The Canon of Judo – by Kyuzo Mifune

The Roaming Parkers are purging some items from our hoarder stash – ahem – I mean, “collection,” and being both a book nerd and a martial arts aficionado, I wanted to send some of my most beloved books to homes where they will be loved and used!

The Canon of Judo

The Canon of Judo, by 10th dan Judo master, Kyuzo Mifune, is one of three or four must-have textbooks for serious Judo enthusiasts.  Originally published in Japanese in the mid-1950’s and revised by the author around 1960, my hardback is a 2004 printing of the Francoise White English translation.

The Canon of Judo includes 45 pages of preliminaries and philosophy – best practices from the Judo Master that many people consider to be the foremost proponent of Judo in history – a genius with near-superhuman skill.

Then Mifune goes on with 70 pages of demonstration and explanation of his version of the 40 fundamental techniques of Judo – the Gokyo no Waza.

I say, “his version,” because his ideas of the Gokyo differed from those of the Founder and of the Kodokan Institute.  His lists of 40 techniques contain different techniques in different orders than the lists from (for instance) Kano’s Kodokan Judo textbook.

Later in the book, there is also a section on what Mifune calls “reference techniques,” those being things of interest that did not make it into the previous lists of 40 fundamentals.

These key differences between the ideas of the Founder and the foremost proponent of Judo will provide endless opportunity for study, practice, and growth for any serious Judoka beyond the most fundamental level.

Mifune spends around 50 pages in Canon expounding the ground game (ne-waza) techniques of Judo, including holds, escapes, jointlocks, and chokes.

Finally, there is a gem of a section on what Mifune is perhaps best known for – his miraculous escapes and counters to his opponents’ throws.  Mifune’s Forms of Reversal (see below) are another endless source of study, practice, and learning for interested judoka.

At the time of this writing, The Canon of Judo is out-of-print and Amazon has copies of it listed at around $190.  For the serious Judo enthusiast, that is a good price.

But I would love to send my copy to a loving home with a serious Judoka who will get a lot of use and study and practice out of this tome. Look me up on FB or send me an email and I’ll sell you my copy of Canon of Judo for $100+shipping.


My copy of Canon of Judo has been sold and is being shipped to its new home but I still HIGHLY recommend Canon of Judo as one of the 3-4 best, most foundational, and most extensive books that there is about Judo.  Any time you can find a copy of it for less than about $150, you should snatch it up!

Categories: Martial Arts, Reviews