imagesNGAAUJHM‘It’s Judo whenever you fall down and then stand up with a smile’

This is the first written teaching I gave to my pupils some years ago.

It is the first one of a series which summarizes my way of understanding Judo so far.

If you stand up with a smile, what happened just a moment before was probably something good, a nice action by your partner. It was guided by the excellence in thought and in action and arouses in yourselves esteem and the desire to repeat it.

This mood allows to learn the technique without performing it actively: you don’t accept the fall suffering it as a defeat, instead you greet it as a contribution to understand and improve your Judo.

When you feel resentment as you fall down and you stand up huffy because you have just suffered an action, you are taking position within yourselves against what happened: you are rejecting a teaching instead of learning from it. Consequently, you think about a tactic to prevent your partner from attacking you again.

I can tell you that this is not the right mental approach to study and achieve the best teachings and advantages by means of Judo. Only if you learn how to stand sincerely and resolutely in front of your partner, you can best train your reactions and response capacities. Thus, you can also make your contribution to the improvement of both Judokas and raise the level of the exchange in the research of excellence.

While I’m writing to you, a poem by prof. Kano comes to my mind. It was written in order to be mentally repeated during the Kagami Migaki (technique of the Seiryoku zen’yokokumin taiiku no kata)

‘Life is a fight for good

and the terrible enemy who resists

is the one who is hidden invisible in your heart,

the selfish thought.

Polish the mirror and clean your soul so that it sets you free from the evil,

and do the exercises like in a fight

against the external evil and against the invisible enemy which hinders you

so that they help you to develop both physically and morally.’

To the next text:

‘It’s Judo whenever you throw your partner and forget it’

Alfredo Vismara Hanshi

Traduzione di Andrea Lorenzo Covini