Masahiko Kimura – Short Documentary

Below is a video about training with the legendary Masahiko Kimura. Kimura is widely regarded as one of the greatest judoka of all time.

The video is brief yet the narration offers valuable lessons about combat training. For example, in response to some of the daily requirements, the narrator offers the following:

“This is unreasonable, we know that, but it pushes us beyond a physical limit, to another place, way outside or way inside. I don’t know where exactly, but I’ve been there.”

In today’s world, such an approach would be considered excessive and unnecessary. I’m not here to argue one way or another, but I can say that there are times when the best work makes the least sense. I’ve done things both personally and with my fighters that wouldn’t make sense on paper. The illogical approach was necessary at the time however to reach that place discussed by the narrator.

Masahiko Kimura was a legend. He didn’t become who he was by training like everyone else. He took himself to another place and stayed there throughout much of his life. The results speak for themselves. His success is undeniable, both as an athlete and later as an instructor.


  1. Very cool.

    I also liked his line “In the beginning, I was a mystic, I suppose. But there’s no magic, no secret technique. Just hard work.”

    I’m mangling the quote a bit, but the spirit is right, I think.

  2. awsome clip! I like the mind set. Kinda trippy with the whole outside and inside thing. I would like to go to that point one day just to see how it feels like. 600 pushups, imagine 100 burpees a day. Thats tight

    1. Nothing special once you can do 600 pushups a day its same feeling as when you do 60 pushups a day, but your body does begin to change soon.

  3. I feel like I must reach that “other place” at least once in my lifetime. To not do so would be an insult to my very existence…

    I fear that it will be no easy task for my human self is weak and desires comfort from the slightest of hardships.

  4. I was a serious student of Judo back when I was a young teenager all throughout my 20’s. I was a student at the American Buddhist Academy in NYC’s Upper West Side. We were taught the Kodokan way and we excelled quickly. I am in my 60’s now and I can say I still know and enjoy the sport. Thank you for this post which is near and dear to my heart.

  5. They said that when Kimura was in the hospital in a terminal situation, nurses often find him making pushups. My judo club was named Kimura in honor of that warrior spirit.

  6. It’s just getting to being able to have that singular focus of working towards greatness everything else is just survival till you get back to training. Most are to scattered to have that kind of drive even for a short period in their lives. But if you have experienced it you will never be the same!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.