The "ju" of Judo

by Kiko Matsing

Be strong. Be gentle. Be beautiful. In judo you need strength of body, mind, and soul. I don’t mean beauty on the external sense. A compassionate soul is inner beauty. I believe this is true beauty. The gentleness is derived from the Japanese character “ju” which means flexibility, softness. In Kano’s Kodokan book there is an illustration where a very large man is standing, and a small woman wearing a kimono is pushing his chest with her index finger, and the man collapses. This is the essence of gentleness, the “ju” of judo.