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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. About Kodokan
2. Visit Kodokan
3. Practice Judo at Kodokan
4. Kodokan Hostel and Facilities
5. Lost Membership Card and Diploma
6. Kodokan Shop
7. Kodokan International Department


1. About Kodokan

QuestionWhat is Kodokan Judo?
AnswerKodokan Judo is a Japanese martial art which was established by Jigoro Kano in 1882. He mastered two styles of Jujutsu, an art of attack and defense without a use of arms in battlefields. Seeing it educationally valuable, Kano Shihan aspired to spread the knowledge among the young. While discarding dangerous techniques, which were eventually preserved in Kata, or prearranged sequences of techniques, he adopted the good part of it and got inventive. He proposed theories to match with techniques, going with the new current of the times. He also put forward "physical education, moral education and martial arts" as objectives, and changed Ju-"Jutsu", meaning techniques, to Ju-"Do," meaning a way of life.
Kodokan stands for an "institution to teach people the way of life." Ever since its foundation, Kodokan has encouraged people to learn Judo, which Kano Shihan described as "a way to use spiritual and physical power in the most effective way." To learn more, click here.

QuestionWhat is the goal of Kodokan Judo?
AnswerThe goal of Kodokan Judo is to build oneself up to perfection and benefit the world, through training and aiming higher. Kano Jigoro Shihan stated that one can build not only his/her physical but spiritual strength, which can be eventually applied to every field of social welfare.

QuestionWhat does Shihan mean?
AnswerShihan is an honorific title for professors of Japanese traditional arts such as Budo or martial arts, Kado or flower arrangement, and Shodo or calligraphy. In the world of Kodokan Judo, Shihan means the grand master and is only used for Kano Jigoro Shihan.

QuestionWho can become a member of Kodokan?
AnswerAnyone can become a member. You can learn how to apply here.


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2. Visit Kodokan

QuestionCan I look around Kodokan?
Answer Yes, you can. Please note that only a self-guided tour is available. Please click here to learn the facility.

QuestionHow can I deepen my knowledge about Judo outside Dojo?
Answer Check out the Kodokan Museum and Library where historical materials of Kano Jigoro Shihan and Judo are displayed. For hours and more information, please click here. You can also visit Kano Shihan’s grave (outside Kodokan). Please click here to learn the location.

QuestionCan I watch Judo classes?
Answer Yes, you certainly may. Randori class takes place from 6:00 to 8:00PM Monday to Friday and 6:00 to 7:30PM on Saturdays. Boys and girls class is from 4:30 to 6:00PM Monday to Saturday. Both take place on the 7th floor main Dojo. Please go up to the 8th floor spectator seating.
Women’s class is held on the 5th floor from 6:00 to 7:30PM Monday to Saturday, so you need to visit the international department to make an appointment by 5:30PM. The schedule changes are updated on the top page regularly.


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3. Practice Judo at Kodokan

QuestionWho can practice Judo at Kodokan?
AnswerAnyone who knows how to do Randori can join the daily Randori session (except Sundays and holidays). If experienced in Judo’s Randori, click here. If you are a beginner and want to start learning it from the basics, click here.

QuestionDo I have to wear Judogi (uniform)?
AnswerYes. Please bring a pair of white Judogi when you join the classes. Men are not allowed to wear anything underneath the Jacket. However, women can wear a Judogi jacket on top of a simple white T-shirt. Blue Judogi are not permitted at Kodokan.

QuestionDo men and women practice together?
AnswerRandori is open to both male and female black-belt holders and those with as much experience. Male beginners’ classes are taught separately. There is a female class where beginners and the experienced can join to not only learn techniques but also Kata and manners.

QuestionDo international students and Japanese students practice together?
AnswerYes. Class instructions are given in Japanese, but there is at least one instructor whom you can ask questions to in English.

QuestionDo you offer an insurance I can take out?
AnswerPlease apply for one on your own.

QuestionDo you support prospective students to get a visa?
AnswerNo, we are by no means able to support you in the matter. Please consult the Embassy or Consulate of Japan in your country.

QuestionI have Jujutsu experience. Am I still considered a beginner in Judo?
AnswerJudo and Jujutsu have things in common, but they are two different kinds of martial arts. In order for you to acquire the basics of Judo properly, you should enroll into Kodokan School of Judo.

QuestionAre private lessons available?
AnswerYes they are. Please note that we cannot conduct private or group lessons in certain periods. Please ask the International Department for details.

QuestionI have Dan in my country. Can I wear a black belt when I practice at Kodokan?
AnswerYes, you can.

QuestionHow old do you have to be to join the classes?
AnswerBoys and Girls classes are available for kids older than 6 years of age. There is an interview with an instructor before the sign-up. Pre-school classes are also available for kids of age 4 and 5.

QuestionDo you have any Kata class?
AnswerWe have a Kata class once a month. The date is posted on the top page. You may also practice Kata in Randori sessions. For those who are 4th Dan or higher, there is a summer Kata course where you can intensively learn Kata with special instructors.


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4. Kodokan Hostel and Facilities

QuestionHow can I stay at the Kodokan hostel?
AnswerAs long as the purpose of your stay is to practice Judo, you can get a Kodokan membership and stay here. Email us about your traveling details, including everyone’s name, sex, date of birth, Judo Dan/ experience, dates for check-in and out. Please also electronically send a photocopy of a document that says you belong to a Dojo in your country.

QuestionHow long can I stay there?
AnswerYou can stay here for up to three months.

QuestionDo you have large rooms for groups?
AnswerYes, we have a few dormitory rooms with a capacity for 20 people. Please ask the international department for more information and reservations.

QuestionCan children stay at the hostel?
AnswerPeople under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian.

QuestionDo you have a meal plan?
AnswerNo, but there is a kitchen to cook your own food.

QuestionIs there a fitness gym in Kodokan?
AnswerYes. Please come in a group of two or more people for safety reasons.


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5. Lost Membership Card and Diplomaa

QuestionI lost my membership card. How can I get a new one?
AnswerThe replacement fee and shipping fee are required. Please contact the international department.

QuestionI lost my Kodokan Dan Diploma. Is it possible to get a new one?
AnswerYes it is. There is a replacement charge depending on your Dan level. Please contact us for details.


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6. Kodokan Shop

QuestionIs there a shop where I can buy Judogi / Obi?
AnswerThe Kodokan shop is located on the first floor of the Dojo building for souvenirs and Judo equipments. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 1PM and 2PM to 6PM.

QuestionIs there an online store?
AnswerYes there is. Please click here to jump.

QuestionMay I have my name embroidered on my Judo-gi/Obi?
AnswerYes you may do so at the shop. It takes about 3 weeks after receiving your order. For an urgent request, there are other stores you can try; please inquire the international department for that matter.

QuestionCan I use my credit card at the shop?
AnswerNo, we only accept Japanese Yen by cash. You can use your credit card on the internet shop here.



7. Kodokan International Department



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