At 159cm (5’2″) tall, Kyuzo Mifune was not a big man. But as this amazing video of the judo master shows, strength doesn’t come from size alone. Mifune is considered to be one of the finest judo technicians ever, and this video of him accepting challenges from high-level younger students shows his incredible power and skill.
Join us after the jump for a sprightly energy burst, as the man they call the “God of Judo” skips, jumps and runs rings around his young challengers.
Mifune was born in 1883 in Iwate Prefecture and took up judo at 13. His energy and diligence saw him progress rapidly, and in 1945, at the age of 61, he was promoted to tenth dan, the highest rank. He was only the fourth judoka to achieve this honour. After Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, Mifune is often considered to be the greatest judo practitioner ever.
And here he is in action! Mifune was 73 when this was filmed, apparently, which means the footage is from over 50 years ago:
Some YouTube commenters have cried fake on the footage, suggesting that the younger practioners are going easy on their elderly sensei out of respect for him. There’s no denying Mifune’s skill and poise, though. And he’s not claiming to knock them down without touching them, like that guy with the magical “chi” blasting out of his eyes…
▼ Kyuzo Mifune (left) with Jigoro Kano.