Kanō Jigoro‘s name quickly became synonymous with one of today’s most popular competitive sports, as he founded judo in the late 19th century.
Japan was undergoing a major social transformation at the time, and the traditional samurai martial arts were beginning to take a back seat. Jigoro found his passion at a very young age. He did his best to learn the various martial arts in depth and to bring them back into the public consciousness, so he learned from the best masters. His talent was soon noticed, for, despite his diminutive stature, he had no trouble beating his much more formidable opponents.
Throughout his career, he has worked hard to turn what could be considered a harmless fight into a safe and enjoyable form of exercise for young people. It was then that he decided to eliminate from the martial arts he had studied those techniques that could have seriously endangered the safety of the competitors. He thus created his school of Judo, this time under his own rules.
On his deathbed, he had one last wish. He wanted to be laid to rest with a white belt around his waist instead of a black one because he wanted to be remembered as a student and not a master.