Kano’s 12 Precepts of Jūdō – The Kano Chronicles®

The 12 Precepts of Jūdō – Kanō Jigorō 1930

(updated 10.6.2022) This rare text by Kanō shihan (master) is very indirect and complex.  The below is simply a truncated paraphrasing of that list in an obscure early Showa era book.    


The ‘practice’ mentioned is 修行 shugyō, which the excellent www.jisho.org defines as:

1. ascetic practices (Buddhist term)
2. training; practice; discipline; study
3. Wiki: Shugyo – Sādhanā (Sanskrit साधन, Tibetan སྒྲུབ་ཐབས་, druptap; Wylie sgrub thabs), literally “a means of accomplishing something” is ego-transcending spiritual practice. It includes a variety of disciplines in Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim traditions that are followed in order to achieve various spiritual or ritual objectives.

Seiryoku zenyō Jita kyōei are the two phrases of Kanō shihan’s jūdō philosophy,
typically translated as “Best use of energy / Mutual benefit” (see postscript)

柔道十二訓 Jūdō‘s 12 Precepts – Kanō Jigorō, 1930

Jūdō practice as Budō

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 jūdō study is to improve every day,
not to win or lose.

3. Jūdō practice is not limited to the dōjō.

Jūdō practice 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.

Jūdō practice 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.

Jūdō principles applied to Daily Life

10. In the basics of your daily life, bear in mind the principle of ‘Seiryoku Zenyō Jita Kyōei’ .

11. When faced with occasional inconsistencies in your teachings,
keep in mind the principle of ‘Seiryoku Zenyō Jita Kyōei’.

12. When faced with many pressures, even the daily necessities of life, consider your problems one by one, keeping in mind the principle of ‘Seiryoku Zenyō Jita Kyōei’.

Translation ©Copyright 2022 Lance Gatling, The Kanō Chronicles

Postscript: For a full explanation of精力善用自他共栄Seiryoku Zenyō Jita Kyōei
Best Use of Energy / Mutual Benefit, the jūdō philosophies of Kanō shihan, please refer to
The Origins and Development of Kanō Jigorō’s Jūdō Philosophies by Lance Gatling, International Judo Federation Arts and Science of Judo , Vol. 1, No. 2, December 2021, pages 50-64.

Lance Gatling
Author / Lecturer
The Kanō Chronicles
Tokyo, Japan
Contact@kanochronicles.com – please send a note to give us feedback.
Thank you!
©Copyright 2022 Lance Gatling, The Kanō Chronicles

2 thoughts on “Kano’s 12 Precepts of Jūdō – The Kano Chronicles®

  1. Getting ready to mail out entire SAC- USAF Aircrew & Air Police Combative Nb Measures – Air Police Law Enforcement/Air Base Defence Program on FD.

    Please email or text me your snail mail address.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s