Judo Life Lessons
Judo life lessons : On the mat, we learn lessons that stay with us for a lifetime. Sport develops a mindset that helps people lead a better, brighter more successful life.
Judo in particular has its own moral code developed by Jigoro Kano.
In this post – 10 Judo Life Lessons to take away and use every day. These are lessons that I (Nik Fairbrother) learnt from my judo sensei Don Werner, during hours spent training on the tatami, from some of my idols like the great Japanese fighter, Kasuhiro Kashiwazaki.
Everything you learn on the judo mat will be of use to you at some point during your life.
Judo Life Lessons #1:
How easy is it to skip that tenth uchi komi?
But realise if you do, it is gone forever. You will never get that uchi komi back. Ever.
No matter if you do eleven the next time.
No matter if you do a million tomorrow.
That uchi komi – that moment in your life has now passed.
Accept Your Wins Gratefully and Your Losses Gracefully
Controlling emotions under the tension of a competition is a tough call.
Tough for adults.
Tougher still for kids starting to compete at judo.
But learning how to deal with the emotions of both winning and losing sets you up for the rest of your life.
Master how to accept your wins gratefully and deal with your losses gracefully and life will be a lot smoother.
Judo Life Lessons #3:
You Will Always Learn More From Losing Than You Ever Do From Winning.
Nobody likes losing.
But when it happens don’t let it go to waste.
Look at the reasons why it happened, take responsibility and put it right by improving your judo.
If you succeed in doing this you haven’t really lost at all.
When you Attack – Go For It 100%
Attacking in judo takes courage.
Going all out for a throw and committing to it 100% takes guts.
Actually just the same sort of guts you need as you walk into a job interview in a few years time, or get up to give a speech at your wedding, or speak up for yourself in a crowd.
Judo Life Lessons #5:
Yes, Technique Matters
Judo isn’t all about brute power.
Yes, Technique Matters.
Infact have good technique and you will overcome the bigger, stronger opponents through skill.
Perfect your timing.
Work on your direction.
Develop winning strategies.
Just like in life – technique matters.
Learn to Fall Without Fear (so you can attack with fear)
It’s back-to-front but it’s true.
Stop being afraid of being thrown, and you won’t get thrown as much.
Why does that happen?
Because once your fear of falling has gone, your attacks will be more committed, your tachi-waza will be stronger and so you will get thrown less.
The same I find true in life. Confront your fears head on, and it turns out they weren’t such a big deal anyway.
Courage is a muscle that gets stronger when you use it.
If you don’t use a muscle for a long time it will weaken.
If you train a muscle it gets stronger.
Funny, that this also applies to courage, like as if courage was a muscle getting stronger or weaker through use.
And so it is – the more you use it – the less you will need it.
Judo Life Lessons #8:
It’s not the size of the judoka in the fight but the size of the fight in the judoka
Jigoro Kano stood 5 feet 2 inches and weighed 41kgs as a youth when a friend of the family showed him a few techniques where a small man could overcome a big man.
The principle formed the essence of judo.
Speed, technique, skill, strategy, spirit can tip the balance in favour of the small guy.
Find out more about the wisdom of Jigoro Kano in this fantastic post by Edinburgh Judo Club.
Train your Weaknesses – Fight with your Strengths
The trick when you compete is to work out where you are strongest and take the contest into that area of advantage.
But back at the dojo reverse that.
Back in the dojo look to your weaknesses and improve them.
Train your weaknesses – compete with your strengths.
Judo Life Lessons #10:
Do Better Than Your Best
Is that even a possiblity?
How can you do better than your best?
Well it turns out you can.
At the end of the session, when you can do no more, dig deep, there is always something left in the bag.
Be Better Than Your Best.
See if you know all 8 values that make up Jigoro Kano’s Judo Moral Code?