Outline of the history of Idokan

The origins of an Idokan institution in Europe are associated with the person of Julius Fleck, a Viennese teacher of physical education and an outstanding judoka (5th dan). He developed both the technical side and the ideological form of judo and created judo-do by the "widening of the way" of judo. This took place in around 1947. It was sensei Sasaki who helped Fleck to develop the technical sphere (nage, kaeshi-waza). In 1954 a large global federation named the International World Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Judo-Do Federation (IWJF) was founded with offices in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia [Cynarski 2009].


A year later, Baron von Klinger Klingerstorff, a lecturer at the University of Vienna, published a book about a "higher school of combat" [Klinger von Klingerstorff 1951]. Klingerstorff who was a direct student of Fleck's and an advanced judoka, after many years achieved the highest grades (10 dan) in jujutsu and judo-do/ido.


Prof. Dr Wally Strauss from Ringwood, a former IWJF representative in Australia, was the second judo-do world leader. Around 1960 the name of the organization was changed to the World Jiu-Jitsu / Judo-Do Center (WJJC). Strauss also coached in Asia with local martial arts masters. He applied the idea of judo-do to the whole budo, creating ido: the original concept of a higher level of mastery in martial arts and "perpetual" movement [Cynarski 2000a, 2004]. From that time in order to get a degree in ido one must have a master's degrees in at least two martial arts.


In December 1982, instructors from the WJJC and the Jujutsu & Judo Instructors Association of Australia instituted Idokan Europe International (IEI). At that time, Europe had several experts in the WJJC. One of them, Hans Schöllauf, was the next soke, a global leader and president of IEI. Together with the leader of Idokan in Germany and the vice-president of IEI Lothar Sieber, they added a second meaning to the concept of ido (used in the Japanese tradition bujutsu) i.e. martial arts medicine [Cynarski 2009]. Schöllauf was the director of the Academy Idokan Europe in Vienna, a teacher and counsellor in the spirit of the noble and gentle way [Cynarski 2003]. He emphasized moral and philosophical issues, international brotherhood, the chivalric ethos and the example of the great masters' lives.


Shihan Schöllauf and Klingerstorff promoted and designated Lothar Sieber, the German master of martial arts as their successor [Cynarski 2000b]. In turn, Lothar Sieber just like these earlier masters, the holder of the highest degrees of 10 dan in jujutsu and ido, as well as karate, trained the next generation of experts from Germany, Spain, Greece and Poland. His uchi-deshi (internal student) Wojciech J. Cynarski constituted the Idokan Poland Association (IPA), in March 1993 which originally functioned as a branch of IEI [Urbanik 1994; Sieber, Cynarski 2004]. By then Klingerstorff and Schöllauf were both dead. After a split in the German organization of Idokan Europe e.V. when many recognised masters left it, the leader of the Idokan organization is now meijin Lothar Sieber acting within the IPA [Sieber, Cynarski 2004]. The message of the masters and their teaching is coordinated by the Munich honbu and the Polish shibu working closely together, officially since 1997 [Draus 2004; Cynarski 2004].


In Poland the IPA is responsible for teaching martial arts and combat sports, but it is also the patron of research activities. Shihan Cynarski has trained instructors. His students have run centres in Przemyśl, Mrozy, Kraków, Katowice, Poznań and Warsaw. However, the main centre is still Rzeszów. Despite many problems, training camps, seminars, tournaments, shows, sightseeing trips etc. are organized. Ambitious students develop their abilities in a number of martial arts taught within the system of idokan yoshin-ryu budo, they gain knowledge, skills and grades. Volunteers take part in jujutsu competitions for years with good results [Pacana 2001]. Future seminars are planned with master Sieber in Poland along with further events (summer camps, Idokan Poland Cup tournaments etc.).


More about the traditions and activities of the IPA can be read in: "Ido Movement for Culture" (Vol. 1-14), in "Sobudo Bulletins" (only for internal use, for members of the IPA) and in the bibliography provided below.


(ed. W. J. Cynarski)




1. Cynarski W.J. (2000a), Sztuki walki budo w kulturze Zachodu, WSP, Rzeszów, pp. 15-160.

2. Cynarski W.J. (2000b), Hannelore i Lothar Sieber: rodzina budo - dosłownie, "Ido – Ruch dla Kultury", vol. 1, pp. 278-281.

3. Cynarski W.J. (2003), Nauczyciele łagodnej drogi, "Przegląd Naukowy Kultury Fizycznej / Scientific Review of Physical Culture", vol. VI, no. 1-2, pp. 198-202.

4. Cynarski W.J. (2004), Teoria i praktyka dalekowschodnich sztuk walki w perspektywie europejskiej, Wydawnictwo UR, Rzeszów, pp. 1-417.

5. Cynarski W.J. (2009), Martial Arts - Ido & Idokan, IPA, Rzeszów.

6. Draus J. (2004), Stowarzyszenie Idokan Polska [in:] Z. Budzyński et al. [ed.], Encyklopedia Rzeszowa, RS DRUK, Rzeszów, p. 634.

7. Klinger von Klingerstorff H. (1951), JuDo und JuDo-Do. Die hohe Schule des Kampfes, Verlag Dr. G. Borotha-Schoeler, Wien.

8. Pacana E. (2001), Stowarzyszenie Idokan Polska 1993-2000, praca magisterska pod kier. prof. J. Drausa, WSP, Rzeszów.

9. Sieber L., Cynarski W.J. (2004), Mistrzowie mistrzów z federacji WJJC - nowe fakty, "Ido – Ruch dla Kultury / Movement for Culture", vol. IV, pp. 293-297.

10. Urbanik S. (1994), Z Wojciechem Cynarskim – przedstawicielem Międzynarodowej Federacji Idokan Europe International na Polskę – rozmawia Stanisław Urbanik, "Waga i Miecz", Miesięcznik Samorządu i Towarzystwa Miłośników Ziemi Strzyżowskiej, no. 4, pp. 17-18.