The Canon of Judo

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The Canon of Judo
The Canon of Judo.jpg
First English edition
Author Kyuzo Mifune
TranslatorFrancoise White
Language English
Genre Martial Arts
Publisher Seibuno Shinkosha
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
ISBN 4-7700-2979-9 (1st edition, hardcover)
OCLC 56015517
Preceded by Canon of Judo  

The Canon of Judo is a book that was originally published in 1956, and written by Kodokan 10th dan, Kyuzo Mifune (1883-1965). The book covers almost all of the Kodokan recognized techniques, adds variations and new techniques, including Do-Jime in passing as well. The book also describes fifteen Kata developed by Mifune to teach adaptation through reversal and counters. The book organizes the techniques differently from the official Kodokan Gokyo.

This book is based on new and revised material by the author made between the original publish date and the authors death. [1] The original book, "Canon of Judo", does not contain this information. Furthermore, the original book was translated by K. Sugai whose translations were poor at best. (For example, "Or this is to throw him down by foot sweeping instant before his advanced-feet are fixed in order to change his position or break your balance.") [2]

Subjects covered

The book gives a brief history of Jujutsu in Japan, and gives the lineage of Judo, referencing Jujutsu masters prior to Jigoro Kano. To show the early origins and continuous development of the martial arts in Japan, a long list of historical text sources, people, and schools and styles are mentioned.

In the book, Kyuzo Mifune explains his metaphysical view of Judo, its role in Japanese society (and the world), and benefits to the individual player. He notes that Judo initially only included throws, and explains the difference between Judo and Ju-jutsu. He discusses the role of competition in Judo, and the purpose of free practice, randori, and explains that it is an indispensable part of the sport.

Although the book mentions the five kata, [3]

  1. Nage (Throwing Forms)
  2. Kime (Forms of Decision)
  3. Katame (Grappling Forms)
  4. Ju (Forms of Gentleness)
  5. Koshiki (Ancient Forms)

it does not cover them.

Furthermore, it does not cover Atemi-waza, but states that Atemi-waza include strikes, kicks, hits, and attacks using the fist, foot, elbow, kneecap, side of the palm, shoulder, or head, to attack the opponents vital points.

Lastly before going into each technique in detail, the book covers some basic concepts of techniques, such as Tai-sabaki (body control) and Hen-nou (adaptability). It can be surmised that throwing techniques have at least three phases:

  1. Kuzushi, balance breaking
  2. Tsukuri, positioning
  3. Kake, execution

Related Research Articles

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Kyuzo Mifune Japanese judoka

Kyuzo Mifune has been categorized as one of the greatest exponents of the art of judo after the founder, Kanō Jigorō. He is considered by many to be the greatest judo technician ever, after Kanō.

Hiza guruma Judo technique

Hiza guruma (膝車) is one of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Kano Jigoro. It belongs to the first group of the traditional throwing list in the Gokyo no waza of the Kodokan Judo. It is also included in the current 67 throws of Kodokan Judo. It is classified as a foot technique (ashiwaza).

O goshi Judo technique

Ō goshi is one of the original 40 throws of Judo as compiled by Jigoro Kano.

Ippon seoi nage Judo technique

The ippon seoi nage (一本背負投) is a throw in judo. It is a variant of Seoi nage, and is one of the nineteen accepted techniques in Shinmeisho No Waza of Kodokan Judo. It is classified as a hand throwing technique, or te-waza.

Hane goshi Judo technique

Hane goshi is a throw in judo. It is one of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Jigoro Kano. It belongs to the third group, Sankyo, of the traditional throwing list, Gokyo, of Kodokan Judo. It is also part of the current 67 Throws of Kodokan Judo. It is classified as a hip technique, Koshi-Waza. Hane goshi is also one of the 20 techniques in Danzan Ryu's Nagete list.

Ude hishigi waki gatame Judo technique

Ude-Hishigi-Waki-Gatame is an armlock and one of the official 29 grappling techniques of Kodokan Judo. It is one of the nine joint techniques of the Kansetsu-waza list, one of the three grappling lists in Judo's Katame-waza enumerating 29 grappling techniques. Falling directly to the mat while applying or attempting to apply the Waki gatame in competition is listed as an Hansoku-make by the International Judo Federation.

Ude hishigi sankaku gatame Judo technique

Ude-Hishigi-Sankaku-Gatame (腕挫三角固), also referred to as Ao muke gata ude hishigi (背中方腕挫) in the Canon Of Judo, is one of the official 29 grappling techniques of Kodokan Judo. It is one of the nine joint techniques of the Kansetsu-waza list, one of the three grappling lists in Judo's Katame-waza, enumerating 29 grappling techniques, and is also demonstrated by Kyuzo Mifune in the video The Essence of Judo.

Yoko otoshi Judo technique

Yoko Otoshi (横落) is one of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Jigoro Kano. It belongs to the third group,

Hane Goshi Gaeshi is a throw in judo and is categorized as a foot technique, Ashi-waza. It is one of the techniques adopted later by the Kodokan into their Shinmeisho No Waza list.

Jujutsu Japanese martial art

Jujutsu, also known as jiu-jitsu and ju-jitsu, is a family of Japanese martial arts and a system of close combat that can be used in a defensive or offensive manner to kill or subdue one or more weaponless or armed and armored opponents. A subset of techniques from certain styles of jujutsu was used to develop many modern martial arts and combat sports, such as judo, aikido, sambo, ARB, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts.

The Nage-waza ura-no-kata is a judo kata that, like the Gonosen-no-kata, focuses on counter-attacks to throwing techniques. It was developed by Mifune Kyūzō, and is not an officially recognized Kodokan kata.

Tsubame Gaeshi (燕返し) is a Judo throw that falls within the seventeen techniques of the Shimmeisho no waza, officially recognised by the Kodokan in 1982. Literally translated as "Swallow Counter", Tsubame gaeshi is the countering of an ashi waza with Deashi harai from the opposite leg. A right-handed Deashi-harai executed by uke, for instance, would be avoided by tori bending his right knee, followed by a left-handed Deashi-harai. Tsubame gaeshi as a counter against uke's Deashi harai is the opening move of the Kaeshi-no-kata. As a counter against Okuriashi harai, it forms the sixth technique of the Nage-Waza-Ura-no-kata.

Atemi Ju-Jitsu, in Japanese: Atemi (当て身) Jujutsu (柔術), also called Pariset Ju-Jitsu, was established in France in the 1940s by the late Judo and Ju-Jitsu legend Bernard Pariset to revive and preserve old martial techniques inherited from Feudal Japan.

The Katame-waza ura-no-kata is a judo kata that can be considered as a complement to Mifune Kyūzō's Nage-waza ura-no-kata, but that instead focuses on counter-attacks to controlling techniques rather than throwing techniques. It was compiled by Itō Kazuo from techniques developed by other Japanese newaza experts, and is not an officially recognized Kodokan kata.


  1. Mifune 1956, p. 5.
  2. Mifune 1956, p. 48.
  3. "Forms of Judo: Kata".