secrets. It is said of Jujitsu that
it would require ten years of practice to win victory over
one's self and twenty years to win victory over others.
Whatever the trials or dangers, even Hell
under the upraised sword, remain calm and remember the doctrine
imparted to you by your teacher. A noted verse reads: “For
the lotus flower to fall is to rise to the surface.”
Only by cultivating a receptive state of mind, without preconceived
ideas or thoughts, can one master the secret art of reacting
spontaneous and naturally without hesitation and without
These are the secrets of Kodenkan into which
I have had the honor to initiate you.
Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki
Director of the Kodenkan