If you observe children during their Judo trainings, you will see how big their satisfaction is when they succeed in throwing their partner.
This is not due to the action they’ve just accomplished but to the fact that they were stronger than their partner.
Not every child is possessed by this feeling, but only those who have not been taught yet by their master how they should motivate their actions and who are still at the mercy of the will to prevail, which is inherent in human nature. In fact, this will, often even stronger, can be spotted in teenagers and adults.
This is not Judo! The Judo action has to arise from the continuous search, in each phase of your training, to improve yourself through a better and better technique, and the result of this search has to be considered just an impulse to carry it further on. If you go on thinking about the previous action, you cannot make progress: it’s just as if you would learn by heart a movement that you will try unavoidably to repeat.
During the Judo practice you don’t have to repeat anything, everything is to be aimed at looking for the best thing in that moment – the Zen masters say ‘here and now’, the Romans used to say ‘hic et nunc’ – in order to get the maximum from what you do and to develop awareness in the present.
Forget the result of the previous action, you have to be already in the next one if you don’t want to waste time and exertion. The mental attitude which makes you free and aware, namely not to depend on what you have just done, is difficult to achieve. You have to fight a war against yourselves, battle after battle, and to remain always watchful because the temptation to carry on thinking about your past actions is really strong.
In one of the oldest Hindu poems, the Mahabharata, one reads a very famous passage where the warrior Arjuna, doubtful about the grounds and outcomes of the war he is fighting, turns to Krishna to ask advice:
‘Arjuna, you’re a man and you’ve the right to act, but not to enjoy the results of your action’
To the next text:
‘It’s Judo whenever you look for the excellence in your thought and in your action’
Alfredo Vismara Hanshi Dai Nippon Butokukai
Traduzione di Andrea Lorenzo Covini