Kan? Jigor? was the founder of judo. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport. Pedagogical innovations attributed to Kan? include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of dan ranking to show the relative ranking between members of a martial art style. Well-known mottoes attributed to Kan? include "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit."
In his professional life, Kan? was an educator. Important postings included serving as director of primary education for the Ministry of Education from 1898–1901, and as president of Tokyo Higher Normal School from 1901 until 1920. He played a key role in making judo and kendo part of the Japanese public school programs of the 1910s.
Kan? was also a pioneer of international sports. Accomplishments included being the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee; officially representing Japan at most Olympic Games held between 1912 and 1936; and serving as a leading spokesman for Japan's bid for the 1940 Olympic Games.
Before and after practicing Judo or engaging in a match, opponents bow to each other. Bowing is an expression of gratitude and respect. In effect, you are thanking your opponent for giving you the opportunity to improve your technique.