Dr. Sachio Ashida (Brockport, N.Y.), an Olympic Coach at the 1976 Games in Montreal. In addition, Dr. Ashida served as a referee at the 1984 Olympic Games and was an A-Level kata judge. Born in Japan, Dr. Ashida began studying judo at the age of 12 and continued his study through his military career with the Japanese Imperial Army Air Force during World War II, as an kamikaze pilot. Dr. Ashida moved to the United States in 1953 and received a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska before ultimately relocating to upstate New York where he became an associate professor of psychology at the College at Brockport, State University of New York.
PHILOSOPHY OF JUDO
Dr. Sachio Ashida, Hachidan (8th degree)
excerpted from an article of the same name published in
the 1975 USJF Official Judo Handbook
The average student is eager to learn the physical
and technical side of Judo. The ukemi, nage-waza, osaekomi-waza
and other forms of kata take up much of his attention. The
"philosophy" seems to be pushed aside, forgotten
It is only upon witnessing the courtesy, the simple
ritual of bowing before and after randori or a match that
he realizes there is more to the sport than just working
out or fighting. As he advances, he inadvertently is teaching
a technique to his lesser-experienced partner. He then realizes
the teacher/student concept of Judo. It is through these
experiences and learning procedures that the student learns
the general philosophy of Judo. Nevertheless, the mystery
of the sport motivates him further to study and fortify
this little known area of the philosophy.
He reads and hears Jigoro Kano's two famous principles
of "Maximum Efficiency, and Mutual Welfare and Benefit."
Kano outlined these two ultimate objects of Judo - the perfection
of human character by his form of training methods using
the above two principles. "Maximum Efficiency"
means that whatever is planned, one should do with optimum
use of mental and physical energy
In the practice and competition of Judo the player
learns to throw with a minimum of effort but using to his
benefit the opponent's weakness, momentum and mistakes.
His throws consist of a circle; his defense and counter-throws
are made using the opponent's circle of the throwing technique.
The application of this knowledge, by hard training,
increases his proficiency and efficiency. By these methods,
the principle of maximum efficiency is eventually mastered.
The principle of mutual benefit and welfare takes longer
to learn. This means that all students should help each
other in advancing through judo training. This principle
brings out love, respect and self-control - qualities manifested
by many Judo masters.
By following these two principles, the student will
progress toward his goal. But what is his goal? Each student
must establish his own goal in life. The level of his goal
depends upon his motivation. His Judo teacher may exemplify
a model he wishes to emulate. Through Judo training, he
can attain the characteristics of his teacher if the latter
is a true Judo man. But what is the character of a true
Many instructors use the same training methods but
those who are not themselves developed morally and ethically
achieve nothing. Any system of instruction depends on the
excellence of those who are instructing. Proper Judo training
produces respect, courage, patience, humility, flexibility,
enthusiasm and reliability. As one judoka stated, "these
are the characteristics that are most prized by all of humanity.
The students must remember that many teachers fail to produce
these traits in their students but the instructor never
Judo, when learned and practiced properly, is a sport
that "builds character." The Judo community; however,
feels that Judo and its philosophy contributes more in that
it lets the student achieve his goals in life a little faster
but not necessarily more easily. It is up to the student
to train regularly, to discipline himself, to respect his
peers and superiors, to participate in tournaments, to teach
the lesser experienced and to study and learn the culture