The Kodokan Institute (講道館, Kōdōkan?) is
the headquarters of the judo world.
Literally, kō means "to lecture" or "to spread information," dō
means "the way," and kan is "a public building or hall," together
translating roughly as "a place for the study or promotion of the
way." It was established by
the founder of judo in 1882, and is now located in an 8 story
building in Tokyo, Japan.
The Kodokan Institute offers classes
for those who want to master judo. The program is authorized as a
non-regular school by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Its courses
include the theories and practice of judo, and matters of general
education. The course is divided into two; a general course for
novices, and special courses for those who have completed the
general course or its equivalent.
The Kodokan also issues ranks and many judo black belts around the
world become Kodokan members and have their ranks registered with
The Institute was founded with only nine disciples. The growth of
judo in its early years is demonstrated by the growth of the Kodokan
There are eight floors and a basement
to the Kodokan Dojo each serving purposes for housing, training, and
research by judoka. The basement holds the cafeteria and some
conference rooms. The first floor has parking, a bank, and a store.
The second floor contains a library and more conference rooms. The
third floor is for judoka and visitors who are living in the dojo.
The fourth floor is dressing rooms with the fifth, sixth, and
seventh floors all used for training space (the seventh floor is
called the Main Dojo) and the 8th floor is for spectators and has
seats that look down into the main space of the seventh floor.
The Kano Memorial Hall, Historical hall,
exhibition room, and material stock room are located in the second
The halls contain photos of the development of judo as well as
information on some of the great masters of the system, as well as
written documents, photographs and other information of the life of
Jigoro Kano and the people he met through his travels.
The extensive library on the second floor holds over seven thousand
books pertaining to judo, and is planned to be increased eventually.
There are four research laboratories on the second floor:
1st Lab : Theoretical and historical study of Judo.
2st Lab : Psychological study of Judo.
3rd Lab : Technical analysis of Judo. Research on the physical
strength of Judo-players.
4th Lab : Physiological study of Judo.
The Research Staff use fundamental and applied science to work with
foreign researchers. Research is displayed to the public and free of
charge to view once during the year.
Judoka visiting and training in the
Kodokan can take lodging in the Third Floor. There are five rooms
for use during training camps that hold twenty people each. Judo
Sensei and Players (when no camp is in session) may live in suites
for either one or two people that have their own baths and showers.
The lodging fees are as follows:
Room for training camps : 1 night / person 1,800 yen ($15.21 US)
Single room : 1 night / person 3,500 yen ($29.58 US) Deluxe single
room : 1 night / person 5,000 yen ($42.26 US) Deluxe twin room : 1
night / person 9,000 yen ($76.07 US) Extra bed : each 1,800 yen
to Tokyo can visit the Kodokan to watch or attend practice. Visitors
may walk up to the main floor of the dojo to watch practices or
competitions. Permission is required to attend the practice for
transient students. One-time visitors are most likely to be allowed
to take part in a randori session with foreign students.
The Main Dojo is found on the second
floor. The Dojo is carefully designed to give the precise amount of
floor spring, brightness, and ventilation.
Four official contests can be held at the same time in the main Dojo
on the seventh floor. It has 420 mats and approximately 900
spectators can be received on the eighth floor. Medical equipment is
provided in case of emergencies.