Judo – Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano (1860 – 1938) was a Japanese educator, athlete, and the founder of judo. He is also known as the “father of Japanese physical education”

Kano began practicing jiu-jitsu as a young man to strengthen his body. He studied the Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and Kito-ryu styles of classical jiu-jitsu and added his ideas to develop a complete fighting system that he called “Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort”. In 1882, he founded The Kodokan, and judo became one of the first Japanese martial arts to gain widespread international recognition. In 1912, he helped establish the Japan Amateur Athletic Association and represented Japan at the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Olympic Games. In 1882, he also became the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee. 

Kano was also an innovative educator who reformed the Higher Normal High School by establishing a free campus environment, introducing extracurricular activities, and admitting Chinese students. He also extended the duration of teacher training to be the same as that of universities.