Extract                                                                                                                                                                                                  dragonMask

I began Judo with Yukio TANI, a Japanese teacher of the old school. To most students he taught Judo as a health-giving sport, but for a few really keen ones the training was on a different basis.

I was one of these, practising every evening till the training period ended. One day I felt rather off-colour, and prepared to leave early.

The teacher said: “Where are you going?”

I replied, “I am not feeling very well: I will come tomorrow”.

He said, ‘If a man comes up to you in the street with a hammer, wanting to kill you, can you say to him “I am not feeling very well; come back tomorrow”?’

I remained that evening till he sent me home.

This one remark, heard only that time but never forgotten, was a big help later on when facing very gruelling training programmes, and very gruelling life situations.


 The balance in stillness is not the real balance:

it is the balance in intense activity that is the real balance.


Judo, at first mistaken for fighting, and with daunting training programmes, seems like a dragon or demon.

But this is only a mask.

Beyond the mask is something calm, effective and friendly. Yet that too is a mask.

There is something further: transcendence of the limited field of the Judo hall itself, to the spirit of the Way which has its application everywhere.




The book by a high-grade Judo expert who trained some international Judo stars, gives lively accounts of his own traditional-style training, and something of his own training methods to develop the inner side of Judo.

Close combat is a deep-seated instinct, and one aim of Judo is to refine and finally spiritualize it into an inner training for mutual benefit -making friends and not enemies.

Some of the pieces are very unusual – for instance how a boy who has lostan arm but is still madly keen on Judo, is trained in secret so that he can win a county championship.

There are reminiscences of the classical figures in Judo; Trevor Leggett at seventeen met Dr. Jigoro KANO and heard him describe the incident where one of his maids whom he had instructed in a particular way of doing the laundry, used the method to rout a Tokyo down-town tough who attacked her.




Judo and the WaysThe Dragon Mask I
IntroductionThe Dragon Mask II
Efficiency of the HeartOnshi
Outer and Inner BalanceTricks
Judo and CalligraphyManners
The Cherry TreeThe Killer Instinct
QuestionA lovely style
Cutting off the bull’s hornsSpecialization
HelpTigers and Rabbits
Limits of TechniqueSpecialities
HumblePredicting the Result
Dr. Kano’s washingNew Black Belt
Thetradition of JudoKangeiko
BeginnersThe learning process
Hard and softFalling
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