JUDO is a Four Letter Word
– Random Thoughts of a Judo Shugyo-sha
For a small word, JUDO embodies both simplicity and complexity. Take another four letter word for example – Love. Poets and writers have penned volumes and filled libraries exploring and pontificating on the meaning and ramifications of love. Wars have been fought over love. Even for the individual, love possesses many, often changing meanings. In the beginning a person may selfishly seek someone to love them; that is before they realize the joy in selflessly loving another. But even when two people realize they love each other that is not the end game. It takes a lifetime of patience, exploration and understanding to keep that love alive.
The same could be said of Judo. At first an individual selfishly seeks what he or she can get from judo. Then, somewhere around Shodan, they begin to realize how much judo has given back to them. But earning a black belt is only the beginning. It takes a lifetime of study, effort, experimentation, travel, teaching and sharing to really appreciate the complexities embodied within judo.
Love and judo go well together because there is so much to love about judo, especially for those who truly come to appreciate the duality of simplicity and complexity. Living up to a simple code of conduct found in the dojo can have far reaching effects on an individual’s value to society. This is exactly what Professor Kano intended when he wrote, “Through judo training, cultivate sincerity, morality, proper deportment, good physical and mental health, and a positive attitude.”
Or, through judo, Jiko kansei (self improvement) should lead to Jita kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit). — Mark Lonsdale, Judo Training Development