Art, Olympic Sport, Self Defence
(Protective Behavior)

"Budo: Me And Judo"

Budo And Why I do Judo

When, over the years I have contemplated why I do Judo I am draw to the idea of Budo. Below is one of the musings I have had on that subject:

Stand Tall: Respect and Affect

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I love the contest of Judo. I have nothing but respect and sometimes awe at the skill of competition player. There is no question in my mind that done correctly Judo competition can be a path to incredible self improvement. BUT IT HAS NEVER BEEN THE THING THAT HAS DRIVEN MY JUDO THE MOST.

Don't get me wrong, contest experience, can be massively important to ones development as a Judoka and I have relished, every moment of my time as a contestant. But it has never captured me like the study and perfection of throwing and holding down. For me contest was more about testing to see if I had mastered a throw well enough to use it in a chaotic environment, than it was about the win.

Of course I am not immune to the pride of being a winner, but neither can I recall any shame or disappointment when I lost. Usually, losing was as much fun to me as winning. More than that I never cease to be amazed at the skill of those who have won over me.

Why then do I do Judo?

Well there are 4 reasons really:

  1. Why Judo At All?

  2. I started Judo because I was bullied at school and I wanted to defend myself but it became much more than that to me. It turned out to be a gift of confidence, a way of life that help me better understand my own world view.

  3. A Gift Of Confidence: Fear Is My Frenemy

  4. Not only did Judo instil in me such confidence that the bullying stopped without me ever having to lift a finger to my assailants, I also found the whole way I approached life to be affect by it. They way I dealt with people and they way they dealt with me, seemed to change for the better.

    Other things happened also. I no longer feared falling as I knew how to do that safely. I no longer felt threatened by close aggressive contact because that was part an parcel of Judo but I also developed something else. It was not until many years latter, as I continued my studies on “protective behaviour” that I was able to understand what it was. But it was profound.

    Gavin de becker in his book, was the one who managed to define it. I came to understand that fear was no my enemy; as long as I could manage it. The name of that book is The Gift of Fear

    Fear gave me a number of advantage if I knew how to control it. As I have taught this to my students over the years they renamed fear as a “Frenermy”.

    It is contrarian but fear is not something to be feared. It has to be controlled. Through Judo I was given the tools to control fear and when it is controlled the detrimental effects of it become beneficial. When I learned to control fear I thereby gained the ability to use the those effects.

  5. A Way Of Life

  6. Judo as it is often said, is a way of life, however that in itself does not make it different because many sports would say the same thing. The difference is, that the way of life in most, if not all of those other sports, is something that happens incidentally. It is serendipitous to the practice of that sport.

    In Judo it is intended that what you do and learn will have an effect on the way you live and work. Not by any kind of religious or mystical transference but by learning principals that can be applied to any situation.

  7. A World View: Spiritual Not Religious

  8. This is not a religious experience of any kind but it can be spiritual. However the nature of that spiritual experience is dependent on ones own existential world view or religious understanding.

    Let me try to explain that. An atheist is usually, by definition not a religious person but they may be a spiritual person. They may open to experiences of life that give them joy peace, love, meaning and something to base their ethical view point of life on. This statement may be a challenge to some of the Atheistic persuasion but in most, if all dealing I have had with Atheist, particularly those I choose to call friend, I have found it to be true.

    A religious person on the other hand, may be open to the same experiences but see the inspiration to be different. That is a atheist may see evolution as the inspiration, a religious person God, the gods, Karma or the equivalent. But both are capable of a quickening of the self, an epiphany, an aha moment, a instant of understanding; in other words a spiritual experience.

    Judo principles and in particular maximum efficiency for minimum effort and mutual welfare and benefit (Seiryoku Saizen Katsuyo Jita Kyoei) are intended to help me better understanding of my world view and that of everybody else. In this sense Judo is a spiritual experience for me and that experience is one of the motivator for me to do Judo.

    There Are More Reason

    Of course these are not the only the reasons why I do Judo. The friendships I have developed, the Fun I have had and the unusual sense of humor Judoka tend to have, as well as the desire to pass on what I have learned are but to name a few of the others.

    But the desire to become a better person and therefore be of value to the world I live in, is a major key and critical factor. One which complements all the other things that are important to me in my life.