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

Here’s a very rare writing by Kanō shihan. I just made a simple translation; the text is very indirect and complex. The below is simply a truncated paraphrasing.

It’s a very short essay, really just a list in a small, obscure Showa era book not noted by Kanō biographers.  The book was only printed in a small batch in a first edition, and by the time the second edition came out, the book had been completely reworked and this essay was replaced by a much longer essay by Kanō shihan and this disappeared from public view.

The ‘practicing’ is 修行 shugyō, which the excellent defines as:

1. ascetic practices (Buddhist term)

2. training; practice; discipline; study Wikipedia definition 3. Sādhanā (Sanskrit साधन,Tib. སྒྲུབ་ཐབས་, druptap; Wyl. 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.

柔道十二訓 Jūdō’s 12 Precepts – Kanō Jigorō

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 dojo.

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 as practice

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 in mind, one by one consider your problems, keeping in mind the principle of Seiryoku Zenyō Jita Kyōei.


Draft translation copyright July 2016

Lance Gatling

Director / Instructor

Embassy Judo Facebook ‘Embassy Judo’


Tokyo Judo Federation

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