The Discovery of Judo’s Arsenal

Shin-Gi-Tai

RONALD DÉSORMEAUX, 5TH DAN KODOKAN JUDO LIMITED EDITION

Shin-Gi-Tai : Judo’s Arsenal by Ronald Désormeaux

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Shin - Gi -Tai The Discovery of Shin-Gi-Tai : Judo’s Arsenal

Acknowledgement
When undertaking this project, I realized just how many individuals have crossed my path in the past 50 years and I wish to thank them collectively for having been part of my life. Special thanks to Marie-Claire, my companion and best friend, to Marc, Nathalie and family members for their inspiration and support. To my judo and business colleagues, thank you for your understanding, your patience and for having provided the opportunities to live my dreams. I dedicate this book to Marie-Claire, who has demonstrated the true spirit of Shin-Gi-Tai during her fighting period with cancer. She maintained a high morale, employed strategies and tactics to neutralize her disease and intelligently employed her strength to overcome it. She is an outstanding judoka. Ronald Désormeaux 5th Dan, Kodokan Judo Gatineau, Québec, Canada August 2008 ISBN: 2-9806269-8-8 National Library of Canada
Photo Cover: My late sensei, Bernard Gauthier, 1926-87 The terms: “You” and “judoka” refers to both genders.

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Introduction to Shin-Gi-Tai

Shin-Gi-Tai, Ron Désormeaux third book in the Discovery of Judo series showcases the depth of his intimate knowledge of not only the physical and mental aspects of Kodokan Judo, but delves deep into its metaphysical aspects; knowledge that is only acquired by concentrated study and many years on the tatami. In his forward, the author states: ”I underline that I am offering a synthesis of my 50 years of judo practice, observations and analysis…”. Kano Shihan’s two maxims cover the essence of judo: “Jita Kyoei” (mutual prosperity for self and others) and “Seiryoku-Zenyo” (maximum efficient use of energy). To this end, this book is a journey through the training aspects of judo as learned in practice sessions in the dojo. Furthermore, it also details the application of these principles in everyday life as experienced outside the realm of the dojo. Shin-Gi-Ti covers three distinct aspects of judo: Shin – moral and intellectual value, Gi – technical value, and Tai – corporal value. The reader will be guided through these aspects in this book; it is best to read a chapter, reflect on what has been read, and then continue on! Much knowledge is to be gleaned from its pages!

John A. Huntley, 7th dan Aberdeen Judo Academy Kamloops, British Columbia

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FOREWORD

(Judo)

You might be attracted to the world of judo for several reasons: You are looking for answers and solutions within the world of martial arts to suit your needs for a self defence system that has proven its worth. You may have seen it on television and been intrigued or gotten excited about it. A friend or a co-worker may have mentioned that as a physical activity, it can be practiced for many years to come. Judo as an Olympic sport excites you. You may be a new or a seasoned fighter looking for answers in order to get better at it. You may even be seeking a deeper understanding of judo as a way of life and you are intrigued by its esoteric side or you are simply looking for fighting tools and techniques which can be readily applied to a workout routine. Whatever your reasons, you are on a path to find answers. This book represents one specific point of view as expressed by the author, a former national and international competitor, an administrator, a continuous judo student and a current judo teacher. As the author, I underline that I am offering a synthesis of my 50 years of judo practice, observations and analysis. My experience has leaded me to make a rapprochement with the vision and concepts of Judo as expressed by the late Dr Jigoro Kano in 1882. The manual attempts to highlight dojo training and its life style application. It contains some of my thoughts about how judo principles, training and techniques can be transported outside the dojo and made available to better serve society. I believe that mastering judo goes far beyond the physical and technical dimensions. It is more the application of mind over matter. With maturity, I discovered and better understood the more elevated merits and spiritual aspects of Judo. I am sure that many other exponents of judo may have quite different points of view and have greater abilities to pass on their understanding and knowledge. You are therefore encouraged to seek them out and get their perspective in order to form your own opinions. Meanwhile, what follows is meant to incite reflection and is addressed to the serious judoka in quest for answers.

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GENERAL ORIENTATION
I have chosen as the centre piece of this discourse the expression: Shin-Gi-Tai. Shin means the heart, the core of a system as in spiritual, soul or mind. Gi is from the word giko expressing the artistic skills and techniques, while Tai is generally used to express the corporal alignment, the physical fitness of the human body capable of performing the art. This combination of words represents the essence of judo. Such terminology has been running in the martial arts literature for thousands of years and is still covered in the vocabulary of both modern and traditional judo schools and dojo. It has always been associated with the attainment of high level unification and harmony between a strong yet pliable mind during the performance of highly technical skills as freely expressed by the physical body of the judoka. The vast majority of judoka are still not accustomed to hear the Shin-Gi-Tai terminology. Perhaps because they are still too close to the physical and competitive sides of judo, they pay lesser attention to its other domains. It remains that judoka are subjected to them consciously or not during their assessment for grading purposes all around the world. The acquisition of harmony between these three factors will vary keeping in mind the relative age and experience of the students. Over the years, I have found that the application of these three facets went well beyond the grade examinations and the dojo sessions. By expanding the meaning of these words, you may be able to see as I did, that their harmonious union can be applied in the conduct of your daily affairs. To be successful in our endeavours, we need to have our body, heart and mind totally concentrated upon what we want to accomplish. Judo training methods and experimentations have become life facilitators to many of us. Serious judoka have, over time, acquired the necessary skills, techniques and character building abilities to surmount most difficulties in the dojo or in the shiai-jo. Some have applied the learned skills of dealing with gravity, friction, momentum, velocity, weight distribution and converging forces to business and social milieu not to exclude their approaches to deal with recurring difficulties. The book emphasizes the use of this arsenal of weapons and tools, including the metaphysical or spiritual dimensions that can be nurtured and expanded upon to make you a better person. By projecting your training skills into your daily activities, you, too can discover how your combat experiences associated with balance, rhythm, harmony, perception and kinetic feelings can become déjà vu situations that can enable you to anticipate and respond quickly to challenges outside the dojo. You may be surprised by how much you can recuperate from your days on the mat and how your skills can be adapted to overcome personal weaknesses and render you more useful to your family, your community and your business ventures.

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In my long journey with judo, I have been a friend to thousands of judoka of all ages. I have seen transformed judoka who became icons to others. Unfortunately, I also witnessed too many, who, while performing well in high level competition, are still displaying an insufficient understanding of the true spirit of judo. Pressed for time, too focused on the task and loaded with a desire to win, they have been side-tracked for long periods of time. “To win and dominate over the opponent” was and remains their principal goal. Their every action is geared to accomplish that task. Should they lose important competitions, they are easily tormented. A good number of excellent fighters left the judo scene without having truly contributed to its enrichment. I have to question whether or not they are capable of making substantial improvements to themselves as a person and to be of greater service to the community at large. I believe that seeking continuous self-improvement while helping others is the ultimate challenge as expressed by the founder, the late Professor Jigoro Kano. Judo is a physical education system, a method of conducting close combat and a way to improve your character. At the dojo, you will meet judoka with different personalities; each having their own ideals, yet everyone seeking to acquire the fighting tools and techniques to best suit his or her personality. From a corpus of techniques, all should be able to be guided by the teacher and exercise their skills with different elements under various situations and promote their individual operational strategies and tactics. The principle of judo is like the nature of water wrote sensei Koizumi Gunji in 1952. As such, it has no shape of its own but moulds itself to each one of us. With continuous practice, time and maturity, you will overcome your physical and mental shortcomings; you will learn to use skills, tools and tactics and turn them to your advantages. When you are able to use them naturally, you will begin to master the learned skills and make them your newfound weapons of choice. They will become natural mechanisms to improve your judgement, your performance and your interaction with your training partners. It is not sufficient to understand all the tools you need to be able to use them to your advantage. Armed with the above concepts, I will discuss how this arsenal or personal repertory of tools and techniques can be exploited in and beyond the dojo.

The three dimensions: Shin-Gi-Tai will be discussed from two perspectives: the strategic usage and their tactical implementation. “Knowledge is at the beginning of all actions “said Wang Yang Ming. (1472-1529)

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STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE
“Love the world as your own self, then, you can truly care for all things”
Lao Tsu

I will broadly define strategy as the general way you intend to deploy your resources in order to achieve your goals. The military officers used the expressions doctrine, guiding principles or field intentions to link the socio-political intentions of a country with a warlike preparation and behaviour. Strategy is generally understood to be the manner with which you will conduct your affairs. It is also to be able to deploy multiple resources and talents to effectively accomplish your aim. It is both a science and an art. It encompasses the use of tactics or methods at specific time and place. The great Chinese general Tzu Sun1 said the art of any war is governed by five constants: compliance and maintenance of moral law, great use of terrain and natural phenomena, a good commander who can make use of various times and seasons, the employ of different movements and tactics and finally, a committed and disciplined army. The ancient master fencer and samurai Musashi Myamoto once said in his late 1600’s Book of Five Rings that “strategy is the craft of the warrior”. In past centuries, generals, artisans, business people, architects and warriors alike carried their own tool box or secrets to their work places. Each one showed personal skills and talent notwithstanding dexterity with each toolset in their possession. Warriors in particular, demonstrated their individuality by owning their personal arsenal. They understood the particular characteristics of all their tools and used them wisely at decisive times. Generals used spies to gather intelligence and displace their armies while foot warriors were known to be expert handlers. From their arsenal, they choose weapons of their choice to be manipulated at the right time and under the right circumstances; they modified the tools to suit their personalities, they cared for them and made full use of all when the opportunity presented itself. Generals made many calculations and plans before engaging and their troops were well trained to recognize the right moment, master the forms and strike decisively without fear. In those ancient times, making use of different war tools was a question of survival, of life and death. In order to survive, warriors had to make full use of all their weaponry. Today, life threatening situations are less frequent and some of your weapons left unattended yet, you as a judoka and as a person have to be ready as you may encounter similar challenge as you are striving to fit within a community and accomplish something worthwhile with your life.

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Tzu Sun, The Art of War, Delcorte Publishing, New-York, 1971

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You live in a changing period where self-gratification and speedy actions are the norms. You need to examine your natural environment, determine its advantages and disadvantages and define where you want to stand. To go forth, you will need to be in harmony with your decision and assume an advantageous position from which you can inspire others. From time to time you will seek the right opportunities; first as a child, then as a teenager and later as an adult. The world is out there to be discovered and to be conquered. You will no doubt aspire to become a successful actor in this environment of ours.

“Demons who enter your circle must be pushed out.”
Tao meditation

No matter where you are; the office, in school or on the street, there are evil people on the watch. They are avaricious, aggressive and sadistic. They only seek to take advantage of others, find pleasure in seeing you suffer and delight in imposing themselves upon you. There will be plenty of occasions for confrontations, verbal and physical assaults, and duels of kind, growth challenges and defensive moments where recourse to some kind of survival skills, training techniques, experiences, tools and weapons will become essential. In your arsenal you need to have ready access to the stratagem of deception: when you are about to launch an attack, you should appear as if retreating; when using force you must be seen as inactive; when near your opponent, you should appear far away. All actions and initiatives need to be planned and executed at the right moment. Tzu Sun referred to the general who loses a battle as the one who makes but few calculations beforehand. Should you be attacked physically or mentally, there is little room for compassion and humility. One must resort to effective weapons to solve the situation. In anticipation of these moments, you will have to gain the necessary knowledge and savoir faire to cope with difficult situations. If you are never attacked, that will be wonderful. Training will still help you work out your fears, inhibitions and anxieties. Sensei Watanabe expressed this observation in the following terms: The training received in judo is meant to discipline your mind through physical exercises and confrontational situations bringing about your maturity of the skill of higher logic. It is the use of this latter skill that characterizes the mental reactions of a judoka when given situation arises.2

Having decided on which role you will play in society, be it a scholar, carpenter, gardener, teacher, fighter, law officer, manager or anything else of you’re choosing, you will need to plan your strategy on how to best fit in, survive, be ahead of others and even excel should you desire to lead. Your strategy will guide your actions and your tactics will give meaning to your life.

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Watanabe Jiichi & Avakian Lindy, The Secrets of Judo, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan, 1960

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Like all others before you, if you have a good sense of strategy, and make use of all the fighting resources at your disposal, you will be able to succeed. You are to remember the five essentials for victory according to Tzu Sun: 1. Know when to fight and when not to fight. 2. Know how to fight the strong and weaker opponents. 3. Be possessed and animated by the right spirit. 4. Prepare yourself ahead of your opponent. 5. Be in control of the situation.

Sculpture of a Ronin samurai circa 1600.

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TACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION
“What is an archer without a target?”
Tao meditation

For our purposes, employing tactics is to determine which weapons you will select from your arsenal and use in order to efficiently succeed in your life endeavour or judo match. Tactics are the methods of selecting and deploying parts of your entire arsenal on a given target. Your tactics should not be foreign to your strategies; they reflect what you think is the best use of your skills. They reflect your personality as they are a subset of it. From your repertoire, the selected weapon or tool should provide you with optimal response to your immediate needs and expectations. In his Art of War, Tzu Sun reported that: “The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then, waited for the right opportunity of defeating the enemy.”3 Tactics are skills normally used in close quarters, at selected times and in support to each other. When you make use of tactics, it is understood to mean that you have selected your weapons, deployed your resources over a selected terrain or space, and that you intend to use them in harmony and in support of each others. Tactics should enable you to gain and maintain the offensive, stay focussed on your objective, use the weaknesses of the opponent and show your determination and resolve. They will enable you to quickly change direction and alter your momentum as you exploit the weaknesses found in your selected target. Tactics will permit to you better observe at close range, pay more attention to changing field conditions and absorb more details. By their proper use, you will develop greater understanding of their impact and vulnerability; you will be more vigilant and disciplined.

Medieval Armour, Tokyo Sword National Museum

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Tzu Sun, The Art of War, Delcorte Publishing, New York. 1971

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PART ONE____

JUDO CONCEPTS AND DOCTRINE
SHIN

Dai-Butsu at Kamakura Japan

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THE JUDO CONCEPTS
“Judo is not what many people believe it to be: that is to say, judo is more than a fighting art practiced at the dojo. The basic meaning of judo is quite different, and is universal and profound”4
Jigoro Kano

“When I began to use the term judo…it meant that no matter the goal, in order to accomplish it, you must put your mental and physical energy to work in the most effective manner.”5
Jigoro Kano

“Kodokan judo was the product of Kano’s lifelong devotion to the jujutsu of the past, which he reorganized along educational lines while taking great care to retain its classical traditions.”6
Kano Yokimitsu, president of the Kodokan

While self defence and other martial combat techniques may have been at the centre of the old jujutsu training, ancient jujutsu schools or Ryu provided their students opportunities to set related goals for physical and mental training. The word judo was not frequently used in Japan’s until Jigoro Kano in 1882 resurrected it from an old jujutsu school named Chokushin. To the word Judo, he added the name of his school, the Kodokan, worthy of an Academy status and set out his two corner stones as follow: 1. Intelligent use of energy (mental and physical). 2. Mutual benefit and prosperity. We can safely say that the overall goal of Judo is the attainment of continuous improvement to the body, the improvements of the techniques and the clarification of the mind for the overall benefit of society. Dr Jigoro Kano expressed this all encompassing idea in the following calligraphy to which he signed with his nom-de-plume Shinkosai meaning the intellectual student or associate of the mind.

Jita Kyoei signed Shinkosai (intellectual student) by Jigoro Kano
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Murata Naoki, Mind over Muscle, Kodansha, Tokyo, Japan, 2005 Idem. 6 Idem.
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The expression of Jita Kyoei illustrated above by Jigoro Kano, takes into account the interdependence of your strength with the power of others. I place this expression in the realm of our global judo strategy as it is expressing the genuine intent of the founder.

Shihan Jigoro Kano Reflecting upon his judo accomplishments over his lifetime and in recognition of the knowledge gained from and the support he received from his past teachers, Jigoro Kano recalled that: “From Sensei Fukuda, I have learned what would become my life’s goal. From Sensei Masamoto, I have captured the mysteries of the Kata and from Sensei Iikudo, the fluidity of techniques.”7 Several years after this original declaration, a colleague of Jigoro Kano, Sensei Ueshiba Morihei who had studied Ju-Jutsu from the same Kito Ryu and went on to create his own system called “Aikido” expressed similar humanitarian ideals with his calligraphy here under saying: “The peaceful way was to be found through mental discipline and improvements in character.”

Victory for peace is obtained through victory over one-self.
Calligraphy of Sensei Ueshiba Morihei 8

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Murata N, Mind Over Muscles, Kodansha, Japan, 2005 Jean Zin, L’Aikido, Édition Chiron, France, 1960

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The current senior technical director of the Kodokan, Sensei Abe Ichiro, 10thdan, mentioned in his book “Judo”9 that: “judo was difficult to learn and that the judoka must show lots of willingness to learn and especially demonstrate high commitment and perseverance”. Perseverance will be a major part of your judo endeavour. Like a fisherman who needs to repair his net, ensures his boat is sea worthy and has the knowledge of where the fish will gather. So will you have to spend a long time doing preparatory work that may seem boring and useless at times. You must persevere, for at the end of your journey you will find success in the fulfilment of your dream. You will need patience, faith in yourself, build your arsenal of resources, review your planning and ensure you select the right opportunity to benefit fully from all situations. Sensei Abe reflected upon the values of judo practices and training as improvements to one’s physical abilities and attributes such as the agility, strength, resistance, speed and flexibility while toning the reflexes and responsiveness. He stressed that the understanding, the retention, the personal adaptation and the comprehension of the different techniques with their variety contributed to the refinement of the intellectual faculties of the judoka. In his essay, Sensei Abe Ichiro went even further by exploring how judo training can strengthen the mental abilities and prepare the mind to face hard training and competitive situations. “The combative spirit and the quick analysis of a situation are deemed to channel the aggressive behaviour towards a peaceful solution of an encounter”. Touching upon the social context of judo, Sensei Abe Ichiro also remarked that judo sessions and training methods force the judoka to care for his partner, to be courteous and attentive and show respect while at the same time, cultivate constant humility and sincerity. There is a Tao reflexion that reads: “Fire feeding on Fire. If two people join forces, with neither sacrificing their individuality, but only lending their power or energy to the task, they are bound to produce a wonderful harmony and attain a satisfactory level of success from which both can ripe tangible benefits. By doing so, they will encourage others to emulate them. It is mostly in the dojo or practice hall that you will socialize with peers and like-minded opponents. As you enter the dojo, you will note some individuals removing their shoes and paying respect to the teacher, other students and the principle hall. This is a kind of ritual expressing both the cleansing of the soul and showing respect and gratitude for those with whom they are about to come in contact with. It is a habit similar to when you go to a church or a temple; you purify yourself of bad omen and habits and stand before others with a clear mind and stature, you are sincere and have no hidden agenda.

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Abe Ichiro, Judo, Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, Chiron Paris, France, 1976

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You should abide by the bowing rituals and discipline. Furthermore, when you bow before and after having practiced with a partner, you demonstrate your confidence in fair play; you truly show gratitude and respect. It is indicative that you will care for them notwithstanding that your attacks and defences will be sincere. You are also showing thanks for having practiced with them without accident. Paired with different partners and confronted with various styles of judo you will gain first hand experience to deal with challenges and difficulties: the extra physical demand on your body, the fighting skills and techniques deployed by you and your partners, the confrontation moments, the close quarters fights, the determination and savoir faire and the risk taking will be absorbed both physically and mentally. You will feel like the clay in the hand of a potter. You will undergo mental and physical changes and your techniques will be transformed in the course of your practices. The closer you will get to attain perfection, the harder it will become and the more definite your goals will have to be defined. You will gain experience with each encounter. You will no doubt gain from your contact with others and you should be prepared, in return, to give back some of your knowledge to the less fortunate. Your partnership and fellowship will be satisfying. You need to acknowledge that you may eventually be separated from this joy as your peers will likely move away and undertake their own journey. Alone, you will have to continue your search at your own pace as your path to self-improvement is yours alone. As you improve your level of confidence and expertise; you will appreciate the values of sharing it with others. Graduating from the solo and pair exercises you will enjoy the more dynamic matches where you can study the various situations and where different techniques and skills can be deployed. The more you do, the more self-reliant you will become. You will try greater and more daring moves until you are brave enough to accomplish other undertakings far beyond your peers. Your apprenticeship will open the door to the Randori stage where free experimentation and apprenticeship really begins.

“A warrior’s virtue is readiness while the sage’s virtue is awareness”.
Tao meditation

Old texts make mention that doctrines are of little value without the human touch. You will have to shape and personalize what you have received. You alone can transform your martial instruments and weapons as a means to acquire happiness and gain peace. Once you make that decision, all things will fall in place. If you become truly happy, the charlatans and exploiters will have nothing more to offer. Having obtained freedom from your fears, possessing good healthy habits and better understanding the events around you, you will soon display cheer, deed, encouragement, compassion and love, all ingredients of being alive. There is no better place to start but on the tatami. Discovering who you really are and what you can do are parts of the randori exercises. With randori, you enter the realm of Seiryoku Zenyo (Maximum efficient use of energy). This is your first real application of the judo principle: intelligent use of energy. You have now entered the domain of tactics.

“He wins his battles by making no mistakes”.
Sun Tzu.

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THE LANGUAGE OF JUDO
O-negai-itashimasu- May I have the honour to practice with you?
Should you read about martial arts, you are bound to be inundated with Asian texts and martial expressions associated with war, soldiers, samurai, and Asian religions. You need not be a military strategist, a linguist or a devoted religious person to grasp the gist of their meaning. The world of traditional judo is no exception. As we can not communicate directly from mind to mind, there are bound to be some misinterpretation and subjectivity in our discourse. As words are imperfect, we shall try to make the best of them. The judo milieu contains Asian expressions and Japanese terms and words which have been carried over by internal fighting systems associated with the samurai training or the application of Ju-Jutsu. Today, in their haste to produce stronger, physically capable and technically rich competitors, too many sensei avoid to expand on the terminology associated with the mental element or use them to define the intent of specific actions. I was fortunate to have had teachers who took the time to explain the most relevant expressions of Judo. The journey to better understand those terms has clarified my comprehension of what real judo is all about. To that effect, the Kodokan Judo Institute has put together an excellent dictionary of judo10 which is recommended to be part of your library. Hereunder, I present a summary of the most common expressions that will impact our current discussion. In the spiritual or mental realm, we have: Aite wo soncho suru. To show respect to an opponent or other person by giving proper salutations and by formally recognizing his or her presence. Agatsu: A personal victory obtained over oneself. Fudoshin. An expression describing the strong mind frequently found in kendo training. It is found in an ancient text by Zen monk Takuan when referring to the state in which the mind knows no rest on any individual thing and where the body is filled with such a spirit, full of energy and standing ready to concentrate unto a target. Gen shin. An expression used for intuition or the mental condition by which one can perceive the intentions of the opponent. In randori, we refer to this condition as Sen-noSen, where one can detect the intention of the forthcoming action and then undermine the opponent’s focus by pulling him away from his reality. By capturing the advanced warning signs, we are able to steal or break the opponent’s thoughts and endanger his self-confidence.

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Kawamura Teizo & Daigo Toshiro, Kodokan New Japanese English Dictionary of Judo, Kyodo Printing, Tokyo, Japan, 2000

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Gaiju naigo. Represents he softness without and strength within. It is a comportment whereby our exterior is relaxed and kept flexible by our constant moving about while guided by a strong and determined mind. It can also mean a compassionate and tolerant attitude towards others while maintaining strict mental discipline. Heiho. A military approach of being ready and confident. It is also an expression used in fencing school of yester-years stressing the mental and spiritual development to accompany the mastery of technical skills. Judo no rinen. A common expression of the judo’s ideals. It is the philosophical version of the highest concepts, principles and ideals of judo to which one aspires in his training and lifestyle. Used by Jigoro Kano and coupled with the essence of defeating the opponent with lesser power as possible through physical, mental and spiritual training. From this premise, he evolved the higher statement of “most effective use of mind and body toward the good primarily by applying maximum efficient use of power as well as the concept of mutual prosperity for self and others.” Judo Seishin. The spirit of judo. The spirit or character building cultivated through judo training which includes the commitment to always do one’s best, to compete fairly, to observe the rules and to respect the opponent. Jita Kyoei. It signifies: Towards mutual prosperity for self and others. By this declaration, Jigoro Kano wanted every judoka to be of greater use to society. He wished for the harmonization of the individual with his entourage. Judo Ichidai. To practice judo’s principles of intelligent use of energy and mutual benefits over a lifetime. Kokoro Gamae. The display of a strong mental commitment and courage. To have the heart and the desire that will govern the physical action. It represents the continuous efforts to train the body to respond to the calling of the mind. Mizu-no-Kokoro. To make use of the mind and spirit like water. To be free of mental obstructions and continuously pursue and penetrate an obstacle or a target. Munen. The facility to oversee. To have a broader view or perspective. It is the ability not to focus on any particular point or subject, but be able to capture the global environment (peripheral vision) and be able to identify your location and position yourself within the environment. Shin-Gi-Tai. Mind, skill and body. Three words used to complement Shinshin Tanren. The attainment of harmony and the forging actions of the mind and body. Cultivating the mental, physical and spiritual strength required to efficiently meet the challenges of life.

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Shinchi Ryoku Ichi. Refers to the three elements to be coordinated into one action: power of the mind, good technique and body power to execute a movement. Shushin. A cultivated mind. A state obtained by the diligent practice of self control, respect for life and others, with the courage and patience to pursue wisdom. It is the ultimate goal of judo and complement kyoikuho as the physical training and shobuho as the development of technical skill sets. Tao. From the Chinese interpretation of the “WAY”; the metaphysical concept of the way things are in nature. Tao Teaching. Attributed to ancient Chinese methods in the study of natural phenomena. It is a form of psychological approach and agrarian view of the world by relating events of the cosmos with the human actions. Also known as a form of meditation whereby one becomes conscious of his place in the universe. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu of the 6th century was a prominent master of this meditation process.11 In the physical domain we have the following expressions: Chikara no mochi kata. Means the way to exploit the inner power; the use of physical and mental energy. Ideally, it represents the deliberate attempts to avoid clashing directly with the opponent’s power in favour of manipulating it efficiently to your advantage through the use of skilful techniques. Happo-moku. To be able to look with a peripheral vision and detect the slightest change. Look in eight directions without moving the head from side to side. . Hyoshi: To form an envelope or cover over the opponent. To contain and restrict as in fitting well with something or someone. It also means maintaining the rhythm or be in the right sequence offered by the distance or space between opponents. Ju yoku go no seisu. The skilful application of flexibility to defeat the opponent. Kappo kuatsu. Ancient first aid methods used to revive (resuscitate) someone who has lost consciousness through asphyxiation or other causes such as strangulation. Although replaced by modern first aid systems, the techniques are indicative of the care one must take to avoid accidents and show respect for the training partner. Some of these techniques were reserved to those who would become instructors or mentors.

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Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching, Vintage Book, New York, USA, 1972

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Kiai. A fundamental concept identified with the energy release in martial arts. It refers to the gathering and concentration of energies towards a definite target. It is the total commitment of one’s will, spirit, intention or energy oriented to a target over a very short distance and at a precise moment. It is often expressed through the voice by a short shout. Some specialists will use kiai to gather their energies and launch an immediate attack or destabilize an opponent’s concentration. Ki yu. Victory comes with the harmonious use of the mind through technical and physical dexterities. Kodo-ichi. To be in harmony and trying to adapt to the circumstances; finding the opportunity and deciding to promptly take the initiative. To be of one drum. Netsuke no Kata. A determined way to look at someone. Sometimes referred to as the deep and hypnotic look given by a person that may provoke fear. When referring to the intent, it is said that the eyes are the windows of the soul (mind). Seika tanden. A region within the lower abdomen also known as the physical centre of the human body or centre of gravity. It is the foundation for balance and a strong natural posture. Sometimes referred to as: hara. The most current expressions related to the technical dimension are: Aite wo soncho suru. This expression describes the first encounter with an opponent and in a gesture of trust and respect you are expected to make proper salutations before and after. In the dojo, you will be expected to bow upon entering and leaving. When you bow to someone or something, you show signs of respect, gratitude and humility. Ai yotsu. Related to kumi-kata, a form of gripping the costume using the matching grip of the opponent. Debana. The first opportunity, or the beginning of the opponent’s move when you have an opportunity to place him in kuzushi. Ikken-hitotsu. Applied mostly in kendo but also used in judo. To attack or strike with one decisive blow or technique that may be fatal or score the Ippon. It is the execution of the perfectly controlled technique where nothing is left to chance. To act boldly with decisive action is also known as: Jukuryo. Ju. The cornerstone principle of judo. It identifies with the intelligent use of force or energy around you and your ability to transform it to your advantage by yielding to it, redirecting it or returning it spontaneously against the opponent. Kan-ken-futatsu-koto. A high level of intuition whereby what is seen and detected informs the brain to react instantly to early remote signs of danger and informs you to be on your guard.

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Kake hiki. They represent the tactics and strategies used in making different displacements. Also refers to the alternate use of offensive and defensive modes. Keiko. To learn through the practice of the old transmitted techniques. Kime. The focus of total energy in the hara to effect a clean and brief action. It relates to the accomplishment of a clean break or decisive termination when completing a throwing technique or an action. Kisen. Another expression for intuition. The perception of what is about to occur. It is experimented in judo when you seize and maintain the initiative. Also referred to as: forestalling or initiative taking. Kosei no taido. Refers to the overall respect for structure, rules and fair play. Ki no miru: The ability to steel the action. To go on the offensive at the right instant, thus seizing the opportunity, perceiving and taking advantage of opportunities. Ma-ai. The engaging distance and timing of action between opponents. Through different postures and displacement the distances adopted by players to engage the other is shortened or lengthened at various speeds. It is also the adjustment of one’s position in order to be safe and permit an angular attack. Tao Te Ching. From the Chinese meditation system that outlines the way of harmony with the cosmos, some judo expressions have been derived from it such as: yield to overcome, bend and be straight, empty and be full, wear out and be new, have little and gain, have much and be confused. The gentle and the yielding are the disciples of life. The hard and the strong will fall. The soft and the weak will overcome. Shin myou. To surprise the opponent and outsmart him. To deceive him. Sekkyokuteki sen-yo. Taking the initiative to advance and engage before an aggression. Yomi: From the verb yomu, to be able to read and decipher between the lines as in intuition and perception. Normally associated with taking the initiative in sen-no-sen. Zanshin. From the beginning to the follow up stages, the state of readiness and awareness that continues even after throwing the opponent. The capacity to remain alert until there is no more opportunities for the opponent to counterattack.

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JUDO SURROUNDED
“Can you be both martial and spiritual?”
Tao meditation

When Jigoro Kano decided to call his system Judo, I think his intent was to introduce the three aspects that would reflect the culture and tendencies of his time. Judo was to perpetuate the good parts of the former ju-jutsu method of training in the art self defence. He also desired to introduce a new physical education system to be practiced by all. He introduced the basic competition rules in order to improve the safety in a sports-like match. Foremost, he wanted that the experiences and skills learned by its practice lead to improvements in one’s character and which could be put to work towards the betterment of the society. Judo like ju-jutsu his ancestor is a martial art which requires discipline, courage and perseverance. Being a good judoka has nothing to do with killing or being a mercenary or cruel dominator. We somehow have a tendency to concentrate on the huge physical presence of the judoka-warrior and fail to discover the hidden qualities he has gained from his training. The image of the accomplished warrior acting as a protector of ideals, rights, principles and honour has too often been replaced by the image of a gladiator belonging to a renowned fighting stable in demand of fame and fortune. Today’s high level judoka may have fought and won over several worthy opponents in their career but the ultimate opponent is still to be found in themselves. It is there, deep inside that reside the demons yet to be conquered: arrogance, ignorance, selfishness, egotism and many more. In keeping with the spirit of judo, we can assert that to overcome one’s own weaknesses is the true victory. With current judo derivatives expressed in the semi-commercial arena for group entertainment and personal or corporate financial gains, Jigoro Kano would be most concerned with the proliferation of strategic competitive judo, political importance attributed to it and its commercialisation. If most competitive judoka and national organizations seek disproportional levels of personal and commercial gains from the entertainment, victories and the supremacy of one over the other, there will be, in my view, a deformation of the true spirit of judo. The selfishness that reigns over the potential improvements one can achieve for the betterment of communities will likely kill the essence of Judo. On the other side of our interpretation, we have to revisit the ancient masters the like of Jigoro Kano and Ueshiba Morihei to rediscover their true intentions. Yes, there has been a normal and positive evolution of the judo techniques over the years. Like many other inventions, they have evolved over time. The newly introduced techniques are supposed to be built upon the old or their modifications. It seems that other concepts were drop completely from the syllabus.

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It is possible that new found ideas and changes to competition rules may be opportunities to go beyond the existing philosophy, but in our haste to proliferate judo, we may be missing the fundamentals from which a new and better judo can emerge. It appears that some of the foundation pillars (educational, mental and societal aspects) have been weakened by the desire to sell judo as a competitive sport in lieu of teaching it as a true martial and spiritual art it was meant to be. Both masters Kano and Ueshiba had acquired in-depth knowledge of their martial system and societal environment. They lived by what they preached. They were vigilant, alert, respectful, courteous, simple, humble and continuously inquisitive, seeking new ideas and new integration tools. We live in more difficult times where we tend to accept only the tangible, the material and scientific proven ideas. As witnessed in their writings and calligraphies, both placed emphasis on the tripartite elements: the integration of skills and physical improvement with the ultimate aim of self improvement. Their combined systems may well reach far beyond our actual conception of the forms. If it is said that knowing others is wisdom, yet, knowing thyself is enlightenment, we have to surpass the physical aspects. You, as a devout judoka can make that difference. You can play an important role in preventing excesses in various judo circles. You may want to reflect upon the expression: Seiryoku Zenyo, Jita Kyoei before you establish your position vis-à-vis the new combat for the survival of the judo principle. This principle was intended to penetrate the soul of all of us and express our common mission;” The intelligent use of our energy for the common good”. When correctly applied, it influences the ways we think and act both in defense and in offense. The required harmony, concession and cooperation associated with the acquisition of judo skills through the normal competition process offer no humiliation to the receiving partner. To the contrary, randori and shiai can provide a unique occasion to show how improvements can be made for the benefit of others. This principle goes beyond dojo activities and permeates all facets of our life.

“Thunder and rain at night; Growth comes with a shock; Expression and duration appear in the first moment”
Tao meditation

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STRATEGIC ALLIANCE OF DREAMS AND GOALS
Now that we have a common understanding of the judo language and identified the ideals or goals of judo, are you still interested to join the judo milieu? Can you dream of your implication and of your partnership with thousands of others wishing to make a difference in our communities? Should you join this special group of fighters, you will gradually become an integral and organic part of large federations. Your relationship will be one of mutual influence. You will need to balance just how far you will go and when to get involved, when to stay passive, when to listen, when to speak and when to lead. Since birth, you have had dreams of all kinds. Your imagination, that faculty to create mental pictures is still roaming into all sorts of domains and in far away lands. In your early years, you may have created distorted images of what you wish to realize later on in life. Perhaps you dreamed of being part of a wonderful world; having your parents and family eternally around; growing up and becoming an intelligent, successful and capable human being. To remind you of those dreams and to clarify your images, you may have amassed wallposters, mementos or cherished toys that transported your imagination, if for only for brief moments, into the fantastic world that you had wished for. Later in life, thousands of such desires have motivated your actions. You have been and still are positively energized by them. Those dreams are part of your imagination and represent your internal values and general expectations. To nurture those dreams, is a form of an unconscious meditation process. To have dreams is a healthy process. They develop your spirit of exploration and let you go freely beyond the immediate reality. They are made up of scattered events from your past and the present. They offer you a chance to “see” internally an image of the future. Such images may be simple and wonderful, others may be dark and mysterious and even frightening as they are coloured and often distorted by lack of facts, vague preoccupations or other factors still unknown to you. Your dreams are somewhat influenced by your lifestyle. As you grow older, family activities, culture, society, special events, sports and recreation are amongst the many factors influencing your concepts and values. You will frequently shift horizons and some of your dreams will be repeated and others may become more refined. As you understand yourself better, they will be transformed into specific goals which captivate you and reinforce your desire to obtain or achieve. By being anchored to some dreams and goals, you will soon find the necessary enthusiasm and develop an intense commitment towards them.

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Like many others, your natural penchant to understand, to confront, to tackle and master difficulties will prevail over a resident state of lethargy. Negative inspirations and less important dreams will soon be left to roam in your mind until called upon at later stages. When you decide to go forward and activate a dream, you will need to formulate a disciplined plan of actions to keep you focussed on it. Deciding upon a particular dream and seeking to realize it is not without some difficulties. You will note that as your dreams become more focussed, your motivation level will rise and your self-confidence grows.

As your selected dreams are transformed into specific goals and objectives, they require sufficient energy to carry them forth. To feed your dream, you will seek and gather things, events or persons that will make you stronger and help you amass the energy sources necessary to succeed. Since energy resources are all around you, you will need to establish some pattern or guide to channel your efforts appropriately. You actions will need to be attached to realistic milestones that can be measured. This ensemble of targets will become your action-plan that will guide you in the pursuit of what you want out of your life. As you embark upon your journey, some developmental goals may take you down several paths independent to each others. You may have formulated several already such as being a leader of industry, a teacher, a carpenter or anything else. Whatever your choice, you will need to set your action plan in motion in accordance with your priority and stick to it. You may want to be a judo Olympian or an international champion or simply use the judo training as a way to become a better person. You may not be certain as yet. You will hesitate at first, and seek some anchors to pin down your aspiration. When your mind is made up and you traverse the transformation stage, from dreams to goals, you may find that you still have to struggle with several conflicting desires. Do not be alarmed, give yourself sufficient time to relax, reflect upon and evaluate your priorities. Later on, by process of elimination; you will be able to identify the right priorities. Do not forget that these dreams are your initial sparks or flames that will guide you through several years. They are important to you, so, take the necessary time to identify them clearly in your mind. Write down your ideas if you can, it will help you sort out the essentials. Your sports and recreational goals, your educational requirements, social accomplishments, business achievements and even emotional goals may be formulated in part or in whole. Each one of them may require a separate action plan that can fit in your overall life-style.

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Your decision is made. You have decided to proceed with XYZ objectives. You are now committed to them. But nothing is irreversible except time. There is still time to review and restate your objectives. When reassured, now is the time to formulate the layout details of these objectives. Highlight each one separately and add the required steps that you think are needed to keep you going ahead and their sequences or concomitant activities. If unsure, ask for advice, read success stories pertaining to similar endeavours. List the skills sets and resources that you have. Be generous with your list. Then try to define the other skills you will need. Your time line for accomplishing key tasks should be realistic and encompass some measurable milestones. List the desired key accomplishments that will give you the additional push and give yourself sufficient periods to review, evaluate and adjust your plan. Let us take the example of your choice: to become an Olympic medal winner. This goal will become your primary mission. You have already made the first step. You have decided to do something and have created a mental picture of what you want. Your next step is to focus on that idea and have aide-memoirs to remind you of your choice. The plan of action that you will elaborate should be filled with series of activities to reaffirm and build your energy source that will sustain you over a period of eight to ten years. You have to understand that you are not the unique participant; there are thousands of others who will embark upon their own development plan and will be physically and mentally ready when you are expected to be facing them. One of your challenges is that Olympics are held every four years and that there is only one gold medal per category. Because the difference between obtaining a gold or a bronze medal has hundreds of ramifications, are you prepared to accept either or be sufficiently satisfied with your participation?. These are some of your challenges, but if properly motivated and guided, you can do it. Seek deeply inside yourself and reaffirm that this goal is yours to be manifested and the hardships that will be endured to taste that final satisfaction are not insurmountable. Should it remain your goal? Is the spark strong enough? Acknowledge your emotions and desires. Restate your commitment; do not fear, there is nothing inside you that will hurt you. All the negatives thoughts have to be turned into positive opportunities. In your plan, make provision for the elements of chance; potential injuries down the road and the many coordinating events outside your making. They will influence your success levels at different stages. Once engaged, ensure you are now sufficiently in love with judo training methods and regimen and that your affection to judo will last for your entire period of time and beyond. You have a noble objective that must be treated seriously. Your lifestyle will be affected by it over the next ten years and even thereafter. Your project is too important to you to be managed by others. You are to remain in charge of the overall project.

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Of course, others will participate in its coordination and you will need different coaches, one to initiate you properly and give you that special love of the sport, another one to guide you in your skills development and show you the discipline and the commitment and likely you will need another one to help you master the techniques and prevail over other competitors found in the high performance circle of the shiai-jo. Sensei Koga Toshihito a well know Olympian and world champion in the 1990’s summed up his commitment in an interview conducted by the magazine L’Esprit du Judo in February 2008 as follow: “ I have learned at an early age that I could not become stronger than other judokas if I did not train harder than them”12

Competitors enjoying the glory of that special moment Selecting judo as a recreational activity and as a means to improve your personality will also demand a committed plan of action and may look very different from the one just described. Both your competition oriented and self-improvement goals may be realized simultaneously and not be detrimental to each other. Both require your attention and dedication. Since your life is not an isolated event, there will be other kind of persons and circumstances that will influence your success or failure. These outsiders are sometimes referred to as stakeholders. They may come from your immediate family, your dojo membership, casual friends, sponsors or even enemies or foes depending on how strong they can exercise an influence on you.

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Koga Toshihiko, About Becoming Champion, L’Esprit du Judo Magazine, no 12, Feb 2008

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Regardless of numerous and appealing inputs from others, you will have to remain in charge of your decisions. As principal project manager and architect of your becoming, you need to stay in charge of calculating your risks, your chances of success, your energy cost etc. You will have to make the final decision to assemble the necessary resources, establish your training or activity schedule and set your performance outcomes. Both on the tatami and outside the dojo, some of your projects will be undertaken independently as they represent small and short investment in both time and resources. Others will be more complicated and of such magnitude that they will demand years of sacrifices and efforts. Their coordinated actions will demand the intervention of several stockholders and will be dependent upon your sustained commitment and determination.

This book is not meant to provide you with a definite road map on how to become an Olympian nor be anyone else for that matter. You already understand or will understand quickly that few things in life are straight forward, your projects are no exception: they will evolve and change. What you undertake will likely have an impact on others at some time and may even change the course of events for many who will be under your influence. Are you up to it? You have to true to yourself and not try to become someone else. You may have identified other judo personalities or stakeholders that may provide you with far more reaching terms of reference and give you other kinds of advice. Listen to them and reflect upon what they provide, yet try to remain master of your own destiny. Listen to all others who may have a contribution to make, but do not be at their mercy or their callings.

“There is no road to walk but your own”
Tao meditation

As the principal project manager, you shall be responsible and accountable to yourself for the allocation of your specific resources: physical fitness improvement, skills refinement, mental courage, event selection, availability for training, use of time span, levels of effort, disbursement of energy and renewed commitment. This is not a simple task, it will require lots of savoir faire to remain on top of the situation and do the right thing in the right sequence.

There will be some risks to be assessed, surprises and unexpected difficulties arising and you will have to make quick decisions to deal with them. This is your commitment and your life. Your tools can be taken away but your dream shall persist if you so wish.

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Hereunder are general management rules that have been proven effective over time and which can be applied to your project. -Concentrate on interacting with those who will influence your project. Communicate clearly with all players. Meet with them often, discuss, identify their support or influence levels and try to get the maximum from them. -Keep the organisation of your schedule of events and proposed actions as simple as possible; do not undertake too many things simultaneously that will bog you down. -Plan strategically. Keep the big picture or goal in mind all the time. Relate daily actions with the overview and the grand picture in your mind. Break your action plan into sub projects or partitions by category, by periods of time, etc., so that you can observe your progress and keep your motivation going. -Make room for surprises and unexpected difficulties. Try to identify problems and anticipate difficulties as early as possible. -Carefully identify your stakeholders and how they will influence your decisions to go ahead and undertake your next group of events or actions; it may be the coach, the mentor, the friends, the training partners, the support teams, etc.. -Be prepared to handle conflicts that may arise from time to time because of your changing priorities or different perception of events amongst stakeholders. -Listen to your inner feelings and intuition. This inner method of processing information has often proven its worth. At times, all information may not sound or present a priori to be as logical as you would think, make use of your past experience and go with the flow of your instincts. -Keep your focus on what is to be realized. There will be plenty of occasions for behavioural changes and hesitation. Review periodically and stay the course. -Do not be afraid to make changes and take corrective action. Everything will not fall exactly as planned. Obtaining 100% of 100% all the time is a monumental achievement. Be prepared to accept quality time and effort for their just values as long as you give your best all the time. Accept the consequences and forge on.

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STRATEGIC OVERVIEW-INSPIRATION
“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, But in the expert’s mind, there are few”
Zen master Suzuki S.

Your dreams and goals are starting to shape up. With your imagination, you create what you desire and want in life. You have had hesitations to proceed but now, you are convinced to proceed. You now need inspiration, to light up your spirit with the spark that resides in your inner soul so that you may be guided towards what you want or desire. When we are told that someone has had the inspiration we frequently have a mental image of a bright light shining upon them. We may define the inspiration as what your soul extrapolates from your deepest inner desires. It has been said that from potential inner chaos, emerges clarity. Inspiration is your primary mean of releasing energy. It is somewhat of a mystical phenomenon that has been classified rightly or wrongly as a spiritual calling, an awakening or dream-like spontaneity. Before you can do something that you have never done, you have to be able to imagine it as being possible. If you do not pursue such an idea, it will die away. Do not let it happen to your judo project plan or other activity. You may find sudden inspiration after having entertained several solutions to a difficult situation and having left some problems unsolved for a while. During this repose, your mind will keep the internal juggling process at work and at a moment of meditation or relaxation, all things will fall to their respective places. It is this sudden clarity in purpose that will define and confirm your whole action plan. Inspiration is bigger than a dream and larger than simple memory recall. It shows up suddenly as a light flash, from nowhere yet it engulfs you entirely. There is some sort of an awakening. This brilliant idea of yours may not be understood by anyone else, you may even look foolish to entertain it. Yet, it is your way to create new endeavours. When inspired, you become your own teacher. Founders of several martial art schools have referred to this kind of activity as part of their divine revelation and have said that unknown creatures such as the Tengu of Japanese folklore provided them with inspiration. Having the inspiration may well become your starting point for all your future actions. Inspiration is your instant solution to your desire. It is your belief and commitment that shine over your actions. The French writer, Victor Hugo is reputed to have said: “There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

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STRATEGIC BRAIN STORMING-MEDITATION
The moment of inspiration may come from your dreams or your meditation process. Meditation is a personal experience by which you can find your inner-self during calm moments, in silence, with rhythmic breathing and deep concentration. Entering into meditation is a way to discover yourself with a detached mind. Through meditation you will discover that you belong amongst the cosmic energy system. Like all other matter in the universe, you are one integrated unit possessing several energy fields. You are made up of bones, flesh, water, chemicals, blood and air. You are influenced by their relationships, their current, their mass, their vibration and speed of movement. You are capable of several functions that complement each other and which need to be in balance. In fact, you are one super machine and above all, you have a mind that governs and manages it all. Obtaining the necessary wisdom to address situations and problems in order to comprehend them fully is not a given for all the beginners. Your mind or spirit is a complicated and obscure matter that gives you your living uniqueness and soul. Meditation is your strategic weapon or key which lets you enter and navigate into its mist. Meditation will require your total attention and dedication. You first need to learn how to relax and let your thoughts circulate freely within you without stopping on particular obstacles; real subjects, distorted symbols, fantastic ideas or dream-like subjects will go by pell-mell and randomly in your head and later on, there will be emptiness. It will be followed by a period whereby you can concentrate on one or many subjects of your choosing. Through meditation, you are somewhat trying to achieve a psychophysical unity. You abandon your natural possessive ego with all its limited thinking and judgemental processes to seek your inner strength. You are seeking that energy which is composed of mental freedom and the power of concentration. In our martial art milieu, the meditation process is often called Zen and Zazen when it makes reference to the sitting posture. It came to us from centuries of meditation transformations from India and China through Buddhist priests who rendered it available to samurai and Japanese folk people. It was prevalent with the early judo experts. Most beginners will attend a meditation session under the guidance of a master of sort, a sempai, a person who has been there before them. Others will participate in group exercises in a quiet dojo or meditation hall. To get into the mood for meditation, all need to be relaxed. Some people will make use of all kinds of support such as total silence; sitting in the traditional oriental lotus position; prescribed to a strict orientation facing east or south or embark into physical trances through dancing or repetitive humming, chanting or reciting sutras, phrases or poems. These support tools although very effective, may not be appropriate for most people.

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You can start a meditation by entertaining a reflection on who you are, where you came from and what you want to do in life. You may choose to take a stroll in peaceful surroundings and concentrate on the meaning of your existence. If you find that topic too involving for a beginner, try to select topics more friendly oriented and where you can easily see yourself involved with the process. You may choose seasonal happenings: spring and the beginning of life, summer and natural beauties, fall and the rhapsody of colours, winter and preservation of life. Sports events and social happiness are also good subjects to choose from. The key requirements are to determine your subject of attention without hanging your thoughts to particular descriptions or details. You should have your vision take you beyond the peripherals and get rid of past judgements, prejudices or stigmas. Let your mind find the proper equilibrium of things by being free to roam from one extreme to the other and then settle on the object of choice. This peace of mind can not be secured in a noisy and distracting environment. You need to find a quiet place where you can have some moments where you are naturally isolated from the noises and distractions of your environment.

“In silence, the spirit rises and joy comes”
Zen proverb

In my limited experience, I found the early morning or late night periods to be ideal times. You may well experience the need to meditate during different time zones such as when having a rest period in the day and where you are free of all interferences. Meditation is more beneficial when you are relaxed and assuming a good posture that permeates energy and relaxation at the same time. In the judo dojo, you may have adopted the zazen posture when sitting on your knees with your body straight, head up and hands resting on your knees. Elsewhere, try sitting comfortably or kneeling on a mat with your body well aligned as to permit your weight to descend into your abdominal region and anchor it to the ground. Keeping your head straight as if pushing the sky with it and with your eyes half-closed, breathe rhythmically and deep by pushing your air against the abdominals and releasing it slowly. To ensure you enter into a rhythm you can try “omming” for a period of time.

“Sit still and disengage normal activities. Draw energy from earth, admit power from heavens. Fertilize the seed within: let it sprout into a flower of pure light, and the brightness opens the top of your head; divine light will come pouring in.”13
Tao meditation, Deng Ming-Dao

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Deng Ming-Dao, Daily Meditation, Tao 365, Harper San-Francisco, USA, 1992

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If unable to sit or kneel, try walking about in tsugi-ashi form where your feet slides on the ground one foot preceding the other and your toes touching the ground as if you want to “feel” your way. Keep a certain rhythm in your pacing and use your abdominal and pelvic areas to guide you forward. Now that you have a good posture and your respiration is conducive to relaxation, you can review your past day’s activities. Imagine you are watching a film of your last 12 hours with no commercial breaks. At the end of your mental presentation you can use introspection and deeper reflection techniques to focus or identify a definite item, subject or a circumstance that will capture your mind for the next while. If you are not familiar with the meditation process, you may have to train your mind to focus on a particular subject or item and keep that interest vividly to a point where you will become fully integrated with and consumed by the subject matter. You need to let your mind travel freely without being restricted by intellectual rules and processes. Your deep concentration will permit you to become absent to all other distractions and persons. You will soon enter your own bubble. What should enhance your meditation session is if you are able to regulate your breathing by gently inhaling for a moment, holding or pausing for another, then releasing your breath at the last frequency, similar to your inhaling time. When deeply concentrating, you will be temporarily unaffected by all the outside noises and become completely detached so that you mind will float without hesitation. During that moment of tranquility, you will eventually be able to do some deep soul searching. Ancient Zen teachers suggested that you attack the emptiness with your total presence and that you should confront the total attack with your emptiness. This is very similar to the yielding principle as applied in judo. “Zen is a repetitive and liberating process demanding constant

efforts”14
Zen master Deshimaru Taisen

“The real Zen is here and now, in your body and spirit. If your posture and breathing are correct, your spirit will jettison.”
Zen master Deshimaru Taisen

During your meditation beginnings, you may well return to familiar subjects. Once familiar with the common subjects, you may venture into seeking a deeper understanding of yourself by letting your mind travel towards and amongst your perceived weaknesses and your fears. You will penetrate some of your still unknown elements and once you have been there, your ignorance will dissipate and you will understand and fear them no longer.

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Deshimaru Taisen, La Pratique du Zen, Éditions Albin Michel, Paris, 1981

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Zen garden in Tokyo With further practice, you may even attempt making some free association. Having your eyes closed, breathing gently and having your mind empty of troublesome thoughts and anxieties, you can focus on images related to your past performance of selected technique or concentrate on a particular skill needed to accomplish it. You can repeat the image over and over in your mind just like performing uchikomi. This method should facilitate your overall skills learning and sharpens your concentration. This free association is sometime called visualisation. By using visualisation exercises you can create an image of what you want to become or be. By making an image of yourself involved with a group of movements helps or allows your body to feel, to identify with, to move, to react without exterior obstacles. When returning to your usual physical practice in the dojo, you should be able to review, see and “feel” these newly created images and compare them to your physical performance. Should you have more time on your hand, you may venture to reflect about the more difficult subjects such as the following five virtues: JIN-GI-REI-CHI-SHIN. These elements were seen as essential in old Budo training. They refer to sensibility and intelligence, justice and rectitude, courtesy, sincerity and loyalty. Once your reflection or meditation is terminated, try to exercise these virtues in your daily life. Meditation and visualisation is not that easy to master. Do not despair if it takes time. Improvement should come one day at the time. The way to excel above others is to work harder then they and let them talk about your improvement. Do not choose the easy way out. You must train daily at making small progress and improvement.

“My master is human and so am I”
Japanese proverb

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Once you get the gist of it, meditation will become your favourite pastime and tool to enter quickly into your “zone”. Within your free space, you will be able to concentrate on all matters at hand without being distracted. Your efforts to enter and stay in your “bubble” or zone will develop concentration power, entertain your intuition capabilities, make you gain self confidence and liberate your creativity.

A meditation subject: the pink lotus symbolizing the rebirth.

“From murky waters, the stem grows, the blossom rises above. It opens to the sun, beautiful and fragrant”.
In judo like in kendo, we use this inner strength of vigilance when we refer to the state of Zanshin. Our mind remains open yet we have no concern nor are we distracted. We stand at the ready to deal with the instant attack. Sensei Kudo Kazuzo, 9th dan, mentioned that the use of such spiritual power has always had the upper hand over the use of bodily strength. On the use of strength, he recalled: “I mean keeping calm and alert and full of energy; relaxing your arms and legs; being free but completely aware and responsive to what is going on around you. This spiritual condition also involves accepting your opponent’s techniques and not attempting to resist him.”15

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Kudo Kazuzo, Judo in Action, Japan Publication Trading, Tokyo, Japan, 1976

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STRATEGIC IMAGE

“The high octane needed by champions to drive further and faster comes from their entourage.”
Translation from : Champion dans la Tête, p 87

You already have a good appreciation of yourself. Since your early life and since you joined the judo circle, you have developed many forms or images of yourself. Your family background and your life’s experiences have played a large part in determining who you think you are and who you should be. Your parents, teachers, friends and other people you have met can tell you what they think of you and what they expect of you. In turn, you can easily identify the images they imprint on you. Your life experiences, your accomplishments, sorrows, losses and success all add to the colouring and reality of your image. Your “EGO” will be garish by then and you may well give those different characteristics, importance or meanings over time. You have to remain vigilant not to stand out and be out of tune in a crowd. You have to be careful that your image is not swollen disproportionately by too much personal exclusivity, vanity and egoism. If you are constantly full of yourself, there will be no room for your compassion towards others. Your image will rise fast above others to be quickly blown away, much to your chagrin. You need balance in your perspective and acquire new knowledge that will make you conscious of your presence amongst others. In judo, your status is somewhat defined by the image you intend to project. From your very first lesson, you are either open to others or closed to new learning experiences. You need not display a super hero image nor be ashamed of your lack of abilities and knowledge. Like the other participants, you should try to do your best all the times. Let the designation of “ champion” and “master” be expressed sincerely by your opponents in due time. Meanwhile, try to get better at each session. Let others visualize your technical progress and recognize both your love for judo and your commitment. Your time of glory will come in due course. As you enter the dojo, you will note the camaraderie that prevails. You will soon be asked to train with peers and be informed of their sincerity as well as the commitment of the teacher. You will be part of a distinct family made entirely of students. You all wear the same white judogi. This uniform serves both as a trade mark and as a sign of recognition of your appurtenance. Of your efforts, you can expect immediate feedback. Other forms of feedback will be offered periodically by your teacher and training partners. Considering yourself as a combatant, you will be introduced to a disciplined framework and be expected to conduct yourself with fair-play and within the prescribed combat rules.

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Soon, you will be able to assume a responsibility level commensurate with your experience and be considered for advancement in your learning programme. With each technique performed, you will be accountable to do your best and help others with their learning skills. Throughout your training sessions with peers, you will be tasked to ensure their safety. As your practice schedule increases, you will be investing more time and effort on becoming the kind of judoka you aspire to be. You will be free to experiment and develop new ways to perfect your techniques, to practice your skills and become a better person. You can still choose to be the arrogant and selfish combatant or lean towards becoming a humanistic judo player. Should you choose the former, rest assured that you will feel lonely on most occasions. If you care for others, you will soon find a marked increase in your energy levels and power sources. As you become better and execute your technique with more freedom, you will discover other skills to deal with unforeseen situations. Your self confidence will reflect your sincerity and the powerful individual you have become. You may well discover that you have gathered as much power as a company’s president or business tycoon. They have an institution to look after, but you have established your empire over yourself and can radiate world wide. As you gain physical and mental control your self image will change. Others will see you as a mature judoka, capable of resolving all kinds of training difficulties and by extrapolation help others with their problems. This allure is important for your ego. During a Shiai, when the technical odds are equals in determining a true champion, it is the one with the most spirit that will prevail. As you enter the realm of championships, you will note that other champions are not only winners on the tatamis; they impose themselves wherever they are through their sincerity, presence, allure, charisma and deportment. They may sometimes intimidate others by their exploits and positive values. Like many of them, try remaining yourself and playing on the champion figure to stimulate other to seek improvements in themselves. Like them, you too can create an image of invincibility. Your positive attitude and sincerity will make you the kind of leader that few will dare to challenge. Your biggest challenge will be to impersonate: to tell the world that your actions are those of a leader and make them believe in you. When others observe your allure and deportment, they will notice the great respect you have towards them; that you are sincere and show no fear towards life’s difficulties or threats. They will know that you are available for them in times of need.

“A warrior takes every person as an adversary. He sees all the vulnerable points and trains to eliminate his own. A sage has no vulnerability”
Tao meditation

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THE CHAMPION IDENTITY
“Put forth your effort with no thought of gain” “Sun shines in the center of the sky, all things turn their faces towards the light.”
Tao meditation, Deng Ming-Dao

As a judo champion, rest assured that all eyes and ears are upon you all the time. All your actions, looks, verbal expressions and allure even during the pre-competition may have an influence upon your challengers. It is natural for a crowd to seek out the outstanding elements. Coaches, peers and spectators are attentive to all that can be captured as signs of strength or weakness. Your first appearance will attract their attention. The way you warm up, move about, keep composure or how you may be distracted are carefully studied and noted. Should you hesitate before entering the shiai-jo, be irritated by the administrative details, preoccupied by who you will fight or meet; scared from the consequences of the injuries not fully recovered; preoccupied by the danger of adding to them; showing lack of confidence in yourself or being on edge with your support team members, you will definitely be a target for the opponent’s tactics. You have to realize that when facing an opponent in the shiai-jo, both participants play a game of nerves in order to assume their supremacy over the other. Mental superiority and control are paramount to your success. Your physical fitness and your superb techniques will follow your commitment. To become and remain a champion, you have to act like one and dominate all three aspects of Shin-Gi-Tai. Do not be taken by the array of tools some players will resort to glorify their presence and make believe they are the super star of the moment. To beef up their self image and lure others in thinking that they are champions, they bring their entourage and press gallery. They enter the area with a group of enthusiastic partners; surround themselves with colourful people that will attract attention by their demeanours, their language etc. On the other hand, should you seek to establish your presence as a true confident and capable judoka? Your presence should radiate confidence and independence. Your composure alone is sufficient to be menacing to your future opponents. You only need to display the heijo-shin or the strong mental attitude. You may develop your own style of presenting yourself: do not reveal everything of your personality at once, leave some characteristics to be discovered by others. Be physically and mentally alert and remain flexible and detached. Do not carry too many physical ornaments that may distract or single you out. Be comfortable in your warm-up uniform and in judogi. In the warm-up area, be selective of the kind of exercises you perform and the people you talk with. Every action should reflect your mental determination and your technical readiness.

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Self confidence and technical maturity should be transparent in your approach. Your internal strength should be maintained at the explosive, ready level, Remain in control with a stonewall façade having set your mind and techniques on the target. Unable to detect your inner power, others will fear you, and as such, you will be on the road to a personal gain. As a champion, the conduct of your daily life should also be regarded as a management activity for which you are in charge. You can decide to listen to others, take advantages of opportunities, amass quantities of ideas, learn instructions, attend to your well being, or go with the flow as you desire. Your innermost heart can be revealed by your slip of the tongue, even if it is meant to be a joke. Here under are a few steps that can be applied to reinforce your self images; just reflect upon them. 1. Dare to dream of your potential abilities and accomplishments. 2. Find an entourage of persons who believe in you. 3. Have the courage and determination to begin your journey. 4. Be passionate about what you do and do it with love. 5. Follow your dreams regardless of obstacles. 6. Experiment, explore and innovate as much as you can. 7. Share your dreams and your realisations. 8. Find joy in the doing and in sharing. 9. Constantly challenge yourself to do better. 10. Maintain the discipline in your plan of action and with your efforts. 11. Make deliberated choices and live with their consequences. 12. Do it for your benefit and well being. Should you make a mistake or make a bad judgement in administrating your affairs, you are reminded that everything is not lost. Excesses in various physical, social and intellectual domains will demand of you some extra time and effort that will drain your energy and render you more vulnerable to both others and to yourself. The importance is to keep your focus. To panic about a mistake or a lost opportunity is to lose your balance. As with every other activity you perform in judo, you need to keep your balance. You will find plenty of other opportunities and moments for decision which can redirect your efforts towards your goals. If you stay honest and truthful to yourself, you will find ways to remedy a wrong turn and realign your goals and energies without disastrous consequences.

“Prey passes the tiger that sometimes merely looks. Sometimes he pounces without hesitation but never fails to act”
Tao meditation

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Champion in the making

Our life is generally made up of opportunities that must be taken advantage of. As done by the tiger in the aforementioned reflection, you need to deliberately set your act in motion to respond to your needs. No matter what good or bad circumstance life has to offer you, you must try to adapt and commit yourself to engage it. As a rule, try to be honest, loyal and generous and always do your best. Live for the moment. Fight for your beliefs and find happiness in all your endeavours. Once you find happiness, you can accomplish all other things with your reserved energy. Remember that Shin-Gi-Tai are your abilities and that your motivation will determine how well you express yourself through them. You will become a better judoka by practicing judo more often. Try to act naturally at the exact moment and you shall have no regrets.

To become a champion you need not gain the approval of others. Those wishing to succeed listen only to their internal voice.

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YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN
“A sword is never sheathed until it has tasted blood. A good swordsman is seldom seen with a sword”
Tao meditation

Now that you have determined your goals and feel sufficiently motivated by them, your next step is to begin making your plan with an assessment of the situation. You have to determine the feasibility of achieving that goal within a given time frame. Do not delegate that responsibility; you are your own project manager. Since you are the person of primary concern, your analysis should start with YOU. Strength and weakness analysis Take a sheet of paper upon which you will write your mission, goal or your final objective. List all your known physical and mental strengths and their characteristics. Identify your physical, mental and social skills that may substantially work in your favour or which can casually or indirectly contribute to your success. Do not be afraid to list the minor points or experience you have gained in past years; your family support, your self confidence, your pride, your good achievements and positive souvenirs. Similarly, determine what items you consider to be your weaknesses. Try to evaluate their importance and their possible negative impact. Do not avoid confronting them, you have to face them and deal with them. Do not be shy to identify past injuries, health problems, allergies, mental predispositions and lack of certain skills, stress control levels, lack of technical know how, insufficient knowledge of the rules of the game, lack or remoteness of training facilities, your financial and material resources, the absence or influence of human and social support groups. Try to identify the more remote demons for which you may have a tendency to hide even from yourself such as: ambition, stress levels, boredom, commitment, discipline, fatigue, reputation, emotional jerks, anterior motives, humiliation tendencies and selfishness. Those hidden features may drag you down in your quest if you do not address them properly. Know thyself well. To be able to understand who and what your demons are is your first step to free your mind and take command of yourself. Technical factors that need assessing There are several other factors or components which may affect your current or future judo performance. They will need to be assessed properly. They are: your ability to perform some basics motor skills such as moving about and turning left and right, hopping on one leg, crawling, twisting and rolling, jumping, pulling, carrying different weight etc. Your ability to change direction quickly and smoothly to perform complex technical movement or changing from offensive to defensive posture need be reviewed. You need to be able to assess how well you move with regards to time and distance.

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You will have to determine if you have sufficient kinaesthetic awareness to relate to your surroundings, particularly when performing ne-waza or when being thrown. Do you show enough flexibility in your movements and do you have the necessary endurance to last the most intense training period or competition schedule? Determine the value of external factors /of stakeholders. Looking at your environment, you will have to determine who can provide what services and assistance and when. Other people may be affected by your success or failure. Who are they and what will be the impact of your relationship on them? What power do they exercise on you? What do they want for you? How far can they impact your success? How will you know that they will be satisfied with your proposed actions? Who can you depend upon for technical help, financial assistance, physical support, training facilities, motivational and supportive psychological facilitation? Be careful to identify the parasites and the opportunists who will tag along without really contributing anything worthwhile and who will try to gain a certain prestige or position of influence by being seen to be related to your project. With this preliminary information on your fact sheets, you have already made your first commitment. You are ready to align your strategy with your goal. You now have to add many details to your observations. Your frame of work will identify and break down the principle events that will contribute to the elimination or irradiation of your weaknesses and build upon your strengths. (Keep in mind the acronym PECP: to plan, to execute, to check and to pursue.)

When feeling down or discouraged by the tasks ahead, Don your judogi and perform visual or physical randori.

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CREATING YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN
“The key to nourishing life is to strengthen the body. The secret of strengthening the body lies in concentrating the spirit” “A quality greater than any precept or virtue; it is perseverance that makes people great”
Zen master Hakuin (1668-1768)16

We must understand how fast we live and how we are still attached to our past, yet, we should keep the present full of rich and satisfying experiences and we should devote some energy of our daily activities towards building our future. People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. So give as much care to the end of your plan as you did to the beginning. You need to personalize your actions. Develop your key activities keeping in minds quirks of your own personality. There should be periods for contemplation and action. You are bound to face mood swings and physical adjustments in accordance with times of year, seasons, lunar cycles and intellectual desires. You should therefore plan various active and rest periods. You can usually estimate that you can keep up with a heavy output program for about 23 to 28 days per month. Less strenuous activities and rest periods should be programmed along a three or seven day cycle. For every planning activity, you should have the confidence that you will make the best of your potentials. Be creative and free with your first layout. Your plan could stay a mental or verbal exercise but it is preferable that you start writing it down so that you can make frequent referrals to it. With such a written document of expressions, you can then turn it into a “To-do” list. Break down the major events into sub objectives or activities keeping in mind the resources you will need and the time requirements. Do not take obstacles as major setbacks, they are part of growing up and walking the path; you should deal with them promptly and carry on. Do not skip critical steps; you cannot achieve all your goals instantaneously. Embarking upon the design of your plan means sorting out your training regimen. Your love of judo will be tested. Training time is not free of hardship. Do not lose sight of your overall goal to seek excellence. Determination and commitment will be paramount. You have to remember that it is not the end product that counts, but the process of getting there. The daily accumulation of trials and errors will lead to your success. Hereunder is a sample of a general judo training plan used by Judo BC which may help you create your own. The plan outlines general activities. If only some parts are chosen you will need to define specific goals for each activity and break down the weekly and daily requirements. Plans are normally broken down into seasons, months, weeks and daily performance. It is wise to plan for each day. By setting goals and organizing your activities around them, you are sure not to waste precious time.

16

Hakuin, Calligraphy by John Stevens, Zen Masters, Kodansha, Tokyo, Japan, 1999

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Overview of
B.C. STRATEGIC JUDO TRAINING PLAN

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Should one of your projects involve improving your techniques, my recommendations are that: you should try to learn as much as you can from as many sources as possible. Keep the beginner’s attitude to seek, to question and ask for variance. While at the dojo, try to note how you perform and how well you stand out from the others. Redefine your needs frequently; try to master the fundamentals of each technique in order to release your energy at the right moment without being preoccupied with the consequences of not being able to perform well. Identify and note your difficulties and weaknesses in achieving these goals. Review your strong points. List the conditions where you have exhibited the best performances. Reflect upon the lessons learned and of your favourite moments. You should seek more training time with seniors and learn from their experience. Try to make different forms of your techniques and as often as possible. Train with a variety of opponents and under all kinds of circumstances such as mat work, randori and shiai. Be curious and experiment with your potential. Be creative and push the envelope of what is acceptable. Do it with regularity and commitment. Try to do better at every practice and be sincere with yourself. Remember that your success depends upon your efforts and dedication. Give yourself some room to breath and recuperate. Manage your output cycles with intelligence; make some room to store up on your reserves. Do not overstretch your goals and keep them under control. On occasion, you will realize a perfect technique and you should gain great satisfaction from that experience. Use that singular moment to motivate you further by trying to emulate it under different circumstances. It should be natural for you to seek to repeat that unique moment as often as possible. For at that instant, you may have felt entirely free of obstacles; have floated in the air with ease without being preoccupied by psychological and physical pressures. It will be remembered as a moment of ecstasy and freedom. You will have accomplished the harmony of mind-technique and body: Shin-Gi-Tai

“The enemy is us”

“High winds do not last all morning Heavy rain does not last all day So it is with man’s deployment of strength.” 7 days without judo training make a weak judoka! Today is a victory over what you were yesterday.

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DEALING WITH PROBLEMS
“Success is derived from knowledge and experience, both of which are subsequently obtained by solving problems.” “The real victory is to be free to think and to act.”
Tao meditation

Problems with your training schedule and difficulties will arise when unforeseen events occur or when you are facing a situation for which you are ill prepared or misinformed. It is important for you to gather all the facts and analyse all the pertinent information before you take the initiative to deal with them. Your vision and determination will decide the outcomes. You have to be careful not to be entangled too long with the difficulties. Like all things in life you will encounter ups and downs. Problems will vary in complexity and each one comes with a gift hidden within their solution. There are two sides to each problem, the difficulty and the opportunity. Most people see the problem as a threat and react defensively. On the other hand, the most success oriented person realizes the opportunity it represents and the valuable learning experience it contains. Past judo champions are not free of problems. They are mostly individuals who have been able to deal with difficult situations effectively. Keeping their mind focussed on the objectives, they attacked their problems by dividing and resolving those piece by piece.. Taking your cue from past samurai, faced with the possibilities of defeat and death, you must tackle each problem promptly and be prepared to live with the consequences. The first step in mastering your problem is to define it correctly. You have to define it in terms of severity of impact. Look at it from different angles, and seek other sources of information that might be helpful to outline a solution. Test your proposed ideas and solutions for their viability and timeliness. Give yourself sufficient time to incubate the solution before making your final choice. Once convinced of the approach, apply it promptly. Whatever the solution you will apply, it will become a stepping stone towards your growth. In seeking a solution, try to think outside of your normal and logical process. Avoid hastily made negative judgement or those ideas that could cloud your vision and creativity. There is more than one solution to a problem. Seek and you will find one. It was Albert Einstein that said: “You can not solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created the problem”. Think out of the box; look for different ideas by observing natural phenomena. Do mix and match with known solutions that proved their worth in the past. Then, test your mathematical formula: add, subtract, divide, multiply or redesign and re-arrange your puzzle.

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You must avoid continuous confrontations with your difficulty. They drain your energy. Spend no more than 5% of your time talking about it and use 95% of your energy towards solving it. You have several choices: avoid, confront, accept, disregard and then, move on with a more positive scenario. Your solution is secondary to the improvements you will make by attempting to solve the problem.

“On Ko Chi Shin”: To understand new ideas, you must study old ones.
Japanese proverb

Now that you have decided on a plan and can cope efficiently with the difficulties and problems as they arise; it is time to test your theories in familiar surroundings. You should refine them and later on, apply them to fit your lifestyle. Your mental alertness is your best weapon in both defense and offense, whether armed or unarmed. There are no guarantees for success, only a responsible and intelligent training program and a determined action plan will lead you to it. “Even on the road to hell, flowers can make you smile.”
Tao meditation

Early commitment to a training regime

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DEALING WITH POTENTIAL OPPONENTS
Judo superiority is often established by being able to read and recognize external signs and being in the right position to do something about it. In an article in the Citadel Press of 2002, Dr H. Lung explained the potential for mind manipulation by stating that:” The mind sees and then stores information even the most complex of information as a simple picture or symbol. This holds true whether the brain is taking in information only through the eyes or through one of the other senses: hearing, smell, taste or touch.” As we are all unique from one another, we are bound to have different motivation for our actions. We see and capture an image from various points of view. Try to make use of this diversity to study and make use of some psychology against your opponents. Medical officers and psychologists have identified that mental picturing of an action causes our nervous system to react as if we were actually doing or absorbing the action. As real images may be distorted by eye fatigue, environmental conditions and suggestions, your training must include strategies to defend your mind from intrusion and manipulation by your opponents. It was Sun Tzu that said;“ To subdue an enemy without fighting is the greatest of skills.” Martial fighters have been known to use tricks, treachery and mental tools such as intimidation, superstition, disguise and mysticism to sow doubt and overcome their enemies. As a combatant, you can train to discern overall attitude and beliefs from your opponents. You need to sharpen your observation and analytical skills: watch every move of the opponent, detect hesitation in voice, look for hand trembling, appearance of sweat, smell the transpiration and others signs of potential action as we discussed earlier. By being aware, you can discover most of their physical and mental weakness such as fear, lust and anger and turn those against them in order to distort their reality, their vision and by doing so, set doubt in their abilities to confront you. Once they have shown their hand, try to identify the various nuances, the expressions and search for clues as to what they mean. You can then apply various techniques to destroy their self confidence and overpower them. Think militarily when engaging your opponents: a field commander will not engage an enemy blindly and surely not without first gathering all he can about the enemy’s weakness and the terrain where he will fight. Before an opponent, you have or he has three potential situations: to attack, to defend or withdraw. You both need to decide what to do base upon your knowledge of the ground and of the enemy. By ruse or deception, he may seed anger in an opponent’s mind, cloud his reason and slow down his actions. With the arrogant fighter seeking greed, you need to scatter valuable lures with feints. With the proud ones, pretend to be inferior and encourage him to display himself so that you can overturn him. Do not sympathize with the one who seems in difficulties, this will cause you to hesitate and lose your focus. With the tenacious one, help him work himself to fatigue and then take him when he has no more energy reserve. With the predictable opponent applying the same routine, try to break the rhythm and impose yours. These tactics can all be practiced in both the randori and shiai.

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THE BATTLEGROUND/RANDORI
“A knife keeps its edge only with honing and proper cutting. A warrior’s virtue is readiness; a sage’s virtue is awareness.”
Tao meditation

The best judo battleground is called RANDORI. From its inception, randori is composed of two characters: ran /dori. The first meaning war, disorder, trouble, confusion and the second, dori is a derivative for tori, the one with the initiative. You can think of the randori as a war game, or training activity by which tori is free to attack the opponent at his pleasure with whatever techniques he chooses. In ancient definition it meant to interfere with an opponent’s objective and seize the opportunity in order to subdue him. In today’s concept, it is a training exercise where players are trying to act freely, seek opportunities, break the other’s rhythm, create new initiatives, explore their potentials and act speedily to take advantage of a state of disequilibrium and score with a decisive technique. In randori, both you and your partner are free to exploit all your potentials without worrying about failure or achieving decisive victory. I think that this type of exercise is your learning battleground and where real apprenticeship takes place. With randori practice, you will be able to formulate a plan of action, seek the right opportunity, take the initiative, study your weaknesses and correct them before attacking the opponent. You will have opportunities to do lifting, rotating and surprise techniques. Likewise, you will learn to harmonize your displacement with the opponent, study the placement of the hands, find and select the proper distance for engaging and be more attentive to using your hips and your energy. In this type of training, you will have to find and maintain control of your rhythm and keep your balance. There will be ample opportunities to challenge your physical and mental limits. You will be required to constantly improve your techniques and skills and make quick and intelligent decisions to extricate yourself from extremes positions or situations. As you will be constantly challenged to do your best, your imagination, creativity and suppleness will be your allies. Sensei Legget Trevor considered one of the most experienced British trainers once said: “The basis of judo is peace, and there is peace in friendship before and after the contest. During the match, the two players are taking their role with intense rivalry and competition while playing by given rules. They aimed at displaying their utmost abilities“17

Do not meet hard with hard or soft with soft, There is no result and it is meaningless.
Tao meditation

17

Legget Trevor, The Dragon Mask, Ippon Books, London, England, 1993

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TAKING THE INITIATIVE
“Act instantly, for each moment has its own eternity”
Tao meditation

While performing in randori and living your life, you will observe that everything around you is in a state of change and that you have to keep active. There is no dead time. The only stable condition is in the change itself. You have to keep moving unless you want to be buried under. Randori offers you a chance to study movement in action and initiate things. This microscopic view can later be beneficial when making changes to your life style. Why not become the initiator of change within your environment? There is no procrastination in Randori. Likewise, in life, there is no need to anchor your thoughts in the past. You have limited time and it is only right that you take maximum advantage of every opportunity. You will be more fortunate if you accept the flow of change and be in harmony with it. All the learned judo doctrine and experience gained should serve you in your next steps towards the pursuit of your goals. Seek out the truth; listen, observe, absorb, discuss, challenge and refine what you hear, see, smell and fell. Make it a point to fight for your belief and get completely involved in your actions. With such an attitude, you should be able to adjust to combat situations whether on the tatami or outside. You are not invincible; acknowledge that mistakes will be made en route but you must stand for your grounds and beliefs. You are bound to make incremental improvements with every action. Sensei Novovitch Michel 8th dan and a renowned international teacher referred to randori in his book, Zero Gravity, as such:18

“It is the moment of integral effort. Judoka attempt by using their best technique, their physical strength, their speed, their ability to take advantage of opportunities, to throw or control the opponent.” He also reinforced that: “one can reap all the benefits from a lifetime of judo practice without once practicing shiai. It is in the randori that the judoka is really measured, as it is here that he measures himself.”
We are limited by time and space to explain in details the various judo techniques and weapons. We have chosen a few examples that will be addressed in a later chapter. This limited arsenal will be useful when facing an opponent or a difficult situation. There are two possibilities: to engage or to flee. Whatever action you decide upon, it must be guided by both the intelligent use of energy and experience. You are at a crossroad; what you have learned from others needs to be tested and your action be just.

18

Novovitch Michel, Judo Zero Gravity, Publiday Multidia, Casablanca, Moroco, 2003

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Of course, you may decide to withdraw from the situation if you can and hope to be able to return to it later. You may easily be assailed or overwhelmed by the event and may not have an opportunity to return to face the same reality under the same conditions. You may think that waiting for more favourable conditions may appear to be a waste of time and energy but in certain circumstances, it may be the only way to survive. The important thing is to make a quick decision and withdraw from the danger zone. On the other hand, should you think that the time has come to go into action and take the initiative in order to address the issue, impose your will and control the situation; you will have to act promptly and make intelligent use of all your powers. If well prepared, there is a chance that you will win but be forewarned that at times, you may loose a bout against superior circumstances or opponents. Whatever action you decide upon, make the best use of your weapons and leave no residues of destruction, resentment or untidiness. You must do what you believe is correct at the time and place. You should have no doubt as to your capacity to confront or withdraw and have no regrets for doing it. If your weapons are used incorrectly, at the wrong time and inappropriately, you will face greater danger of loosing your superiority. You need to be in harmony with the prevailing conditions. In a judo contest, this harmony (wa) is referred to the combination of mind-technique and body (Shin-Gi-Tai) displayed by both opponents. Now, let us review the principal phases which will occur when trying to obtain the harmony.

“Crawl to begin, triumph to complete and renounce to leave”
Tao meditation

First, there is the Kuzushi phase. The decision to proceed with the initiative is formulated in your mind as a result of captured signals from the opponent and the space between both of you and your state of readiness. With this information clearly visible in your mind, you quickly evaluate the opponent’s distance, the gestures and his physical presence. You make the decision to use his lack of equilibrium or employ your own contact points on him with the arms, the legs or torso to encourage his displacement in a given direction to a far away point where he his fully committed and where he will jeopardize his balance. The second phase called the tsukuri is your approach or closing in. You should make maximum use of the distance and timing necessary to attain your target. You move your own body in the best possible stance to maximize its powers, as such you may choose to increase or shorten the distance that separate you from the opponent, by lowering your centre of gravity, leaning forward or backward, making use of your abdominal region to guide the introduction of your hip and legs closer to the target for their eventual use as support or leverage.

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The third segment of the attack is the kake. You have gained sufficient momentum in your move and have singled out a target area. You dare to launch your favourite technique in the zone with sufficient speed and a solid contact. The opponent is soon in the air or completely off balance. The precision of your entry and the impact of your contact make him fall in front, behind or beside you in a controlled manner until there is a point.

Sensei Novovitch performing randori and establishing distance for tsukuri

Taking the initiative or going on the offensive, as it is frequently called, is nothing less than unifying all your power into a harmonious process. Your intention either coming from your perception of sensory signals or as a result of your intuition of the threat evaluation will transmit the command to your body in order to respond. You are thus acting naturally to meet the elements of the circumstance. The Russian coach Moshanov Andrew recommended in his book: Judo from a Russian Perspective19 that in all three combat situations of attack, defense and withdrawal, the judoka must make use of all opportunities by using correctly his total body weight to accomplish the kuzushi, the tsukuri and the kake. He noted:” Nowadays, one can win regardless of the technical superiority of one’s opponent by nullifying every situation in a contest which could have been used by the opponent.” To dominate the contest, you not only need to be in great physical and mental form, you need to steal the initiative from the opponent and play the game on your own terms. Both on the tatami and in real life, you need to stay true to yourself. To win, you need to be more intelligent, aggressive, combatant and more determined than others without displaying outrageous and excessive actions that could place you out of control.

19

Moshanov Andrew, Judo from a Russian Perspective, Ippa Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany, 2004

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All your actions need to be accomplished naturally. You first have to get to the battle ground or at the opponent; as such you need to know who you are and who you are about to confront. You need to be focussed. Your approach requires finesse, different patterns, foot work, rhythm, speed and precision. Your mind-technique-body elements need to be united with the opponent’s intentions and displacements. By mastering MA-AI, the engagement distance, you need to keep your own physical balance and your mind set on the “ready button”. Do not let go until you have scored your IPPON. Let your kinaesthetic orientation guide you in obtaining true harmony with your opponent and with other environmental conditions so that you are able to make transitional techniques and combinations with ease. Five mental steps have been identified as being associated with the development of a kinaesthetic activity by the physiologist Abeele J.Vanden 20, and which can be used in randori training, they are: 1. You elaborate the thought of it taking place in your mind. 2. That information is transmitted to your nerve centre. 3. You activate the thought by experimenting or doing it first. 4. When tried again, you make dynamic synthesis of it. 5. With repetition, it becomes déjà vu or automated process. In your planned randori period you should be at liberty to work on improving different facets of your skills. First work on you technical improvements in order to be able to develop tokui waza that you can place at will. Try to improve on your use of the free space separating you from the opponent and make better use of the space you need to mount your definite attack or kake. Work hard to link your techniques together with combinations, counters, and surprises. Develop the liberty to move in all direction and at different speeds. When doing rearward or frontal techniques try to make greater use of your body weight while analysing what is happening with your feet, hips, torso and arms. Do not restrict yourself to one kumi-kata but be flexible and try to impose your rhythm whenever you can. Do not forget to practice your abilities to read the opponent’s signs and act accordingly. You should reflect upon the above advice and practice as many of them whenever you can.

20

Abeele V, Théorie d’Analyse du Mouvement, PEP. Licence Paper, France, 1966

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YOUR TEAM AND COACH
“If the form is straight, so will be its shadow”
Zen Proverb

We previously discussed the need to obtain assistance with your judo development plan. When you were at home, your parents provided guidance, when at school, your teachers did the same. We looked up to them with trust and expectation. In your early involvement into society’s affairs, peers or seniors may also have offered help. Now, for your judo activities, we need some coaches. With regards to your judo training plan, you need to reflect upon the fact that when facing the opponent on the mat, you are alone. All your contest results and success will be your own accomplishments. You may observe and seek good advice from peers and pick-up useful information at every opportunity. Good judo performance is complex; you need to believe in yourself, to have kokoro and be surrounded with trusted sensei and coaches who will be at your side to share their expertise and show you how best to perform the skills. But remember that they are not your substitute on the tatami. They are responsible to guide, teach and care. At times, they may even venture to make the odd judgement call on your behalf. Ultimately, they are there to ensure you are capable of making your own decisions based on the wisdom they will have provided you with. Reflecting on the judo complexity, Sensei Harrison E,J, one of the first foreigners to train at the Kodokan remarked: “The best westerners are still no match for the best Japanese judoka for reasons connected not only with genital characteristics but also with subsequent physical and mental training.”21 After a century of judo expansion and world interchanges, can the same be said? The Japanese supremacy has been challenged successfully by new and powerful judo nations who have produced excellent champions the like of the Japanese. The primary factor in this narrowing of the technical gap has been the improved offensive and the defensive skills, not to mention the determination, and the desire to win also known as kokoro. Your judo development plan requires sufficient details about your daily and weekly training sessions to enable you top follow your objectives with making improvements in all three facets (Shin-Gi-Tai). Some counselling is required. The great Yamashita Yasuhiro who was several times World and Olympic champion discussed his special relationship with his coach, Sensei Sato Nobuyuki22 in the following terms: “The evenings, after dinner became very precious. While we enjoyed tea prepared by his wife, we discussed sportsmanship, education and life in general. I learned a lot from these discussions. He never imposed his will on me but merely gave his advice. He liked me to take my own initiative.”

21 22

Harrison E,J, The Fighting Spirit of Japan, W Foulsham, London, UK, 1904 Yamashita Yasuhiro, The Fighting Spirit of Judo, Ippon Book Ltd, England, 1991

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On the intensity of training, Sensei Okabe Heita 9th dan of the Kodokan estimated that training practice without a fixed objective set in advance is useless. He emphasized that a serious judoka seeking to become champion, should perform at least 12 to 20 different randori-shiai contests per day. In order to gain precision and speed, he placed an additional requirement to accomplish 100 to 1000 technical repetitions of a given waza per week. (uchi-komi). On his role as a coach, he said: “Now, I am a coach; the eye of a coach ought to search and discover what the eyes of the champions themselves do not discern.”23 You not only have to learn from the coaches, you have to evolve with the knowledge gained. From your early introduction to competitive judo, it is important to find good teachers and coaches that will help you become better both in judo and in real life. You should be seeking a coach or trainer that will have an impact on your performance levels, who is able to add to your motivation, your enjoyment and your physical, psychological and social improvements. One of the most important tasks of the coach is to help you finalize your training plan. You need to share your goals with him, get to know each other and build a long term trust. Become soul-mates. Having first put your ideas and vision on paper, when you seek his help, he will be able to respond better by understanding your mission statement. He will need patience, understanding, passion, logic and special teaching and listening skills in order to better listen to you and answer most of your questions. You will probably need two or three planning sessions during your preparatory stage in order to get the details ironed out. In concert with you and your other support group he will review your abilities at the beginning of the session and periodically thereafter. He should suggest skills development tasks that may be set way above your peers but still attainable. He will teach you the benefits of specific drills and requirements. If you give him the chance to believe in you, he will be able to keep you motivated and on the right track. His job is to refine your skills and teach you competitiveness. The technical difficulties, the intensity and volume of your training periods will have to be agreed upon. Should you encounter some difficulties, he is there to listen, study, research and suggest alternate solutions. You could benefit more if your selected person acting as sensei or a coach has a certain degree of experience with athletes and who is supportive of his students. You may have great expectation of your coach, but in return, be prepared to give your best, to accept the hard work and discipline. You can expect to make some sacrifices to get the results you want. You will develop a very close relationship with your coach over the months of training and such relationships may even influence your outlook on life.

23

Okabe Heita, Judo Coaching, Judo Kodokan Review, Vol X, no 01, 1960

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It is possible, that within your geographical region, you find teachers or coaches that are task oriented and show a keen interest in having you pursue your technical and physical goals. They normally have a good technical knowledge and a sound understanding of the judo rules and the competitive milieu. They will emphasise your active performance and request that you give your best all the time you show up for practices. Because it is your life training program, make sure it is clear who chooses who as coach-athlete. With a careful selection, you will be able to adjust faster to each other’s tempo. Both need to recognize and acknowledge the training mistakes when they occur along with the improvements you will make. Be careful that in your haste to be part of a competitive team, you don’t choose too fast and fall upon some very selfish coaches. Beware, for such persons are looking at reproducing themselves and do not accept you as you are. They frequently seek the glory that was missed when they were on the competitive circuit. They have the tendency to place their personal goals of achieving success and fame over your own improvement. They are not only the disciplinarians; they are the authoritarians that prevent you from acting freely. They will push the envelope to a point of extreme, and you will be their principal actor until they find someone else to replace you. These kinds of coaches are good at seeking talented judokas and they may have several players under their wing most of the time. Should you become trapped in their training stable, try to extricate yourself and find refuge with a proper coach that will share your concerns, be attentive to your needs and look after you without demanding rewards or compensations. Of your selected coach, you should demand that he accepts the tasks of mentoring your activities; that he assists you with your activity plan and teaches you both values and discipline; that he shows creativity in the selection of ways to motivate you; that the events recommended by him meet your approval and that they are challenging and within your reach. You want him to be on call should you need him and require of him that he provides periodic feedback of your performance and that he remain consistent with his demands. It is not unheard of that you demand your coach to be present in your competitive journey by watching the different styles of judo being displayed at major competitions and that he be able to guide you in order for you to better face the competition. You may ask of him to keep track of the various statistics held by national and international organizations in order to discover who is doing what, when and why. On your behalf, he should keep track of changing judo rules and regulations so that you can adapt your style to changing situations. He may even organize various friendly exchanges and competitions with other dojo or organization to give you the chance to train with as many different competitors and be challenged by the strongest of opponents. In summary, your coach should be your trusted friend who will make you love judo and its various forms of training. He or she should be showing interest in your development as a person and as judoka. The coach should be ready to share with you his experience, values and knowledge.

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Coaching without interfering

“A father without a father has difficulty balancing. A master without a master is dangerous.”
Tao meditation

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Ethos
“To be yourself and not trying to be someone else.”
When sensei Sato Nobuyuki identified his student Yamashita as a major contributor to his own life’s improvement, he said: “Since that time, I have been his coach, but it has been me who has learned from him (Yamashita). That is to say that I have become a better person because I met someone whose ability was much greater than mine, and therefore, my ability as a coach improved.”24 This statement confirms that prosperity and mutual benefits are part of the second goal of judo. Judoka are social beings and as such tend to express their collaboration towards each other. This friendship and human relationship found in the judo circle permeates around each continent. We all seek to be honest and truthful, to be good to others and to respect what is beautiful. To be in accord with good behaviour and to respect the laws and customs of our respective countries become part of our ethos. As you develop your training plan, you need not be reminded that in your judo practices, you should abide by the moral principles associated with judo discipline. In its prescribed moral code, you will note: the conquest over ones self is more important than assuming control and superiority over an opponent. Encounters with your partners and opponents should be garnished with politeness, respect and courtesy. You should display courage in expressing what you believe to be right and just. You should stand behind your commitment and word. Your success should be accompanied with an equal amount of humility and you should always strive to build enduring friendships. In practice, common etiquette requires you to bow at the entrance as a sign of respect and as a reminder that you are in that hall to learn the way of judo and follow the path. Your meetings with colleagues and partners must show the respect they deserve for who they are and represent. Like you, they come to learn and make improvements and have high expectations. You have to make good use of what they share with you. Within the training environment, you need to do your utmost to avoid accidents, conquer your fear, and work diligently. Once you have mastered a technique you should offer your help to others so that they can also improve. Your ethos on the tatami and in life can grow when following very simple activities. Reflect upon the following: 1. 3. 5. 7. 9 Seek out a forgotten friend. 2. Try to mend a quarrel. Be gentle with angry persons. 4. Find the time to keep a promise. Express your appreciation to others. 6. Lessen your demands on others. Be there for others. 8. Encourage others to strive towards excellence. Do your best to feel better about yourself. 10. Follow your dreams.

24

Yamashita Yasuhiro, The Fighting Spirit of Judo, Ippon Books LTD, England, 1991

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PART TWO

DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNICAL SKILLS

GI

Shihan Jigoro Kano performing with Sensei Yamashita Yoshitsugu
Kodokan archives of Yokohama Sakujiro book: Judo, Manuel de Jiu-Jitsu, 1911

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INTUITION: THE FIRST IMPRESSION
You have designed your judo development plan and selected some people to assist you and guide you in your quest. You are about to begin some detailed training exercises. Before you get to the Randori practice, you may want to refresh your understanding of some key mental weapons such as perception, intuition, courage and determination as they may prove to be invaluable to your first encounter. Your intuition or gut feeling can be trusted more often than not. Your holistic hunch is a true psychological phenomenon at work on your behalf and allows you to render decisions even when you are missing all the facts. When you meet someone for the first time, be quick to judge his character. Deal with him in accordance with your observation. Some people have said that having intuition is a 6th sense and refer to it as being self-capable of projecting your inner energy outside. It is the spark that begins inside of you and explodes into your immediate reflex actions. Scientist from the British Leeds University identified it as: “A rapid information processing deep inside the brain structures in which the brain draws on past experiences and external clues to make a quick decision when faced with serious time pressure, information overload or potentially hazardous situation.25 Sensei Jean Roullet of Sherbrooke University Physical Education Department wrote in his article « Judo » of 1967 « Un combat viril ne tolérant aucune défaillance, dans le climat du combat total qu’est la compétition judo, on sent par intuition la défaillance physique ou psychique de l’adversaire. Le véritable champion judo possède ce sens intuitif de façon innée. Mais en général, cette sorte de perception se précise par synthèse au fur et à mesure de l’entraînement à la compétition et détermine le mouvement judo volontaire mais réflexe. » Sensei Roullet expressed how intuition guides the fighter to evaluate and act on the spot and without hesitation. We all have a desire to be liberated from the constraints of physical and mental imperfections. The philosopher Henri Bergson is reputed to have said that “intuition is a form of attention, a reflection that produces mental images from deep inside us.” We may all have some form of intuition without realising it. Intuition is manifested by our observation of our surroundings; our awareness and vigilance towards what is happening around us; our concentration on its mechanics, our attention to details that make things work and our desire to accomplish immediate improvements to them. We can not display proper intuition if we have a confused mind. It is necessary to be attentive and receptive to what we see, hear or touch. We need to be able to concentrate on things that matter to us and for which we seek improvements.

25

Dr Hogskinson & al, Intuition, British Journal of Psychology, UK, February, 2008

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I have placed intuition in the technical domain as it is the first impression or image we get when we face an opponent and frequently decide upon the following course of action. Intuition is a tool of the mind but it is not its exclusive weapon. You will value it more when and how you make greater use of it. With experience, your recognition of different patterns will make mental shortcuts in your evaluation process of circumstances before you and trigger a physiological and emotional response. You should gain tremendously from practicing it. Intuition has also been described as an ability to reach decisions or conclusions on the spot without deliberate thought process. To act promptly is important in judo contest. Your quick recognition of a situation or reality is related to the notion of acting naturally. You do what needs to be done at that instant. Your actions are denuded of long intellectual or analytical process. It is a gift of nature that some judoka possess from cultural background or from birth. It can also be cultivated with time with prolonged exposure to given subject matters. You can acquire more information or intelligence about something, gather the minute details of its shape, sound, smell, colour, etc. or develop your other tool of perception by glancing at the big picture and making quick observation of as many objects as possible. You may refer to this intuitive ability as having the “Coup d’Oeil”. History tells us that many great generals, leaders and psychics had such abilities; Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Napoleon, Churchill, Rommel and Einstein were known to have displayed such a gift. If strategists can make use of this quickness of thought, so can you. The great judo master Mifune Kyuso, 10thdan, was renowned for being capable of capturing the intentions of his opponents and apply sen no sen manoeuvres. That ability was the result of his profound knowledge of the potential combat situations normally associated with randori and shiai. It was more akin to “déjà vu”. You may also detect such ability in corporate executives, business leaders or a master craftsperson. It is partly based upon experience, instinct and intelligence. When practicing randori, you will note that the inexperienced judoka will badly react during a confrontation while the more mature fighter will quickly assess the threat before he engages you. This is also intuition. In other sports such as hockey, the positioning of players during power plays is a result of intense training, strategic assessment, knowledge of the game and intuition. In an individual sport like judo, the more exposures you will get through performing Renraku Henka (connecting and changing techniques), uchi-komi (repetition), randori (free practice) or shiai (contest), the better chances you have to develop your intuition. You will soon reach a point where you are able to understand how your body and mind react to circumstances and how you can anticipate your opponent’s movement.

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Intuition acquisition does not come from an ego trip or a superior attitude. The development of intuition is associated with seeking harmony and flexibility. If you want to acquire greater intuition skills, you have to remain open-minded, keep the body flexible and pay attention to your sensory signals. You have to train yourself for the unexpected and to be at the right place at the right time. My first teacher Sensei Bernard Gauthier who was one of the first judo sensei in Canada to instruct judo to blind persons used to make us practiced randori while being blindfolded. He wanted to expose us to the extreme and worst combat situations possible. He would insist that we try to practice our survival skills as well as our competitive spirit. He insisted that, while blindfolded, we capture all the sensations taking place during the match; the touch, the anxiety, the assertiveness level, the posture, the sound of feet moving, the energy transfer, the relative strength, the origin of the first actions, the resulting reaction, the distractions etc.

Performing randori while blindfolded This kind of training paid off. It would eventually accentuate our immediate capture of the signals received by all our senses and take cognisance of our responses. Do not intellectualize he would remark, simply seek the energy source and make it yours. Sometimes, this would lead us into sen-no-sen dimensions. (reading the opponent’s intention and desire to throw us off balance before the actual action). After several blindfolded sessions, our combat discipline had improved considerably. We were able to move and adapt with each captured signals, be in sync with the opponent and even remain one step ahead of him.

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These acquired skills were later transported into our ju-jutsu classes where he insisted that we quickly negate the source of the aggression and resolve promptly the issue before us. Having practiced self-discipline in blindfolded situations and randori, we were later able to contain our fear when facing aggressive situations with weapons. We learned to evaluate on the spot, dominate by being cautious and maintaining control of our decisions, our stances, moves and techniques. We better understood that an eventual aggressor would want to follow his natural instinct at first sight to show or assume control over us or to cause immediate serious damage. We were able to estimate that by being committed towards violent actions, the aggressor would most likely be impulsive and uncontrolled. We were trained to stay at a safe distance where we could easily observe, out-manoeuvre him and try to appease and contain his anger thus diffusing the dangerous situation. In this regard, the recommendations of Sensei Awazu Shozo26 come to mind: never be afraid of the unknown, stay calm, remain alert, observe, assess and judge, take the initiative at the first opportunity, engage with body and spirit and stay within the rules.

Interior restraint by Zen master Deshimaru Taisen

26

Awazu Shozo, Méthode de Judo au Sol, Éditions Publi-Judo, France, 1959

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PERCEPTION
Perception is associated with people’s allure and deportment. In today’s world, you will encounter many persons from various cultures who display different body languages. Generally, body languages have meanings that few of us understand well. To avoid faux pas, you are to be more observant to the myriad of motions, gestures and body languages around you. It is easy to watch and identify the traffic police or street vendors who try to get your attention or the happy athlete who goes around delivering exuberant hugs. People all over use their hands, heads and bodies to communicate. Anthropologists claim that 60% of our communication is non verbal. A simple smile on people’s faces is universal and demonstrates an accord and a feeling of relaxation. A smile in some cultures may also hide a gamut of emotions: happiness, anger, confusion, apologies or sadness. Other gestures which form part of our vocabulary may, at times, be effective as well as dangerous and menacing. What you may observe in an opponent can easily be misinterpreted. Shaking hands with an Asian or Japanese judoka may feel awkward as they are more prone to bowing to each other. On the other hand, bowing is viewed by many westerners as an act of subservience while in Japan and in judo circles, the bow is a signal of respect and humility. Dr Kevin Hogan, a renowned psychologist of the International Society for Research on Aggression tells us that the ability to become aware of subtle nuances, the facility to read, decode and interpret an opponent’s action takes place within a more general context of our perception of things and it is followed by our reaction to our immediate environment. If you observe the head scratching habit of most westerners, you will read in it confusion and scepticisms. Other signs such as direct eye contact means that the person is attentive and in a listening mode while rolling of the eyes displays amazement. If the person is whistling, he is most likely giving his approval and when he is booing he is disapproving. When a person is yawning it may indicate tiredness. When the opponent is standing with feet wide apart he indicates his aggressiveness. Should the opponent raise both of his arms, it may reveal a sign of victory or surrender. With practice, you will pick up on these visual signs and reinforce your peripheral vision. After a while, you may be able to detect an abundance of actions that are related to a person walking towards you with an aggressive or offensive intent. External signs include the speed of the approach, the distance between opponents, the redness of the aggressor’s face, the change in tone and pitch of voice, the quick pace and gesticulation of the hands, the elevation of the torso and maybe the rapid eye movement. . Similar signs may reveal a person’s state of readiness to intimidate, to assume control, or to play by the rules. More difficult to detect are the internal activities such as state of mind, knowledge of intentions, physiologically, the changes in the heart rate, the rise of blood pressure, the increase in salivary testosterone or other hormonal changes due to high stress level. These internal changes may be captured if you are attentive to the smaller and less visible signs.

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Researchers such as Dr Filaire, Maso and Sagnol of the French laboratory in Crézeaux have demonstrated in 200127 that a contestant displaying a positive attitude and believing in his success to win will have a higher heart rate during the competition then his counterparts who had a lesser desire to win. It is understood that the desire for potential victory or defeat has an influence on our reactions and induces hormonal changes that may be revealed or observed through the production of more saliva and a show of elevated anxiety. During Randori practice, when your partner goes on the attack, you may wish to experiment and observe some of these repetitive signs for future reference. With each practice, select a zone of interest and try to determine its meaning. The colour of the facial muscles, red or white or eyebrows movement may indicate degree of readiness or rage. Rapid breathing may signal the use of a reserve of energy or lack of fitness. Dry mouth and lack of saliva may tell you something about the energy level and stamina. Stiff arms, crisp folding of the hands or fist and raised hair movement on the forearm may be indicative of the intensity level and will telegraph an upcoming movement. Keeping tight lips or attempting to shout may reveal determination and different concentration levels. They are all there for you to find.

“The greatest weapon is in your enemy’s mind”
Buddha

A determined warrior of ancient Japan

27

Filaire E. et all, Anxiety, Hormonal Responses and Coping during a Judo Competition, Aggressive Behaviour magazine vol 27, issue 1, Jan 2001

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COMBAT INTELLIGENCE
We previously mentioned that generals gathered intelligence on their enemies. Your competitive intelligence is the activity of obtaining detailed knowledge of your opponent’s strengths, weaknesses and the ability to interpret such information to improve your position and neutralize him before he has a chance of assuming control over you. You need not possess technical instruments; you are gifted with sensory nerves that are excited by all external stimuli. Your sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing abilities offer you all kinds of signals that need only be interpreted to your advantage. During close proximity, you need to quickly grasp the significance of the signals and be prepared to identify other key characteristics that may reveal the opponent’s intentions such as: Silhouette. (The size, height and weight of the opponent, the spread of his footing, location of potential injuries- bandages). It is also possible to observe his approach and his bowing technique and estimate the state of his mental preparation and technical mastery. Colour and shape. Now that we are fighting with different colours of uniform, colour becomes significant at times. When white was the norm, we relied upon the kind of fabric to identify the loose tissue for a better grip. Now, if the opponent is wearing blue, he may have a tendency to be slightly more aggressive. Wearing badges, numbers or special markings on his uniform may reveal previous experience and his dojo affiliation. A loose wrapping of the belt may suggest that it will come apart after a while thus gaining or wasting time. When the belt is worn on the hips it may be purposely set to fool you in assessing the exact location of his gravity centre. His stance may indicate his preference for left, centre or right dominant attack. It is interesting to note the results of a statistical analysis done by Dr Matsumoto David of the International Judo Federation covering ten years of wearing the blue judogi.28 In more than 300 matches studied, his research has determined that those judoka wearing the blue uniform have a very slight advantage of winning e.g.: 53.54% over their opponent. The matches’ outcome seemed more or less of even proportion. His analysis does indicate however that people are generally influenced by the sight of different colours be it blue, red or yellow. Those hue have an influence on the general attention gathering; it can alter sensitive mood and perception and the colours blue and red have been cited as having a greater influence on the spectator and their potential affiliation with a contestant. Other researchers have debated the dilemma as if the sighting of something coloured in red, yellow or blue produces a higher level of testosterone on certain individuals and increase their irritability levels or eagerness thus resulting in more aggressive behaviour.

28

Matsumoto D, Bias in Competition, San Francisco, USA, IJF Research Paper, 2007

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For the combatant, it would seem that aggressiveness is more a notion of determination. Meanwhile, in the spectator’s gallery and within the judo contest judge’s fields of view, the bright colours could attract the attention easily and unknowingly favour one contestant over the other. Similar observations have been made with the mental effect of colours on Kendo practitioners wearing a dark blue uniform. It is understood that the blue colour may well act as a natural distraction from the effect of the sword and demand a higher concentration by both opponents as they follow each other’s movements. Speed. What can be noted by the general attitude of walking with or without swinging hips or head? How is the entrance into the preparation area and the shiai-jo? A hasty approach, a jumping allure or a slow entrance announces what? Which leg makes the first step at the word Hajime? How does the opponent moves inside the combat area? What appraisal can you make? Contrast. Is the opponent part of a team or is he an individual acting on his own? What coaching or support services and facilities are provided? Is he listening to the side coach remarks? What part of his personality is he showing off? Is he aggressive, passive or neutral? Sound. What is being said of him and by him in the entourage, by the spectators, by friends and acquaintances? Does he carry a reputation of some kind? Has he a brand name or nickname in use within the official circuit? Did he take part of a pre-contest social gathering that may indicate a strong team affiliation or regional presence? Order of competition. What ranking and in what sequence will you fight who? How long is the time of preparation between matches? Is there sufficient time for warm-up and recuperation? First contact. What can be identified with the preliminary kumi kata? What is the influence of hand gripping and strength, head slanted or straight up, eyes roaming or fixed? At what distance can an attack be launched? What posture is he using? What is the regular approach? Is he left or right handed? What is the reaction to a pushing-pulling action? Your observation will reveal that the general posture pre-determines the overall mechanical actions or responses that will follow. With time and practice, it can tell you a lot about the degree of maturity of the opponent and identify the judo training school, coaches and systems he has followed.

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Should the opponent adopt the natural Shizen-tai posture, you can expect a certain degree of maturity and a well performance oriented judoka. Should he adopt a more defensive stance such as the Jigo-tai, one can expect more attempts towards wrestling type techniques, hand pick-up and unorthodox movements associated with former martial traditions and concepts. The latter may provide optimal distance for leaping forward and apply impulsive leg grip and pick ups. On the other hand, it offers lesser abilities to move sideways and back. As a fighter, you need to observe and detect those variations so that you can adapt to their changing mood. Some judoka will vary from one to another with great ease as a mean to disturb your reaction and create imbalance in your thought. Making use of an extreme side-way stance may facilitate your dodging of attacks. It is therefore important to never drop your state of awareness or readiness. Always be prepared. Knowing all the Kodokan techniques is not sufficient to make you a champion. Their powerful and intelligent application combined with your commitment will guide you in your quest. There is also an element of chance that can not be disregarded. You will note that current judo champions have become masters in both standing and ground techniques.

In its beginning, judo’s tachi or nage-waza were much emphasized both as part of the Gokyo and in contest situations. In the early 1900’s, after observing the results of the All Japan High Schools championships, Jigoro Kano reconsidered the shiai rules to permit more ne-waza elements. You should take seriously the advice of Sensei Osawa Yoshimi 10th dan that: “Any chance to enter ne-waza should not be missed. Both nage and newaza are like the two wheels of a cart and should be evenly practiced by all judoka.”29 As a final observation for your intelligence gathering, you will come across some esprit de corps when team members travel as a group to a competition site. This phenomenon favours the development of group spirit, esprit de corps, and it can be considered as a sign of solidarity towards a common goal. Such grouping reinforces the belonging to a club or entity. They normally complement the training period by introducing a shared vision. These pre-competition rituals are used as mechanisms to fight pre-tournament stress and foment team cohesiveness through group commitment and confidence in each other. You are encouraged to make up or link up with such a group if you can. As an individual fighter you would gain from this kind of spiritual lift and group enthusiasm. These are opportune times for players, coaches and support officials to bind together under one banner: “One for all and all for one. “

29

Osawa Yoshimi, Ne-Waza of Judo, Koyano Busen, Kobe, Japan, 1973

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TACTICAL WEAPONS
Your whole body and your vast knowledge of judo techniques may be considered as weapons. Both can be combined or used separately to deal with most situations. There is an old saying that goes as such: “If you can not tell your weight, height and width, you can not judge yourself.” Similarly, if you are ignorant of the variety of techniques and their potentials you will frequently freeze in your tracks. Your arsenal of exterior weapons may be found in the repertory of the Kodokan judo techniques. There are plenty to choose from to match your personality and your physical abilities. Should your preference be to use of your upper body energy for lifting, blocking, pressing, pulling and pushing actions against an opponent, then try to practice the following: Ippon-seoi-nage, seoi-otoshi, tai-otoshi, seoi-nage, kata-guruma, uki-otoshi, sumi-otoshi, sukui-nage, obi-otoshi, morote-gari, kuchiki-taoshi, kibisu-gaeshi, kouchi-gaeshi, uchimata-sukashi, yama-arashi. Should you be more inclined to favour the undulations of the hips and trunk or make greater use of your pelvis region to exert the greater power when throwing the opponent down, then, make your selection amongst the following? Uki-goshi, harai-goshi, tsurikomi-goshi, sode-tsurikomi-goshi, hane-goshi, 0-goshi, ushiro-goshi, utsuri-goshi, tsuri-goshi, koshi-guruma, daki-age. Another set of techniques introduced for quick entries and displacements will guide you towards the leg techniques of which you can find the following: Hiza-guruma, o-uchi-gari, o-soto-gari, harai-tsurikomi-ashi, de-ashi-harai, ko-uchi-gari, ko-soto-gari, ko-soto-gake, ashi-guruma, uchi-mata, o-guruma, o-soto-otoshi, sasaetsurikomi-ashi, okuri-ashi-harai, tsubame-gaeshi, kouchi-gari, o-soto-guruma, o-sotogaeshi, uchi-mata-gaeshi, hane-goshi-gaeshi, harai-goshi-geashi. They are mostly used to gain quick entries, to establish a lever, to block, to sweep, to lift or to avoid the offensive techniques executed by the opponent. In some cases, you may use them to push the opponent’s feet from under or stop him cold in his tracks.

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To be more daring or when your posture is seriously challenged you may favour risking it all and use your entire body in response by using the sutemi group where you will find the following: Tomoe-nage, ura-nage, sumi-gaeshi, hikikomi-gaeshi, tawara-gaeshi, uki-waza, yokogake, yoko-otoshi, yoko-guruma, tani-otoshi, yoko-wakare, hane-makikomi, sotomakikomi, uchi-mata-makikomi, daki-wakare, uchi-makikomi, harai-makikomi, o-sotomakikomi, kani-basami, and kawazu-gake.

Okuri-ashi-barai We will not describe these techniques at length in this manual. You may refer to the numerous books and videos produced by international experts to refresh your knowledge. To be an accomplished judoka, you will need to master as many as possible from the above noted and from the panoply of others that may be suggested in your other readings, by your coach or teacher. From this arsenal, you will have to make the transition from standing techniques to ground or mat techniques. There are generally four options to enter into ne-waza: 1. Following a tachi-waza attack and pursuing to the ground in the follow-up action. 2. Inviting the opponent to the ground via a strong defensive posture. 3. Enticing the opponent with dragging and toppling techniques known as Hikomi. 4. Applying a standing shime or kansetsu (strangulation or lock) and bring the opponent down with it.

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Sensei Ohlenkamp, a senior coach from the United States Judo Association recommends that all judoka should master transition elements from standing to ground techniques. We refer to this latter group as hikomi or toppling forms. “The focus of osae komi waza is to learn the basic control and how to maintain a superior position on the ground. Knowing the final hold is only a small part of the skill needed to get an opponent into a vulnerable position.”30 Sensei Awazu the great ne- waza specialist, sent to Europe, emphasized the importance of ne-waza when he said: “Judo is a whole, there is no improvement without the study of ne-waza”.31 The ground techniques arsenal is composed of the restraint and control-type techniques such as: hon-kesa-gatame, kuzure-kesa-gatame, kata-gatame, kami-shiho-gatame, yokoshiho-gatame, and tate-shiho-gatame.

Making use of the same principles as in tachi-waza, you need exercise a control over the opponent by the careful distribution of your weight. You have to get close and wrap yourself around the opponent like a wet rag. The general principle is to keep the opponent’s body motionless for the longest duration of time. This is accomplished by pressing vertically downward on him or by spreading your own body over his to produce some pressure. Simultaneously, you prevent his movement by the use of your knees, elbows, legs and arms as props preventing his escape, rolling away or disengaging. You need to maintain a fluid displacement, keep your center of gravity low, envelope the opponent from a superior position and use leverage and balance to keep him under control for a given time lapse. Should you be taken prisoner by such a hold, you need to reduce the friction between yourself and the ground, move away from the pressure points where you feel the pressure, make some space between you and the opponent and use that space to counter-attack.

30 31

Ohlenkamp Neil, Judo Unleashed, 2006. p 117 Awazu Shozo, Méthode de Judo au Sol, Publi-Judo, France, 1959

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Your ground arsenal also contains the more subtle techniques should you want to force a submission. These techniques are generally used after placing him off-balance, or forcing his spine to stretch, you then apply pressure with your wrist, arm, leg and judogi to either the carotid arteries (strangulation) or the windpipe (choke) with speed and accuracy. Amongst the techniques you will find: Nami-juji-jime, kata-juji-jime, gyaku-juji-jime, hadaka-jime, okuri-eri-jime, kata-ha-jime, kata-te-jime, ryote-jime, sode-guruma-jime, tsukkomi-jime, sankaku-jime, do-jime.

Your final group of weapons in your repertoire are the arm locks or arm bars which may be applied in a standing posture or when fighting on the ground. These techniques are used to obtain another form of submission by inducing pain because they are applied principally against the elbow joint. This pain is brought about by twisting, stretching, separating or bending the articulation just beyond its normal range. You need to follow the movement of the opponent, secure control over him and pin the opponent’s body down before you apply leverage with the pelvic region or other parts of your body. Included in this submission group are: ude-garami, ude-hishigi-juji-gatame, ude-hishigiude-gatame, ude-hishigi-hiza-gatame, ude-hishigi-waki-gatame, ude-hishigi-hara-gatame, ude-hishigi-ashi-gatame, ude-hishigi-te-gatame, ude-hishigi-sankaku-gatame, and ashigarami. This is a vast selection to cope with. From all the above, you will need to master the fundamentals. Be prepared to follow your standing techniques with some use of the above elements. They are your additional three options to score: hold, locks and chokes. Like an apprentice learning his trade, you will need to learn, understand and feel those techniques until they become second nature to you. Ground work supremacy depends upon your constant readjustment of your position with the movements of your legs, arms, torso and head and the repositioning of your angle of thrust. Keep refreshing yourself of the technical fundamentals. It is by mastering them that you will improve your posture and develop automatic reflexes; your body movements will be done with grace; the placing of the opponent into an off balance stance will be made easier; your preparatory approach to attack will be swifter and you will easier be in harmony with the displacement of your opponent.

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I repeat that mastering the fundamentals is your weapon training formula. Like all artistic material, it is in need of constant upgrade and daily practice. Your mastery of them will surface when you have had diverse opportunities to test them in real situation such as in randori and shiai. Sensei S. Kotani 10th dan once said: “All kinds of judo–no-shiai give contestants considerable merits technically and psychologically which they can not acquire through ordinary practice”. This search for mastery must follow your gradual training program and be accomplished with progressive steps and guidance by a good teacher. All your efforts must converge at the right time to enable you to reach your maximum efficiency on time for your matches. Coupled with technical preparation, you will need ample sleep periods, good food balance, and proper amount of energy reserves, good training facilities, good coaches and ample training partners if you are looking for the winning combination. To be effective, your selected weapons need to be manipulated with skills and speed in all kinds of situations. There are no better avenues to test them than the Randori and the Shiai. It is by practicing them against different partners that you will soon determine their best use.

“We have to seek to understand everything, from the global picture to the minute details and work our way up from the smallest to the biggest element”.32
This 1640 message was delivered by fencing Master Musashi Miyamoto to his students. It has since been repeated and given equal importance by many judo teachers. Every judoka has been told that yielding will overcome strength, yet very few take the time to experiment with the concept, let alone master it.

The action is produce to gain knowledge The knowledge is what permits the action to take place.
In my view, your essential technical weapons are found in the fundamental elements or kihon which contribute to the making of a perfect waza. These are outlined hereafter: breaking the fall, the standing posture, moving the body about, placing the opponent in an unbalanced position, turning motion, grasping the costume, making the entry, applying the technique, keeping contact with the opponent and working in constant harmony, the use of kiai and the mental attitude.

32

Musashi Miyamoto, Go-Rin-No-Sho, 1983

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First weapon: Ukemi
At your very first initiation to judo, you are introduced to ukemi meaning the ways you can make use of your body to receive or break the fall. In his early explanation on judo theory and practice, Jigoro Kano identified the action of breaking the fall as the first element without which judo can not be. The fear of falling or the reaction to falling has to be learned anew in order to acquire both physical and mental independence of gravitational force. This is your safety net and also your first experience with receiving a lesson from a partner. Your fall to the ground may hurt your pride temporarily but it provides you with an opportunity to rise up again and have the courage to be yourself once more. Once you have acquired the ability, you can forget it and concentrate on your other techniques. It is a method by which your pain and fear can be mastered. Sensei Abe Ichiro of the Kodokan mentioned in his judo recalls (souvenirs) that when witnessing the ease with which someone makes a break fall, it can be determined at what level of expertise they are. Being thrown is also indicative that you lost your balance. It is not a victory for the opponent, it is message for you to identify why and where you can improve keeping your proper balance. You will soon realize that with good break falls comes good tai-sabaki or body displacement both essential to maintain balance in all your movements. Doing repetitive breaking of the fall, alone or with a partner will soon become second nature and help develop an automatic reflex action that will liberate you from your fear of falling. As it get accustomed to the various falling events, your body will become more supple and relaxed and your mind will be free of the idea of being a victim. Without those pre-occupations, you can devote more time to other techniques and exercise more control over their elements.

Sensei Novovitch controlling the fall of his opponent

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As with any other instrument or weapon, you need to “feel” the falling process. You must try to understand the line of projection, the orientation in space, the impact with the mat and to visualize your natural trajectory. When the falling exercises develop into natural reflexes you gain a natural feeling for the movement and are less inhibited by it. When you are able to take a throw without mental and physical discomfort, you will become more confident in your attacks. The American coach Neil Ohlenkamp made the following observation on ukemi: “Being able to fall comfortably and with confidence frees the mind and relaxes the body so you can attempt more difficult moves.” 33

Sensei Christian Lacroix performing ukemi from a tani-otoshi

33

Ohlenkamp Neil, Judo Unleashed, Mc Graw Hill, New York, USA, 2006

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Second weapon: Shisei.
We, as humans have learned to anchor our bodies in a static or stable position whenever we have to defend ourselves or when we need to exercise a greater amount of force. In judo, you may witness several individuals in precarious poses and adapting diverse stances to maintain their equilibrium while performing in randori or competition. Shihan Jigoro Kano and his team of experts have determined that the best posture for practicing judo is to adopt a natural erect stance called Shizen-tai. This is normally the starting posture for any given contest. It consists of placing yourself in a natural upright stance with your head well aligned, your feet slightly apart and in balance. In that posture, you are able to see properly, remain vigilant and retain your flexibility to react. A good posture is like being in a state of Zanshin (concentrated and determined) and is the foundation for every movement once said Sensei Sumiyuki Kotani.

“My body is linked with my centre. My centre is full of energy. My energy makes one with my intention. My intention is free of everything.”
From Munen-Mushin meaning: pure and simple.

Professor Hirata Kurachiki an assigned physiologist to the Zen master Hida Haramitsu commented on the need of a proper posture as follow:” In a posture that ensures correct centripetal pressure, you can master your will more easily, promote the unified growth of the motor nerve center and develop the nerve fibres running to the muscles from the motor center…by preserving correct centripetal pressure, the contractions of the chief muscles group can be adjusted, while useless contraction of antagonistic muscles is lessened, and practice can accelerate the growth of mental and physical skills.”34 In short, it reinforces your ability to improve the control over your body actions. Since the judo match will begin in a standing posture, it is important to understand all the opportunities whereby you can use your body weight and displacement to close-in on your opponent for the eventual throw; to secure a solid defense by lowering your center of gravity or to step-out of a critical throwing path introduced by your opponent. When you stand in an erect posture, your body is able to rotate around its vertical axis with very little expenditure of energy. Shizen-tai provides you with the optimum stance for attack and defence. It can be momentarily static as when you stand equally on both legs or dynamically stable when you over-extend on your tiptoes. By being aligned with the gravity axis, your body is reasonably stable but still precarious considering the relative weight and dimension of your upper torso area in relation to your support base.

34

Hirata Kurashiki, On Shisei in: Secret of Judo, by Watanabe J & Avakian, 1960

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When standing still or when you move about, your body should move as a unit and make continuous adjustments to regain its stability considering that the blood circulation, the breathing, the muscles stimulations and the head motions are all reasons influencing your equilibrium. Your inner ear thus serves as the key component in responding your body alignment during all movements. For that reason, your head should be held erect as if suspended. The centre of your head should be aligned with your centre of gravity so that when you pivot the body around an axis, the head movement should follow with the momentum. Keeping your head straight is important as most of your organs through which you establish your relationship with space are contained in your head: sight, smell and hearing, all form the telescopic system through which you receive information from objects or persons before you. If you can see properly, feel sufficiently and hear clearly, you will be able to withstand the stress and feel less tired. Being aligned and erect provides you more opportunities to have rapid reactions. In the natural position, there is less waste of energy and you consume less oxygen to maintain your readiness. Should you decide to adapt other positions, you will note the need for more strength and suffer the frequent inconveniences of being unbalanced. Your reflexes being slower, you will be restricted in your displacements and feel uncomfortable with your turns. “You should train as much as possible by maintaining a natural stance without tensing your body, particularly your arms and legs, and remaining very relaxed so that you can move freely”.35 In shizen-tai your ear cavities are aligned to make maximum use of your reflexes. As they lie perpendicular to each other, the three semicircular canals and vestibule components of your inner ear can detect variations in each other. The different positions of the head produce different gravity effects that are captured by the hair cell in the cavities and send nerve impulses. These impulses then travel to a synapse in the brain stem and spinal cord to produce a reflex action and ensure a correct response. A sudden loss of balance creates a secretion in the semiconductor canals that triggers leg and arm reflex movements to restore your balance. In summary, by using the movement of the liquid inside your ear and the vibration of the tiny hair in the cavities, movements of all kind can be identified and your brain gives the signal to your body to respond accordingly. Your chest or torso should be slightly drawn back and kept natural (not inflated). Your back should be straight and not hunched forward or permitted to sway backward. You hips and waist areas should be relaxed. The buttock should be tucked in and kept under your lower back so that it does not protrude.

35

Murata Naoki , Mind over Muscle 2005, Tokyo, Japan, quote from Jigoro Kano, p 139

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Your legs should be slightly bent at the knee to that the front of the knee is aligned with the forward toe line. Your feet should be slightly apart and the whole weight resting comfortably somewhere in the middle of the foot. This upright posture provides a good base for twisting the trunk area and move more freely to the sides as required. From this original posture stem out many other variations such as the right-side natural posture known as migi-shizen-tai, or the left incline posture known as hidari-shizen-tai. There is also the self-defense or protective posture called the jigo-tai with a right and left variations that may be useful to gain control of the opponent’s shoulders area and setting up openings for your hips techniques as the opponent is more restricted to move. In Jigotai you will likely move slower and venture more techniques from under the belt or techniques favouring full body weight. Sensei Mifune Kyuzo 10th dan, suggested in his Canon of Judo36

“In order to win a victory in free-play (randori) match, you should do your best adapting yourself to changes of postures. In other words, manage yourself sometimes like a butterfly lightly enough to attack the opponent’s weak point and at the next chance hold an advantageous position balancing your weight like a huge rock and overcome a disadvantageous position.”

Sensei Mifune Kyuzo practicing changes to posture with Shihan Jigoro Kano

36

Mifune Kyuzo, Canon of Judo, Japan Trading Company, Tokyo, Japan, 1963

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Third weapon: Shintai
Training slowly teaches you to move slowly. When applying techniques, you should speed up after you have grasped the initial understanding.
Advancing or retreating functions are key activities applicable to most judo situations. Before you make a move, you have to deliberate and assess what you will gain from it. You should try to move only in areas where some advantage will be gained. When performing tachi-waza, you are required to maintain your own balance even when the opponent is trying to tip you over. You should master the ways to shift your weight around so that at times you are feather light and in other occasions, you present a massive dead weight. This is accomplished during your approach or disengagement from the opponent. Your correct placing of the feet on the mat will determine the ease with which you can apply leg techniques, turn about or use leverage to your own advantage. Learning to make use of your entire body is a must. At the beginning, you may have the tendency to use only the torso or upper portion of the body to exercise control yet all techniques demand that you make use your lower extremities as well. Sensei Feldenkrais37remarked that: “The proper manner of physical action is such that the lower abdomen is the origin of movements of the body, or more precisely, the point that moves the least relatively to the ground, at the crucial moment of any throw; it is the first to move at the beginning of any movement of the body.” The fundamental reason for this is that the dynamic economy demands that the heavier masses should move up and down as little as possible. How to keep your balance is important and how to move about is crucial to your success. Judo dynamics demand that you move your legs, hips and entire body forward or backward and all parts at the same time. You must never put a foot forward and leave your body behind or advance the body and leave the foot behind. We refer to this phenomenon as moving with the hips. You need to be familiar with the two methods in use for advancing or retreating. They are called: ayumi-ashi and tsugi-ashi. (Normal foot advancing or alternating foot and the second: sliding foot preceding or successive). Contrary to Ayumi-ashi where the body oscillates with every step, in tsugi-ashi form, you glide the feet on the mat, one pushing the other in succession. It permits you to gain considerable acceleration and remain in balance. Your centre of gravity has fewer tendencies to fluctuate and stand ready for an impulse of energy from the Hara and the legs.

37

Feldenkrais Moshé, Higher Judo, Frederick Warne, London, UK, 1952

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Both methods form part of the ashi-sabaki or foot work techniques and can be used alternatively to break the rhythm, change direction, extend or shorten the distance between the two partners. It is nevertheless important to retreat further back then the distance made by the opponent’s push and advance deeper when he is pulling. Sensei Osawa Yoshimi, 10th dan, reflected on the displacement of the body in the following expression: “The skilful way of walking is closely related with correct and manipulated movement of the body. The correct way of walking is by moving the feet, waist and upper body in good coordination. For this, it is necessary to keep the natural standing posture all the time and walk with sliding steps. e.g., walking by making one foot succeed the other.” 38 You basically have two principal weapons in a match: one overt, which is the use of your body, and a covert one, which is your mental power. Since the judo match will be won by the use of both weapons, it will be necessary to surprise the opponent with quick moves and make maximum use of both mind and body at the opportune moment. Observation tells us that between two opponents, it is the quicker and more agile of the two that will maintain or regain balance faster, yet it is the more determined that will have the greater chance of success. Because your body mass is the most visible, you will need caution to avoid becoming a large target. You will need to keep on the move and displace it in a variety of positions and learn to use it intelligently for the purposes of defending and blocking incoming attacks, to go on the offensive, to elude the opponent, to generate surprise attacks or carefully apply kuzushi to your opponent. Your initial posture will influence the way you make contact with the opponent. Your hands touching the opponent will become signal-conductors of your intentions and reveal your distance from the opponent. They are also the end of imaginary reaching poles or fulcrum with which you will apply the necessary push and pull actions. With a strong grip at the collar or when adopting an opposing stance, you may close the distance between you and the opponent and impose some form of control. Your body displacement and control known as tai-sabaki should be used to secure the necessary advantages and keep you out of reach for potential entanglements with the opponent. It is crucial to carry your head high, to keep your peripheral vision with a narrow gap in your eyes, to use your torso as a balancing weight, to take deep breath and use your arms and legs as fast-reaching mechanisms to get to the opponent target area. Doing so, you will be exercise the juban-no-ma-ai: the capacity to hold a correct and safe distance. Remember: your posture will determine your freedom.

38

Yoshimi Osawa, Formal techniques of Kodokan Judo, Tokyo, Japan, 1959

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Your posture influences the way you move about and you should be careful to maintain the ability to change the pace with which you approach the opponent or move about. Controlling the ma-ai (distance in between) can be accomplished with a fast pace where you jettison your body closer to the opponent and follow with a fast decisive technique either frontal or sideways. Your approach can also be of medium speed profiting from an accumulation of smaller steps in the given direction and building your power with each one. Then, there is the slow approach, where you take every precaution not to make large mistakes that can be reversed to the advantage of the opponent. There are many ways where speed of movement can compensate for poor technique. Usually, the slower displacement requires more accuracy and needs to be a composite of Kuzushi, Tsukuri and Kake. On the other hand, faster techniques can use more surprise and body weight to get the unexpected results.

Sensei Osawa Yoshimi 10th dan explaining different distances to a student

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Fourth weapon: Tai-Sabaki
In randori or shiai, you will need to move about and constantly change your position in order to prepare your attacks or defend yourself. You not only need intuition to capture the intention of the opponent, you need to control the use of the space between the two of you and impose your rhythm. Your ability to turn, rotate, twist and place your body at the right angle and right time will prove essential. During both mat work grappling or pinning manoeuvres and while performing tachi-waza, you need to have special orientation and be able to identify your whereabouts in relation to your partner. Both the shintai and the Tsugi-ashi are essential to control your body movement. The Japanese words tai-sabaki generally expresses the actions of a natural body movement and in its narrow sense, indicates the ways to handle and control your own body’s motion. As such, you need to ensure that your head is aligned straight up; your eyes openings narrowed to focus with a peripheral view and not looking straight at the opponent. You will need to pay attention to your harmonious breathing capacity and not show sign of being out of breath. Your torso should be used prudently to twist, turn and retreat as well as to attack the opponent. In standing posture, you will need to develop the ability to use your toes to reinforce your balance and guide your movements. The inside and outside of your feet will require constant adjustments as you push or pull. Your knees need to be exercised to absorb shocks and quickly spring up to produce greater lifting impulses when required. When moving about on the tatami, you must be able to travel with suppleness, elasticity and freedom without telegraphing your intentions. Direct, angular and rotational movements are there to provide you with greater manoeuvrability and secure the free space needed to launch your attack. Like a sudden wind, your attack must come as a surprise to the opponent. While moving about or during the execution of the throw, try to maintain your balance as long as possible and stay at an angle to avoid becoming a large target to the opponent. Forfeiture of your balance can only be done in extremes. Should you decide to take such a risk, ensure that your opponent is committed into a precarious situation and can no longer regain his own balance. When you commit all your body power into one definitive action, you have very little reserve left, thus the importance to shift your weight in the direction of the fall. Similarly, when engaged in ne-waza or ground work, you should train both your body and mind to locate the various areas where you can exercise pressure and influence the positioning of your weight. You need to find the working space and estimate how and when to penetrate that space so that you can take advantage of the weaker parts of the opponent. Creation of the moving space necessitates that you twist and turn around before securing your escape or positioning your body to exercise control.

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With posture and body movement, the martial art literature makes reference to three concepts that are still valid in judo; mai-ai, hyoshi and yomi. The first, ma-ai is the relative distance between opponents, the second is the rhythm of the action and the third is the intuition or selection of the right moment. Tai-sabaki is linked with these three notions. When you have to take the initiative you will need to assess the right moment to move your body in order to be in a favourable position and since your are somewhat linked with the opponent by a kumi-kata of sorts, you will need to create a disruption or change the rhythm to your favour. In current competition time, opponents tend to cling to each other and wrestle more. There is very little variation in distance. You need to break the entanglement and start anew, nullify or impose a new distance by disengaging. To realize the three notions in one motion during a competition is more difficult when the opponent has adopted a strong guard but it is not impossible with the use of appropriate surprised actions. You will have better success when modifying the hyoshi or imposing your rhythm. You need to understand that it is not only your speed that will make the difference; you must be in harmony with your self and with the potential reactions of the opponent. When you prepare to enter into a technique, you select the right moment and now you are about to accomplish the movement at a certain speed. Your body starts to react and will need coordination of all the segments for potential use. Out of synchronization or too slow, the surprise is gone, the opponent has time to recover and return to his guard. Too fast and the technique lacks precision and you may even lose your balance. Your rhythm developed during the tsukuri must take into account your application and retention of the kuzushi; the follow up action or pressure in the direction of the kuzushi, and the final acceleration to apply your technique of choice. When under control of the opponent’s rhythm, you will need to distance yourself, create blocks and stay more vigilant to be able to see the attack coming. The use of intuition is again needed to capture the intent, the direction of the attack and the overall position of the opponent. Having gained sufficient time and space, you can resort to counters and slippage tactics, which may help you prevent a disastrous situation.

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Fifth weapon: Kumi-Kata
You will soon discover that gripping methods vary with the style and ease of each player. Some judoka will hold the other by placing their arm over the shoulder, around the neck region, around the waist; others will grip the judogi with both hands on the same side of the lapel while the odd fighters will grip with one hand at the top and one in the leg region. As a matter of principle, there is no strict rule being applied. The only current restriction makes reference to holding the costume on the same side with two hands for more than four seconds. Even this current competition rule is under review to accommodate the non-orthodox grips favoured by the more athletic judoka. Sensei Katanishi Hiroshi the highly respected Swiss technical director views the importance of the kumi-kata as a way to make contact with the opponent. It is a two way communication device essential to initiate all judo techniques. His recommendation is to make use of the hands as sensors the like of someone walking in the dark with their arms forward. The hands and particularly the palms should be used to detect what is ahead, what is the proximity, where is the weight distributed, what is the reaction on the materiel, at what speed is the opponent moving and what is the general rhythm? While Sensei Yokoyama Sakujiro recommended holding the opponent with a light Kumikata when describing in the Judo Kyohan: When you take hold of a part of the clothes of your opponent, you should hold him as lightly as possible.39Sensei Matsumoto of Tenri University made references to maintaining the flexibility of the arms as if one was holding an egg placed in the armpit and of the dexterity of the hands as if holding a bird in the other hand. The classic kumi-kata is the form of gripping the costume as defined by Shihan Jigoro Kano. It consists of putting together an essential amount of judogi in your hands in order to establish a substantial contact with the opponent. Many high level fighting judoka have chosen a holding pattern to best suit their styles. Judo technicians around the world still recommend the teaching of the classic and natural hold for beginners and advanced students because it facilitates the learning skills and provides equal chances to both players. It is the best way to transmit the power from one judoka to another and provide the most opportunity to execute most techniques. The universal and classic grip consists in the normal extension of the arms, slightly bent and kept close to your body. You then place one hand at the collar bone area or breast level with the second hand sizing the judogi at the proximity of the opponent’s elbow. The upper hand called tsurite will execute the lifting, the pushing and the control while the lower hand identified as hikite will be used to guide the throw in the desired direction. Both hands actions should be performed mostly by the last three fingers keeping the thumb and the index free for more flexibility and reserve power.

39

Yokoyama Sakujiro, Judo Kyohan, 1908

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A right or left natural posture will favour the loose grip and offer a lesser surface for the opponent to make use as a target area or fulcrum. Similarly, holding on the sleeves ends produce a different psychological mind set and frequently confuses the opponent. Another variation of the grip set has been recommended by Sensei Kimura Masahiko, a well known fighter in the early judo international events: He favoured holding of the sleeve with five fingers. “in judo, when one grabs the opponent’s sleeve or lapel, one uses four fingers of each hand with extending thumbs. Whether one pushes or pulls the opponent, without pressing the thumb hard, one can not grasp firmly and the speed is reduced. The fourth fingers generate an inner force and the thumb (Fift finger) creates the opposing force, developing a firmer grip. Therefore, not using the thumb goes against the principles of dynamics.”40 A study by George Weers of the USA made from videos of the 1996 Olympics revealed four common types of gripping: A. Same grip; when both players took either a right or left power hand position from the start. B. Opposite grips; when players adopted a right against a left or vice versa. C. Sleeve end grips; when the dominant player gripped both the opponent’s sleeve ends. D. Gripping without form; the dominant player not revealing his power hand and not allowing the opponent to secure a power hand until the last instant. George Weers found that gripping without form was the preferred option in 63% of the more advanced and elite rounds. That loose grip is considered as a natural element adapted to the attack sequence and integral to the last minute attack. It was not an action standing alone and persistent during the match strategy. Elite players seemed to move more about the mat and go about prying and probing while keeping constantly on the lookout for an opening. This tactic is used to identify weaknesses without committing to a definite approach. It requires a very high level of both defensive and offensive mobility. Gripping without form means that the judoka has minimal contact with maximal space thus allowing more flexibility to enter into offensive or defensive tactics.

40

Kimura Masahiko, Fighting Recollection, EJU bulletin, 2001

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Standard kumi-kata hold

As a general rule, it is with a strong kumi-kata that you accomplish the disability of the opponent. You need to place your hands where they will best work for you to open up the way to place your technique. During randori and shiai they should offers a good control over the opponent, restrict his flexibility to disengage and consolidate your advances to undertake your tokui-waza or favourite technique. In international matches, the Russian and Eastern Block judoka have frequently demonstrated the effectiveness of their unorthodox and radical grip called the loop which originated from their free style wrestling. In the loop, they grasp and twist the costume at the rear back and elbow level. Although restricting the easiness with which to perform a wide variety of techniques, this particular grip favours extreme stance, a greater closeness with the opponent and the exercise of continuous pressure. It places the opponent in an uncomfortable position whilst the attacker is setting himself into a more suitable position from where he can steal the fight away by employing greater transitional techniques, powerful lifts from the side or under the opponent, acrobatic rolls forward or backward and fast take-downs. There is too often a preliminary fight to get the grip of choice. In Japan, judoka learn to make contact early and force the opponent to move about thus seeking the opportunity to place the other in off-balance situations or study action-reaction, the effects of the arc or vibrations that occur with every movement. Having adopted the classic kumi-kata, they have learned to adapt to various styles, use their arms as sensors and shock absorbers and have demonstrated their superiority in using their total body weight to make the throws from various angles.

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In their interviews for the French Review L’Esprit du Judo, Sensei Katanishi Hiroshi 41 and the French coach Marc Alexandre elaborated the following ten commandments applicable to kumi-kata:

1. As a preamble to a technique, you need to master the classic kumi-kata. 2. Your hips and shoulders must remain free if you are to do good techniques. 3. Securing the grip is a question of distance and rhythm. 4. The best kumi-kata is the one that gives you the most flexibility for variations. 5. To be able to throw or secure a good guard is to have the initiative like in sen-no-sen. 6. You must think where and why you want to place your hands in a kumikata. 7. Against a high grip, stay upright, modify the space, try to avoid but do not withdraw. 8. When you secure your grip as you apply a good technique, you are 60% closer to your Ippon. 9. Better than the tokui-waza, the kumi-kata opens all kinds of possibilities in several directions. 10. Your kumi-kata is your weapon to a successful technique.
Sensei Watanabe remarked that: “It is only at the moment when you apply your technique or break the opponent’s posture that you must grasp tightly.”42

41 42

Katanishi Hiroshi, L’Art de poser les paumes, L’Esprit du Judo, Mars- Avril, France, 2008 Watanabe Jiichi and Avakian Lindy, The Secrets of Judo, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, 1960

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Kumi-kata performed by World champion Kosei Inoue and Sensei Michel Novovitch

Initial Kumi-kata by Champions Nicolas Gill and Kosei Inoue (photo courtesy of Bob Willingham)

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Sixth weapon: Kuzushi
This is the most important of all the elements and is the cornerstone of the judo philosophy. On one side, you have an opponent who tries to remain in balance and in control while you are trying to make him adopt an unstable posture, lose his balance and throw him. Science tells us that in a standing posture, the human body is said to be in balance when the maximum weight rests around his abdominal area (hara) and the latter is situated directly above the feet. Total balance also comprises the mental or spiritual tranquility or balance. A distracted mind cannot function properly and will not be in full control of the actions-reactions produced. Real judo originates from dynamic mental and physical actions. No throw or lock can be applied effectively against an opponent who retains his complete state of balance. One of the most important and first fighting principle of Kodokan judo is to break the opponent’s balance while retaining one’s own and quickly use that moment to one’s advantage. We discussed before that during a match, players must observe each other’s movements and determine when it is the right time to place the attack. That moment will occur when the opponent is most vulnerable, less powerful, preoccupied and distracted. This vulnerability can happen by sheer noise distraction, lack of concentration, moving about, lifting a leg too high, over bending to the side, outstretching the legs too much or turning the head in the wrong direction. Small actions may produce sufficient inattention or force the displacement of the centre of gravity to shake the overall balance or equilibrium. If the opponent maintains his composure and keeps his balance most of the time, other occasions must be found for you to break his balance by movement or by making him lean or place himself in vulnerable positions. The overall process is called kuzushi. The ideal occasion to apply your Tokui-waza is when the opponent is in a self induced and broken posture or subject to being influenced by a pull or push action on your part. Other circumstances are when one of his feet is moving or when he is transferring his weight from side to side. Another favourable moment is when one of his feet is off the mat and his weight rests entirely on one foot. We refer to happo-no-kuzushi as the normal method to initiate and accomplish breaking balance in eight potential directions or axis. Some judo masters have developed variations to use up to 16 directions but these are more an adaptation of the original eight natural directions. These eight directions are: to the front, you bring the weight to the forward point of the toes, to the right front you exercise pressure on the little toe side, diagonally right forward. Kuzushi on the forward left is accomplished by making sure the weight is resting on the outside of the left toe area. For rearward breaking balance, you place the weight on the heels. Right and left rear kuzushi is made with the weight resting on the outside of either heel. Straight right and left breaking balance is accomplished when the weight is resting on the outside of the right or left foot.

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Performing kuzushi by direct action is to apply a certain amount of force to the opponent’s upper and lower parts in order to make him move his centre of gravity beyond his resting base, by forcing him to lean forward or backward, or have him step sideways. The applied force can render him uncomfortable and even make him rotate around his own centre of gravity (around an axis) either horizontally or vertically. Once his stable posture is broken, the direction of the force must be maintained to effectively produce the turning or pivoting effect. Normal kuzushi is difficult to apply considering today’s fighting habits by various champions. Strong grips, hand control, rigid stance, limited mobility and close entanglement. Nevertheless, you as a combatant can apply a good Kuzushi that will disrupt the opponent by making greater use of your body weight to effect horizontal or linear push and pull; you can also use your body as a lever to accomplish vertical lift and pull the opponent straight up (arraché) using you opponent’s inertia and power you can add to the power force and do vertical kuzushi as seen in sutemi-waza. Finally, your kuzushi can be part of your body deliberately rolling around with the opponent as in makikomi. For kuzushi to be effective, you need to understand what to do with your hands and joints and in what sequence they should follow each other. It is important that you apply the pushing or pulling actions according to the body’s normal range of motion and not attempt to twist the opponent’s segments against their own joints such that they become too stressed. The applied forces must be coordinated and follow the same direction. In theory, for maximum effectiveness, all your segments should commence their acceleration and build momentum simultaneously. In practice, you will note that the muscles closest to your centre of gravity, although slower and stronger, are the first to move. They are followed by the thighs muscles and then the weaker and smaller muscles of the extremities are added to complete the action. All muscle activity being applied should stop when the opponent has attained his zero gravity status. (When the forces being applied in one direction equal the forces displayed in the opposing direction). For example, when applying a pushing or pulling action with the hands against the opponent’s upper torso while his feet are fixed on the mat, you will in fact rotate him along a medial-transversal axis. Should your pushing, lifting or pulling actions be exercised by your entire body and applied against several of the opponent’s body parts, you will be able to move and rotate him along several complementary axis. When the opponent begins to move in the direction of the applied forces, he will normally follow a single direction. However, you may find that some of his body segments perform minor rotations on their own and around different joints such as at elbow or knee areas. This phenomenon is natural. The overall force being applied should be sufficiently strong enough to counter all the minor and additional movements along the primary direction. If the principal force is not sufficient there is likelihood that some of the minor movements will negate each other.

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There are instances where you will be able to accomplish angular rotation on your own. Such is the case when you are using hands, shoulders or the buttocks as contact points with the mat instead of using your feet. The technique of Kani-basami is a good example and so are some other varieties of sutemi-waza. To get the opponent into an unstable position, you must shift his weight off the part of his body that is supporting it. Figuratively speaking, when he stands erect, the silhouette of his body is like a triangle or pyramid with variable breadth and thickness and he will be shifting his weight from one corner to the other as he is moved by your advancingretreating motions. Whatever your chosen posture, remember your extremities as they play a vital role in your forms of attack. The late sensei Yokohama Sakujiro identified the essence of making the kuzushi as a matter of using little fingers and toes. The toes are used to lengthen the arc used in body leverage as they provide these essential and extra centimetres to form a stronger lever. The fingers being more sensitive to touch and more dexterous can ensure a better grip and offer more potential for extra manoeuvres.

To apply kuzushi, you need to know: W5: Whom, What, Where, When and Why.

To disrupt, to outwit and out skill are the operating keys to good kuzushi.

Various hand placements in kuzushi by Sensei Tokai, Karia and Katanishi

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Seventh weapon: Tsukuri
One of the difficult elements to master is the tsukuri, a word derived from the verb tsukuru meaning to obtain a position, to follow, to pursue, or make the entry. This phase of the waza is very critical. To apply a technique you must move in accord with the opponent, be in harmony. You have to assess your distance and seize control of the empty space and make use of your push or pull tactics. Now that your opponent is placed off-balance, you need to turn him on his toes or heels while executing a continuous movement and quickly enter into position to throw him while retaining your own balance. In order to throw a well balanced opponent, you need to destroy the equilibrium of the opponent and assume continuous control of the attack. You have to select your timing and the angle of entry in order to keep uke in a state of suspension until the kake is made. During that quick lapse of time, you need to get closer to the opponent and make maximum use of the space between you two. In this preparatory phase, you must make your final positioning with a brisk displacement in order to surprise the opponent and take over the rhythm from him. Upon taking the initiative, your push and pull action needs to be done with the entire body. You should be able to produce sufficient kinetic forces capable to make an explosive gesture into your throwing technique. Tsukuri will be influenced by the opponent’s reactions and displacement and by the means with which you can sustain the kuzushi. The opponent should be surprised and unable to counter your final approach. When moving in small circular motion or in spiral, you will become the instigator of a centripetal force giving further propulsion and power to your technique. The rotation or spinning action can take several forms: circular, angular, zigzag, horizontal or vertical. Sensei Mifune Kyuzo emphasized the turning movement when he remarked; “It is a
special technique that must be learned. It is not a spontaneous move. It is a rotation done while keeping proper balance. Turning movements are natural thus more basic, yet, the very basic things are frequently the most important.”43

Such rotational moves can be accomplished by jumping around, switching your weight from leg to leg, advancing or retreating along imaginary circle lines. Tai-sabaki is made stronger when the entire body is working to create the rotation. Your legs, hips, torso and the head should be aligned on the same arc and move in the same direction. Additional speed and momentum will be gained by keeping your centre of gravity low and by retracting your arms closer to you. Sensei Koizumi said that: “It is impossible to over emphasize the importance of Tsukuri, for it is estimated to represent 70% of the throw’s effectiveness. Tsukuri in a throw is like courting in love, without it, the result will be a disaster”44

43 44

Mifune Kyuzo, Canon of Judo, Tokyo, Japan, 1956 Koizumi Gunji, 12 Judo Throws, The Budokwai, London 1948

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Eight weapon: Sen-no-Sen
According to Sun Tzu, the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him. When you have identified the right moment to take the initiative, your attack should show unity between your intentions and your body displacements. In this regard, your body should be placed in the best advantageous position to proceed with a speedy and concentrated technique. When the opponent is relaxed, you should harass him; if on the defensive, force him to move and use quick and varied movements to appear at locations he never suspects; if you are attacked try to avoid direct confrontation with his strong points, trying to find the opponent’s weakness and it to your advantage. Your selected target area to apply your kake should be kept secret until the very last moment. Your assessment of the space, time and direction will influence your choice of weapons (techniques). While still at the conceptualisation phase, look for signs displayed by the opponent; small signals from his body comportment, identify his angle of approach, his stance, his distance and the way he grabs your judogi with his kumi-kata. Always focus on the essentials, that which you can control most. You have to get a clear understanding of the threat he poses to your stability. What is the most likely area of attack he seeks, why, with what, how and when? You have to maintain your mental focus on what is happening and not rely exclusively on your automatic reflexes; otherwise, events will overrun you, lure you and he will dominate the match. Awareness is the foundation of effective combat readiness. With your vision cleared and with an understanding of what the threats are, you can then proceed to move your body intelligently in response. In order to initiate evasive actions or launch a counter attack, move your hips and centre first. Your Hara should displace sufficient dynamic power to lead the rest of your body into a body movement that will engulf the opponent. Let your arms and legs follow along a continuum and place yourself in the line of least resistance. With a good tai-sabaki, you should concentrate on your body direction so that you can direct its power with the use of centrifugal forces and by increasing your speed you will gain maximum momentum. Once you have made contact with the opponent, ensure you minimize the selected target area for maximum impact and use of space. Use the opponent’s reaction to your contact to lift, turn, deviate or neutralize him. Oscar Ratti observed in his book:45 “it seems logical to assume that the power efficiently generated by the body used as a single unit will be greater that that which could be generated by the use of the arms or legs alone”. You must try to keep your balance in whatever you do and be at the centre of things.

45

Westbrook A & Ratti O, Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan, 1983

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Ninth weapon: Kake

You are now ready to unleash your thunderbolt and strike the IPPON. In kake, your mind and body should be united to seize the fleeting opportunity. It is the moment to deliberately and speedily apply the technique that will secure your victory. Using your entire body as a lever or fulcrum, make a strong contact with the opponent and turn him around a given axis. It is the moment of no return and of total commitment. Kake can be performed along several planes: horizontal, vertical, and angular or in spiral depending on the chosen technique already prepared by the preceding elements. Kake will externalize your intent. It should be accomplished with speed, determination and the intelligent use of force. For that purpose, we normally identify three elements in the kake: the control over the opponent, the approach or positioning with the advancing or retreating actions and the application of vector forces in the intended direction or arc. If kake is carried out badly, you will be unable to control the opponent’s body nor for that matter, your own. There must be a continuum in the direction of the throw both in the horizontal and vertical planes. The choice of the intended technique is selected from your memory and quickly associated with the current situation. It will be executed only at the last minute. Its careful and secretive preparation will begin with the displacement of the entire body either in advancing (Tsugi-ashi-tobi Komi) or by withdrawing. (Tsugi-ashi-hiki-dashi). You will gain increased momentum in the rotational or angular approach and you should explode all your energy by your bending, arching or lifting actions. (Kake can be referred as the crest of the wave; it can only follow the preceding actions). In applying kake, you make use of your transferring abilities. You need to displace all your hidden energy stored in several locations of your body or in combined muscle groups and commit them to obtain the maximum impulse possible and apply it against the one contact point selected on the opponent. You need to strike the opponent with an explosive force that can hit and pass through the target.

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Tenth weapon: Sesshoku
Sesshoku is the action of maintaining contact with the opponent, to pursue him and ensure control over the fall. It is important to secure your objective by combining several complementary techniques to position your body weight more deeply under the opponent, increase the intensity of your contact or bring him to the ground in a continuous move. Maintaining contact with the opponent can also be accomplished by using combination techniques in various directions to tire him and force him to make constant adjustments until he reaches a vulnerable position that you exploit to the maximum by employing your tokui-waza or hikkomi take down. We previously mentioned that the opponent can turn in or out, twist, cartwheel around and roll to his front within a given trajectory before he reaches the mat for a fall. Old masters used to say that when kime is performed, the application is completed. (A clean fall to the back resulting from a well performed technique is a definite decision point) The ippon is thus secured with decisive action and good form. With today’s competitive rules and styles of fighting employing snatch and surprised lifts, such level of purity in technique is not always possible. The ancient masters referred to the state of zan shin as the ability to maintain awareness till the end of a throw. Sesshoku may be considered as the mopping-up operation or the end phase of the throw. It may be used to force changes of direction or location (Tachi or ne-waza) and when attacks are used to achieve strategic advantage and not necessarily the IPPON. When used at the terminal phase of the kake, you should try to make it your safety net to be deployed in order to prevent serious injury to the opponent and guard against his refusal to accept your throws and avoid the fall at all cost. By your keeping the strong hold on him and securing your grip you should be able to guide him in the direction of the fall, maintain the rhythm and place yourself in a state of readiness for the next group of actions involving mat work or ne-waza.

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Eleventh weapon: Ju-Wa

Ju-wa has been listed as the tenth element in order to summarize the intended spirit of all waza. It illustrates the intelligent use of strength or power. Pull when your opponent pushes and push when he pulls. Going with the flow was best expressed by sensei Mifune who described it with the term “WA” the concept of opening and closing a gate at the right moment to trap the opponent. This principle implies that you take control of the match with a certain degree of secrecy. You are to be concentrated and not distracted, remaining attentive to all your senses and become one with yourself and the opponent. An initial and quick attack can ensure an early and visible control. If you wait for the right opportunity and take advantage of the opponent’s moves and follow up with your own technique, you will exercise better control over the situation, considering that the opponent has committed himself and he has no more recourse. This strategy is also known as “using quietness to defend”. During randori and more evident during shiai events, it is not always possible to gain and maintain total control all the time. You should try to capture his intent and better understand the small actions that follow his intentions. Too many players forget this important dimension and as soon as they feel a bit of resistance or strength from an opponent, they respond with similar use of strength and rigidity. The end result is an endless struggle to make the ippon. You cannot trust your strength alone to master and control the situation. Hard work and good technique are necessary. You should try to eliminate the excessive use of power and make it a practice to use your strength intelligently. Let us reflect upon Jigoro Kano’s advice on the subject: “In order to develop the strength to win someday, you must be satisfied with practicing losing for a time. And even if you are at risk of losing you must take the offensive. Try various waza and train hard.”46 The application of JU-WA is an integral part of the randori. You are not practicing your skills with the goal to gain victories over your partners, but to acquire the needed experience to improve yourself, to learn from your mistakes and become generally better. The randori format provides the opportunity to learn how better apply your techniques and outwit the partner. Shihan Jigoro Kano explained that goal in the following remark:

“The correct practice of randori is to learn to slip dexterously away from the opponent, adapt to his strength, cause him to lose his balance while stepping back and then, take advantage of that opportunity to perform your waza.”47

46 47

Murata Naoki, quoting Jigoro Kano in Mind Over Muscle, 2005, p 138 Murata Naoki, quoting Jigoro Kano in Mind Over Muscle, 2005, p 137

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Try to reflect on the following teaching associated with the application of JU:

1. Saki O Tore. To anticipate and be on the offensive. 2. Jukuryo Danko. To act without delay. 3. Tomaru Tokoro O Shire. To know when to stop. 4. Zenshu WA Zenko Ni Shikazu. To attack is the best defense. 5. Shin Shutsu Ki Botsu. Try to appear and disappear unexpectedly.
Make a point to visit and discuss with senior judo masters whenever you can. They possess a vast amount of knowledge and experience that is there to share with the more adventurous and curious student. Your discussions or observations may reveal all sorts of profound principles that they cherish and have not yet disclosed to their regular students. Here is a note I shared with a student judoka during a mondo (informal discussion) moment: “When you embark upon your judo training, you are like a passenger on a ship on a major ocean destined to a port of call. You are pushed by the winds and displaced by various waves of movements and theories. Some of the teachings will carry you far; others will dissipate like short waves even before they reach the shore. Other passengers left behind on the shore will only see the flutter of the waves at their feet and will never reach your destination.”

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Twelfth weapon: Hara-Gei
The spiritual concept of hara-gei has been present in Japanese culture for a long time. Its metaphysical roots are found in the Shinto religion, which outlines that all beings and creatures on earth are born from the same Cosmic Gods or Kami and that men are at the centre of this harmonic universe. Similar ideas have been propagated by other religions such as Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. It is understood that men, earth, vegetation and living things are brothers or kin of the same creation. The term of Hara-Kara is the simplified expression of hara-gei used for the identification of men at its centre and living harmony with other creatures and things. Hara-gei is the physical practice of keeping balance by the use of the hara or centre. It involves an understanding of the function of the centre of our body which contains and produces inner energies capable of being transmitted to the whole through concentration and breathing. It implies the recognition that the abdominal region is composed of various muscle groups that participate in maintaining equilibrium. Stability when standing is dependant upon the relationship between our weight, our support base and the position of our center of gravity. In order to make good use of our lower extremities you have to make use of the waist and abdominal region as it contains a large group of muscles which influence the elements of our nervous systems residing in the abdominal cavity and as such provide the impetus for many of our movements. Physiologically, we understand that the hara or lower abdomen plays an important part in maintaining our balance. The centre of gravity of our physical mass is located in that region. In judo, everything functions around the capabilities to maintain or break the balance. Victory or defeat is obtained if you are able to retain your equilibrium or lose it. I have previously discussed this dynamic function of having hara or no hara in a past book.48 A quick review of the subject will outline that the force of the waist and the abdominal region has its root in the location of a major muscle group which supports the spinal column and which is attached to the pelvis and supports about one third of our body weight. That region is a critical intersection between the upper torso area and the lower extremities. Being in the middle gives it strategic importance to coordinate all other parts of the body. When there is a need to lift or move, the diaphragm contracts with other abdominal muscles and at the same time, the loins move backward in a tilt motion around the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae as the proas muscle contracts with other pelvic muscles in a fusion of the upper body and lower extremities that combine to become one solid mass. With the muscle contractions, pressure is produced against the center of gravity. The stronger the contraction, the more pressure is exercised toward the center of gravity.

48

Ronald Désormeaux, Discovery of Judo, Yield to Overcome, Gatineau, Canada, 2006

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You can practice using your abdominal region by sitting or standing in an erect position without bending to keep your centre of gravity within your base of support. Another method is to walk about while projecting your lower part of the abdomen forward and your hips towards your back by bending the loins at the junction of the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae area, an action commonly referred to as arching the lower back. It is also possible to practice the technique of controlling your centre of gravity while sitting, squatting and kneeling by forming a triangle with your feet, your knees or support base. Shizen-tai and jigo-tai postures will provide you with good training grounds.

In combat situations, as with many other things in life, you must be able to stay at the centre of things, be in control and assess how you will defend yourself including the use of offensive, strategic and tactical weapons. You must maintain equilibrium, be in harmony with your thoughts and physical strength. “The mind must lead the body” is an ancient axiom pertaining to how your body energy sources must be centralized in your abdomen and be released on command in the appropriate direction to carry out your goal. Your balance or hara is therefore consistent with your posture, alignment, resiliency and your readiness to act. Remember this other axiom:

“If we have no goal, we remain immobile, fragile and lifeless”

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Thirteenth weapon: Kiai
“Silence is all comprising; it comes automatically, naturally and unconsciously”
Zen Proverb

It has surely happened to you or you have witnessed someone effectively calling others or trying to get their attention by the use of crisp sounds like Hey, You. The listener stops in their tracks, abandons temporarily their activity and turns towards the sound maker to identify its source and its predominance. Shouting fire, police or someone’s first name is also effective, but to a lesser degree. All sound sends out vibrations or undulating sound waves that travel through the air at various frequencies (20-20,000 Hz or undulation cycle per second) and are captured by environmental surfaces. We, as humans, capture the sound through our hearing system. In hearing, the air-borne sound waves funnel down through the ear canal and strike the eardrum causing it to vibrate in response. The vibrations are then passed to the small bones of the middle ear onto the base of the stapes which will rock in and out against the oval window and onto the perilymph where the vibrations become fluid-born and continue their way towards the hair cells of the organ Cortex who transform them into nerve impulses.

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Schema abstracted from: Anatomy of the Ear, by PATTS services, 2000-01

Ancient martial artists observed, developed and expanded upon the use of sound as weapons in their battlefield techniques for use in close combat situations. Nowadays, because of various levels of interferences and noise levels in dojo, it does not favour the effective use of these shouting techniques. Left unexploited by both coaches and judoka they have been seldom used under real shiai conditions. Yet, other martial arts such as kendo and karate make effective use of them.

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Kiai was studied in ancient Hindu and Chinese martial arts schools and referred to as the union of the spirit and vital energy. It was known as a martial technique or tool within the Japanese Aizu clan as early as the 13 century. Shouting accompanied atemi-waza and was know as Kiai-jitsu and To-Ate-jitsu and was later taught as Oshi Ki uchi by the late Saigo Chikamasa Tonomo of the Daito Ryu at the end of the 18 century. Other texts refer to it as prana in the hata-yoga, meaning cosmic power and life giving energy. In 1898 professors Jules Regnault and Maurice Guibault of the French Naval Medical Academy demonstrated that the sound made by the Galton Whistle used aboard ships had an influence in changing the respiratory rhythm and heart beat of sailors. Sensei Bernard Gauthier, my former judo teacher who was also responsible for teaching discipline and riot control in federal prisons made use of kiai to temporarily subdue prisoners thus giving him sufficient time to approach them in safely and apply other restraint methods. He taught several of his advanced students various ways to use kai to disturb the opponent’s kuzushi. A secondary usage of kiai was made to enrich the kake phase in the throwing techniques by ensuring a more determined and precise ending to accomplish the kime.

“I do not have a physical sword; my real sword is at sleep in my mind.”
Sensei Bernard Gauthier insisted that the kiai shout be short and intense and that you face the opponent with added visual contact. He recommended that we be in close proximity of the opponent so that power coming from the abdomen would disturb, threaten and play a substantive role in the breaking of the opponent’s concentration and balance and delay his reaction time. Syllables such as: hey, ei, eight, ai and you, were recommended for their intensity and pitch as either one may produce from 6000 to 10000 vibrations per second and overpower surrounding noises. The need for extreme concentration was vital to its proper execution. Should we be temporarily disturbed or lacking concentration, the power of the kiai is lost and the shouting becomes just another noise in the dojo. Some experts have been known to use kiai in life threatening situations to restore breathing to unconscious persons as well as the use of it to momentarily paralyse or shock an opponent. In accordance with sensei Hikotaro Kumoshiro an expert in Kuatsu, kiai is the internal power that governs the life process in each of us and is the source of all our potential energy. He used Kiai as a system of revival in cases where subjects are unconscious. Roland Habersetzer in his ju-jitsu guide49 suggested that the kiai be used as soon as the opponent’s attack is foreseen, as you launch a counter attack in Go-no-sen or at the end of a technique to consolidate the kime.

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Roland Habersetzer, Guide du Ju-jitsu, Édition Marabout, Belgique, 1978

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Kiai is normally produced in rhythm with the breathing process. It is the conduit that produces external vibrations reaching the opponent faster than your arm or leg. It feels like the vibrations emanating from an opera singer or a dog barking. You will note that when you are exhaling, there is a vacuum or emptiness forming that draws on the muscle perimeters and makes them vibrate. When you inhale, new air is normally gathered in the lungs and lower region and awaits transformation by your internal systems. This transformation takes a fraction of time longer; it renders the inspiration phase slower, resulting in your reactions being a fraction of second slower. Robert Lasserre in his book on Kiai50 found that a crisp shout had an impact upon the nerves and internal organs of the opponent. The human voice need not be amplified to maintain its vibrating powers. The surprised and concentrated shout is similar to the roar of certain animals which demonstrate their internal power to scare away other predators and assume supremacy. The vibrant sound produced by a short and intense shout is captured by the inner ear and works its way upon the inner ear mechanisms to send disturbing signals to the brain. The brain will, in turn, send reactive signals to other parts of the body and to the organs and will even influence blood pressure. It is reported that the concentrated shout improves power and precision, facilitates concentration on the real target and increases the power of delivery. When on the receiving end, kiai helps subdue the pain of a blow or a fall and offers a form of screening resistance to the other attacks.

« Le temps c’est la vie, tout ce qui peut tuer le temps, peut tuer la vie. » « Time is precious as life, what can kill time, will kill life. »

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Robert Lasserre, Le livre des Kiai et des Kwa Tsu, Éditeur, Chausson, France, 1954

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Fourteen weapon: KOKORO “When man’s spirit is free, he is a true Man.”
Zen Proverb

Your inner strength is yet another hidden weapon. Your dream is your guiding star. It will be used when you are challenged by various difficulties in life. It is correct to recognize those difficult moments and your frequent and immediate inability to deal with them. Many people give up too easily, compromise to other’s opinion and too many hesitate because they fear the unknown. But you are more that a façade, more than the blurred image you project, you have very powerful internal resources that can be used as weapons or inner strength. You’re most evident weaknesses will surface when faced with these obstacles and they will resemble depression, anxiety, worry about the unknown, feeling insecure and lacking motivation. These factors will most likely give you a wake up call that it is time to switch to your internal powers to deal with the situations. When your conscious mind can not find a quick solution to surmount difficulties, you first have a tendency to depend on old habits and déjà-vu solutions. Do not stop there; you need to go fetch other inner resources, to enter into a dialogue with yourself and find the necessary wisdom amongst your subconscious resources. Sensei David Douillet, the heavy weight world champion expressed this need in his recent interview for the French magazine “L’Esprit du judo”51: “It is not easy to find the right path to ensure that you make the right training decision and continue to improve your potential. Combat intelligence is the champion’s favourite weapon.” Your first inhibitions are a result of what you are accustomed to seeing; images located in your frontal lobe with which your brain quickly responds. To make a better judgement, your other parts of the brain must be summoned to override these primitive impulses and you will need to make other neural connections in order to maximize your mental reserves. First, take a moment to breathe deeply and think. Meditate for a few seconds or minutes about what you are about to tackle. Identify the situation properly; define what makes you happy or irritated. Release the immediate pressures caused by the unknown and sudden shock and calm your thoughts. Monitor your judgement and switch to positive thinking. Sort out your feelings and try to remove the negative ones. Let both side of your brain make their association and start to work in harmony. You have to remain a champion and therefore you need to stay focused on your ability to resolve problems one way or the other and concentrate on an immediate action plan. Shift your perspective to more positive actions: think of making a choice, to embark on changes, to shift patterns of action, to do something worthwhile now, to focus on a variety of solutions that can be immediately put to the task.

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David Douillet, Conseils de Champions, Esprit du Judo Magazine, February 2008

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When acknowledging difficulties or errors, you should choose to act in accordance with your higher values. Once your decision is made, try to align your future actions with passion and dedication. Do not let others individuals or circumstances drain your enthusiasm and concentration. Dr Erickson Milton renown American psychiatric once expressed the idea of being immune to negative persons by over-sizing ourselves: ”Think of yourself as an Ocean and not a small molecule of water…so when you lose a few drops, it can not hurt you.” Walk away from negative persons, do not be distracted by irritants, try not to accept negative criticism by letting it slide off. You may wish to develop a deeper friendship with your coach or a parent or a friend whom you trust to become your confident and can share some reflexion moments with you. Try to identify the moments that makes you happy during your training cycles and repeat them as often as possible. When you see a companion in trouble, try to understand his difficulties and be compassionate towards him. Be true to yourself, acknowledge your difficulties and forgive your mistakes and proceed to change the way you deal with them. Seek to make improvements in the future. Try to live in the moment and be in harmony with the moment. Yes, it is ok to be afraid; yes, you may feel some responsibility for errors or remorse; yes, you may be confused as to what to do now, but, choose to do something, anything to take responsibility for your decision. Eliminate such words as: do not, not and no and talk less about problems. Keep your focus on positive things and look at the bigger picture. Explore the possibility to realize your dreams, search for images and words to describe it differently, stay focus on it. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said;” the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Expand your support group to include people and friends who share your dreams and validate your efforts. Belief in yourself will gain strength by accomplishing what you choose to do. Evaluate and celebrate your successes or gains. There is no need to continuously fight head-on with negative ideas such as; it is too hard, I do not know and what should I do, etc. There is no requirement for you to follow the direction of others; you are not compelled. You have to choose your own course of action. You have the skills, the knowledge and the peace of mind and mostly, you must believe in yourself. Your inner power is your best friend; it will not abandon you in difficult times. Regardless of what happens, it will not feel bad nor abandon you because it hurts and things are difficult. Regardless of other’s opinions it will remain true to you, strong and ready to assume the responsibilities you have chosen in order to be in command of your own life.

“Your inner strength is to follow your heart and your dreams. Embrace the reality, start now, make the first step and follow the path.”

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MIZU-SONO-KOKORO-O-SEISU: To forge the spirit first. This is an expression found in ancient texts of true martial arts specialists who encouraged their students to quickly master their skills or techniques in order to ascend the realm of mental and spiritual control through their union of “skills--body--spirit” or Shin-Gi-Tai. It is possible for you to attain such a training atmosphere by optimization of your inner strength. You can follow the acronym GIFTS to follow the path towards improvement. (G- for Goals): Set each event with specific goals to be achieved in randori, in shiai and in life. Your goals should relate to the results you anticipate. Before each action or drill, decide what and how you want to do it and respond accordingly. After you have done the exercise or made the action, identify what needs to be adjusted and celebrate your success. (I-for Image) Try to make use of images to facilitate your learning and refine your skills. Positive images will help build your confidence level. You should imagine yourself in command of your actions, doing the whole exercise or movement. This is visualization. Then, identify the big picture. Take a moment to run through the whole process before actually undertaking it. (F- for Feeling) You should have good feelings and emotions for what you are about to undertake. Before diving into it, you should relax and meditate if possible. (T- for Thought) Talk to yourself, stay focused on what you are about to do. Use positive statements. Find key words or phrases to push you, especially when fatigue creeps in. (S- for Support) Follow your routine to the end, do not slack off, and go all the way even if there are some difficult moments. Have a game plan that will see you finish the activity and still have some reserve energy.

Reality is now, wait no further You must act at this instant.
“With an open mind, enter into the mysteries of nature and with inaction, (Reflection) master the principle of change”
Tomiki Kenji, Judo, Kyodo Printing, Tokyo Japan, 1956

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TACTICS FROM ANCIENT MASTERS
Do not look elsewhere to find the truth; it is already in your hands.
Zen Proverb

Sometimes it is worth reviewing our knowledge of ancient master’s recommendations pertaining to combat tactics and training methods. They may have been written three or four centuries ago and applied within particular environments, but their application has transcended time and several of them are still applicable today. We cannot disregard the advices recurring throughout the literature; “Have a passion for what you undertake, train regularly, take the initiative, and keep calm before the danger” are all important counsels which can be applied in our daily life. More specific to judo, we find such expressions as: “Get rid of your nervousness; take the opportunity and initiative; do not hesitate; repeat your technique as often as possible; do not skip essential steps; follow the path, there are miles yet to go; adjust yourself to fighting circumstances and cope with the difficulties.” In this regard, Sensei Yagyu Tojimanokami Munen of the Munemori clan who lived in Tojima Japan during the period 1571-1647 wrote in a book called Heiho Kodensho from which we can retain the following recommendations: 1. Train constantly very hard. 2. All strategy needs a good action plan as a base. 3. You need to lure the opponent into your battle. 4. Make use of mysterious elements to achieve surprise (shimpi). 5. When you are both on the offensive, you think like the opponent. 6. Do not be imprudent, stay patient and do not give way. 7. Develop your panoramic vision. 8. Attack at angles and within safe distances. 9. Follow the attack; pursue the opponent with multiple attacks. 10. Do not over-estimate your victory 11. Use alternate rhythm to confuse the opponent. 12. Do not over nor under estimate your opponent. 13. Always be ready and alert. 14. Avoid concentrating and focussing on one particular technique 15. Try to impose your rhythm and stay in control. 16. Make use of your common sense. 17. Let your creativity roam freely. 18. Keep on the move. 19. Keep your intentions secret. 20. Know all techniques and be prepared to use all.

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Sensei Kotoda Yahei Toshisada from the Itto Kempo Sho School of 1716 left us with the following wise counsel. 1. Be physically prepared and mentally alert. 2. Know and master your techniques well. 3. Learn and master the basics, the rest will come. 4. Challenge your dexterity and your abilities and make intelligent use of them. 5. Try to perform techniques for which your opponent is unfamiliar with. 6. Stay close to the opponent and make one with him. 7. Always try to seek perfection in your technique. 8. Display commitment and sincerity in all your doings. 9. Adjust to changing circumstances, be flexible. 10. Make use of the opponent strength or move to yield and subdue. 11. Do not meet force with force. 12. Make better use of space, time and rhythm. 13. Know to attack at the right moment without hesitation 14. Make use of surprises. 15. Be one with yourself (body, spirit and technique).

From the writing of sensei Takuan Soho who served many masters in the era 1573-1645 and developed the Fudoshin concepts we can find the following. 1. Always commit yourself totally in whatever you do. 2. Seize the opportunity when you see it. 3. Keep mentally alert and be of open mind. 4. Forget yourself, penetrate your environment. 5. Keep the beginner’s mind, be inquisitive and experimental. 6. Project a positive self image. 7. Theory and practice make for a perfect technique. 8. Act promptly and be spontaneous in your undertaking. 9. There is no need to deliberate, act now. 10. Do not cloud your thinking with too many what if? 11. Be like water, be present through many forms. 12. Remain flexible in all. 13. Keep on the move. 14. Be respectful, humble and generous of yourself. 15. Do not fear the unknown, just be prepared.

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In another essay on weapons called Tai- a -Ki, the ultimate sword, the philosopher and samurai Takuan Soho wrote the following recommendations: 1. Your weapon (technique) must bring happiness to others. 2. You need continuous effort and extraordinary measure to become a master. 3. If you only excel in technique and not as a human being, you are nothing. 4. You should pay as much attention to your dreams as you do towards your life. 5. Your dreams will come true when you possess wisdom. 6. A good strategist does not confront, he reacts accordingly. 7. Keep searching for the truth, it will liberate you. A colleague of Takuan and one of the greatest swordsmen of Japan, Musashi Miyamoto wrote in his book of five rings: Gorin Sho (1645) 1. Pay attention to the smallest details. 2. It is important to live your life as you see it. 3. Each thing has its rhythm, so impose yours on others. 4. Observe all the movements around you and pay attention to details. 5. Try to discern the intentions of the opponent through his physical signs. 6. Always train hard. 7. Try to understand techniques from other schools. 8. Develop your intuition and try to identify the meanings of things. 9. Do not do something which is not related to your goals. 10. Keep your head straight and use your peripheral vision. 11. Hit the opponent promptly and always follow up. 12. Make use of your entire body. 13. Make use of your environment to your advantage. 14. Practice with different opponents to learn more about combat tactics. 15. Use your kiai to disturb and gain concentration. 16. Identify the strength and weakness of your opponents first. 17. Make use of feint to entice and challenge. 18. Move about with changing patterns. 19. Do not let the opponent get out of your sight. 20. Make good use of your basic instincts.

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From the Shinkeito School, we have writings from sensei Matusura Seizan also known as Datei Zesuiken Hideaki (1646-1713) who outlined his recommendations as follows: 1. Remain confident regardless of the difficulties encountered. 2. Do not show your fear, confront the unknown. 3. Be honest and sincere with yourself and with others. 4. Make your attack unique, sincere and explosive. 5. Be receptive to advice from others 6. Challenge other doctrine when appropriate. 7. Be prepared to adjust to changing circumstances. 8. Always stay alert and ready. 9. The most important moment is when you find out who is your opponent. 10. You should fear no one except yourself. 11. Give all your best whatever you do. 12. Remove al the hazards limiting your action. 13. Remember that victory is the product of excellence. In his book on secret tactics52, sensei Kazumi Tabata, a Shotokan karate expert and Kobudo exponent outlined the following secret tactics of yesteryears which are still valuable today. They are: 1. You must control the free space. Work with ma-ai. 2. Find the appropriate weakness in your opponent. 3. Act promptly and just in time. 4. Know yourself first, then the opponent. 5. You have to make a mental plan and be prepared. 6. See the opponent as a small grain of sand. 7. Seek to discover the opponent’s intention as early as possible. 8. Get rid of your fear and worries. 9. Show courage and determination 10. Surprise and commitments are two allies. 11. Understand the rhythm and control it and impose yours. 12. Always be attentive and alert. 13. Train diligently and with passion. 14. Show respect for others 15. Go beyond your limits. 16. Practice harder than others, learn more and exploit your desires. 17. Make daily improvements. 18. Move about freely. 19. Breathe in to capture energy and exhale when attacking to release it. 20. Develop Tokui-waza. 21. Always go for the perfect technique.

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Kazumi Tabata, Tactiques Secrètes, Budo Édition, France 2004

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To round out the past, let us have a glimpse of what the ancient samurai Tsunetomo Yamamoto 1659-1719 wrote in the Hagakure:53 1. Have a plan in your head instead of using brute force. 2. Follow your dream. No matter what it is, there is nothing that can not be done. 3. Be objective in your ideas. 4. Do not confront others, but rally around them. 5. Have your own convictions and stand by them. 6. Recognize and praise the qualities of others 7. Be loyal to self, family and to society 8. If you commit an error, learn from it. 9. When the moment comes, there is no time for reasoning. 10. In the end, the details of a matter are important.

Listening to more recent advice of sensei Yamashita Yasuhiro who was an Olympic and world champion during the period of 1977-1985 with over 530 wins to his account, we note the following words of guidance in his book The Fighting Spirit of Judo:54 1. Have a goal with progressive results orientation. 2. It is important to have a good attitude and kokoro. 3. Your strength should be combined with your technique. 4. Concentration and effort are more important than physical conditioning. 5. Detect and analyse all you can from your potential opponents. 6. Good technique will always defeat raw power. 7. Do your best, as you have only one chance at each level of tournament. 8. Learn from your defeats and do not be afraid of your failures. 9. All your techniques should be done on the move 10. Avoid taking deep grip and stay soft and flexible. 11. Make use of combination techniques in groups of three or four. 12. Always strive to achieve better results. 13. Surround yourself with good coaches and a good training environment. 14. Find the weakest point and attack it diligently. 15. Concentrate on applying your strength and techniques.

FORGING THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OR SEISHIN TANREN CAN ONLY BE DEVELOPED THROUGH ACTUAL FIGHTING EXPERIENCES

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Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure, translated by W S Wilson, Avon Discuss Book, New York, 1981 Yamashita Yasuhiro, The Fighting Spirit of Judo, Ippon Books, England, 1991

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As we get closer to present times, several international coaches have added their thoughts to judo training and requirements. One of them being Neil Ohlenkamp of the USA who wrote a book called Judo Unleashed 55 in which he listed the following tactical tips which can be applied both in randori and shiai: 1. Since there is no scoring in randori, banish thoughts of victory or defeat. 2. Focus on attacking freely without regard to being thrown. 3. Keep your arms loose. 4. Keep your head up and centered over your hips. 5. Do not waste energy. 6. Follow through with each technique. 7. Do not get into the habit of doing things half way. 8. Follow up each technique with another. 9. Never refuse a practice partner. 10. Seek out a training partner who is better than you. 11. Try new moves to overcome problem situations. 12. Use kiai for extra power. 13. Rely on skills and timing, not on strength. 14. Control your breathing. 15. Always face your opponent. 16. Keep your elbows close to your body. 17. Do not cross your feet when moving around. 18. Get the strongest grip you can and hold on. 19. Learn to feel your partner’s intentions and anticipate his attack. 20. Maintain Mizu no Kokoro or have a mind like water: calm and undisturbed. 21. Focus on kuzushi to create opportunities. 22. Use strength intelligently. 23. Help your partner learn while you perfect your technique. 24. Act now, analyse later. 25. Do not make excuses, do not give up. All these weapons and tactics can be learned and practiced with the usual judo training methods found in most dojo around the world. They are; the skills acquisition from static to mobile situations; Uchikomi or repetition; Nage komi or dynamic throwing; Renraku waza or continuous combinations; Yaku soku geiko the pre-agreed upon practice of repeating and applying various techniques; Situational analysis; Randori with increased resistance; Kata study and the eventual Shiai or testing match. Again, you are reminded that even the shiai format is not a platform to decide winners and losers; it is about giving your best effort and continuously to improve yourself so that you can test, challenge and stretch your capabilities to their maximum and beyond.

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Neil Ohlenkamp, Judo Unleashed, New Holland Publisher, New York USA, 2006

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SUMMARY OF COMBAT STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
Hereunder is a small summary of the principle strategies and tactics found in judo shiai. 1. Before any encounter, you should know your strong points and weaknesses. 2. Be prepared for all kinds of opponents. Study the styles and the methods of approach used in the schools frequented by your rivals. Try to identify the opponent’s resources or weapons. 3. You are about to face an opponent. He is before you. You need an immediate plan of action otherwise you will be confused as to what to do and when. 4. You should leave no room for indecision and hesitation. 5. You have to choose the time and angle of your offensive attack or the perspective of withdrawing to yield and turn his attack to your advantage. 6. You are better to manoeuvre in the open space around the opponent and not get tangled up in a tight spot too close to his body. Try to identify the opportunity from a safe distance. 7. If unsure of the opponent’s strength, make a feint and study the reactions. 8. Before the opponent is ready to launch his attack, place him on the defensive, force him to react or retreat. 9. Surprise him with unorthodox movements and techniques in order to gain mental advantage over him by disturbing his mind. 10. Attack with multiple and repeated techniques at different angles. 11. Stop the opponent in his tracks. Judge his displacement and anticipate his next move, close in before he accelerates and takes advantage of this change in rhythm. 12. Do not let your body relax without making use of your reserve energy and do not let your spirit slackens. Be alert and ready. 13. Do not attack in a frontal plane unless forced to. Use angles and depth. 14. Follow up your technique until you have scored the total IPPON. 15. Do not let the opponent discover your intentions.

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16. Maintain correct posture. Your head should be kept straight and have plenty energy in your Hara and lots of power in your legs. 17. Your kumi-kata should take advantage of your holding with the thumb and forefinger. When going for the action, go for it with the combined effort of all the fingers. 18. Do not overstretch your arms out but get close quickly using your entire body. 19. Keep you movement stable and advance with the toes floating and feet sliding in tsugi-ashi. 20. Do not let the opponent take the initiative and control over you. Think of yourself in his shoes; be the mirror of the opponent.

Sensei Koizumi Gunji has produced a very good summary of combat strategies when in his study of judo he recalled the dualism found in judo:

“Defensiveness causes offensiveness and without offence, there can be no defence. Strength is an aspect of weakness as power can only be expressed in terms of resistance. For an action to be effective, the body must be aligned as a lever and concentrate its power on a single objective, but in such a state, the body is powerless if attacked in the direction of the action. When relaxed, the body may lack in executive power but the force applied to it will be localized and have no effect on its stability.”56

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Koizumi Gunji, My Study of Judo, Cornerstone, New-York, USA, 1960

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GENERAL TRAINING RULES
1. Train to improve your judo technical performance first. You need good technique, coordination, flexibility, speed and variety. Seek nothing less than the ippon and be specific and consistent in your application. 2. Introduce alternative training cycles and variety in your regime: go from moderate workout to intense work sessions. Build up the frequency of training time and how hard you work at it; then apply sufficient rest periods before returning to intense sessions. 3. Always give your best. Increase your performance daily; go further than your training partners and be more committed than they. 4. Develop endurance and power by increasing your volume of work and its intensity. 5. Maintain the training momentum and the discipline even when difficulties are encountered. 6. During low competitive periods or low period, consider doing cross-training by engaging in non judo specific exercises that will still require your total body workout. 7. You should aim to be at 80%-90% of your potential output at about one month prior to you competition and be mentally ready to answer the challenge. 8. Your last few days of training for a competition should concentrate on high intensity and low volume and lots of throwing with a variety of techniques, dynamic movement, combination throws and ne-waza. 9. Your training coaches and entourage should be selected for their generosity towards you and not take over your training regime. 10. Strength training should be to reinforce your technical skills and not to be used in solo. 11. Use your body power (coordinated segments and joints in a progressive arc pattern). 12. In randori, control your grip, your kuzushi and your timing.

“Not to think about victory or defeat during training, there lay the eternal martial arts contradiction but also their deadly secret”
Zen master Deshimaru Taisen

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PART THREE

TAI

PHYSICAL FITNESS FOR JUDO

Running, a cardio vascular training method

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FITNESS AND TAI-SO
“Having a perfect body is not nearly as important as learning how to listen to its voice.”
The Warrior’s Path

Physical education and fitness are fundamental to everyone’s survival. Your body is not merely a simple machine, it needs periodic tuning. It is not sufficient to work your muscles, you also need to feel your body and learn from it. Your body is not a product of machine-like stimuli; it is a constant, living reflection of your life. Physical appearance and strength are only a small part of your ultimate goal. Your goal is to seek improvements in your total being so that you can use it properly to better contribute to society. Your primary tasks are to identify your strengths and weaknesses and gain confidence in yourself in order to use of your energy reserves effectively and efficiently when needed. Your physical discovery should begin by exploring your five senses as the majority of us only use a fraction of our potential. Too many judoka do not appreciate the diversity in colours seen; others do not hear the sounds of music or animals, some of us do not feel the sensitivity of air currents on the skin, others do not smell the aroma of flowers; and some do not taste the salt on their skin. Should you aspire to better understand yourself, you will need to be aware of the physical signs that identify you and which you can also detect from your opponents. Your journey into the circle of high performers will demand strong will, fitness and superior techniques. Along the way, be prepared to make sacrifices in time, resources and social activities. It is imperative to understand that you are entering a different league, one reserved for only a few. This demands that you reach your peak performance at the right moment. You must be prepared to undergo a very demanding training regime where mental and physical endurance take precedence over many other attributes. You will also learn to develop strength, power, speed, flexibility and intelligent use of your body and mind. Not only will you be required to perform well on a technical level , you will be asked to follow a minimum of five training sessions per week and be able to sustain an elevated heart rate from 80% to 100% of your maximum heart rate for various durations . Special exercise programs will be suggested by your coaches and training entourage to get you there. You will need discipline and commitment. You can expect your training sessions to be intense and varied depending upon your specific needs at different times and cycles. Once you have attained your peak performance level, you will need to maintain it until your overall goals are achieved.

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Should you be a recreational judoka, there are many forms of exercise that can contribute to your overall physical fitness. General outdoor exercise; swimming; jogging, team sports, walking, all have their characteristics and benefits. In their book on Sports Medicine, Dr Gabe Mirkin and Marshall Hoffman57 mentioned that the general rules of training regime apply to both the amateurs and the champions. They stated that the kinds of exercises done during the preparation for competition are also useful in acquiring general fitness, happiness and a longer life span. Tai-Chi can provide a good feel for balance and movement while Tai-So can be used as a form of body callisthenics exercise to entertain general fitness for judo. When you desire to entertain a deeper feeling for rhythm, grace and harmony, you may turn to the study of kata. For endurance, serious randori will lead you to push yourself more and more, endure additional hardships and build upon your experience and your commitment. Do not forget to practice different breathing styles. Your lungs are the principal caissons but your abdominal muscles and your diaphragm can help you push a greater amount air in and out more easily. Unless you are moving rapidly, your breathing cycle should come from deep down in your abdominal region. When you inhale, your abdominal muscles are more relaxed and the air reaches down further to fill the void. As you exhale, the tension in the muscles makes the abdominal region shrink and it pushes the air out more effectively. Try to practice inhaling when starting a movement and exhaling when executing the final kake. To acquire more endurance, you need to provide muscle groups with the necessary energy stores and you must improve their capacity to make better use of oxygen. This is a good reason why you should pay attention to your nutrition. It has been established that the human body needs more than 40 different nutrients to function properly. A balanced diet will support the development and growth of all the tissues, maintain healthy immune functions, optimize metabolism and maintain healthy growth and weight control.

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Gabe Mirkin & Marshall Hoffman, La Médecine Sportive, Édition de l’Homme, Montréal, 1978

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NUTRITION
What is important is what you are and what you want to become. Fit for what? You may ask? We all seek to be fit and stay fit for our chosen activities. Everyone has different nutritional requirements because of physique, size and sex, nature of our sports, climate and time of year. It is imperative to know ourselves and properly identify our needs. Energy intake and output is optimized by living properly, breathing correctly, exercising and resting appropriately. As human beings, you and I are known as social entities with souls embodied in physical structures which are continuously at work. From the smallest activity of the brain to the very powerful lifting exercises, our bodies will consume energy to carry out given tasks. It is said that to be alive is being at work and active. Even when you sleep in a pseudo resting position, your metabolism produces enough activity to keep your brain working and restore your chemical balance. Your body can adapt to most energy demands without too many ill effects. When it requires additional energy, it seeks it first from within its structure and, when required, will tap into any external and compatible sources it can find. The more you exercise the more energy you will consume. An average person may require 3000 to 3500 calories per day. To avoid depletion in energy stores, your body needs to be fed with key nutrients. With high intensity sports like judo, the body seeks glycogen as its primary source of energy. To achieve a good balance, the selected foods you intake need to be chosen carefully for their quality and variety. This equilibrium is required to maintain a harmonious relationship between all the chemical bi-products resulting from your digestion. Taking the proper time to digest before undergoing heavy exercise is also important as it normally takes between two to three hours of processing time to digest your meals and this represents up to 10% of your daily energy intake. You have no doubt found that to operate at peak performance levels you need a constant body temperature. When undergoing changes prompted by severe heat or cold, considerable energy will be used to generate appropriate adjustments to cool down the body through the release of sweat or by attempting to warm the body by burning the energy sources contained in muscle or fatty tissues. Close to 70% of your daily energy is spent as a result of you performing physical activities such as daily tasks, work related activities, sports and recreation. Each person has different caloric needs based upon our physical structure, our genetic makeup and what we do or do not undertake. Take the regular one hour judo session as an example: you may only consume 10 calories per kilogram of mass during your warm up exercises and expend up to 200 calories for venturing into a serious randori.

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Too much training or physical activity can lead to muscle tissue damage and depletion of your immune system. It will therefore be important for you to keep a good balance between what you eat and store and what you consume and to rest adequately; otherwise you may find yourself off-balance and subject to over-training symptoms, the recovery of which will take time and proper nutrition.

Duel in the snow, from the collection of artist Kuniyoshi, Japan, 1847

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METABOLISM
As we have seen, muscles need food and chemicals to transport and burn needed energy. You will note that proper amounts of exercise enhance the immune function while overtraining depletes the immune system. The three main systems involved in providing energy are your anaerobic alactic, anaerobic lactic and your aerobic capacities. The anaerobic alactic system requires no oxygen and feeds from chemicals (Adenosine Triphosphate ATP and Creatine Phosphate-CP) contained in your muscles to provide the initial spark of maximal intensity but does not last more than approximately 10 seconds. The anaerobic lactic system also does not require oxygen but feeds from the carbohydrates, glycogen and glucose found in muscle tissue - this energy can be drawn for the body for intense work lasting up to two minutes. Lastly, the aerobic system, feeds on the oxygen found throughout your body and supplies the energy required for moderately intense activities lasting longer than a few minutes. Aerobic capacity is measured by your VO2Max which is the amount of oxygen you can use in one minute. Aerobic efficiency is your anaerobic-aerobic threshold point and is how efficient your body is at processing oxygen and getting rid of lactic acid before it begins to impede your activity. For improving oxygen intake and circulation capacity, you will need to perform additional intense exercises. You can develop your aerobic capacity by performing repetitions of maximum effort (105-120% VO2Max, 100% Maximum Heart Rate, HRMax) or intervals of very intense efforts (95-100% VO2Max or 98-100% HRMax) lasting no longer than 5 minutes (after which blood lactate build-up would be too high)and giving your body equal (or longer) time to rest between efforts. This will improve your aerobic power and your speed. Your aerobic efficiency lies in developing your anaerobic-aerobic threshold and this is done by performing intervals of intense efforts of longer than 2 minutes in duration but where the recovery period is only 1/5 of the effort or where there in no recovery at all – this will improve your body’s ability to process oxygen and get rid of lactic acid faster and will develop your endurance. Whatever frequency and type of repetition chosen, try to retain both a progression and a variety in your training regimen. At first, do not push yourself beyond the capacity to talk while exercising. You can add up to 10% in intensity or duration each week for three weeks. Then it is recommended to keep things unchanged for one week. After these four weeks, you are ready to begin again a cycle or increased intensity or duration.

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Having established a training routine, identify the periods of time were you have the desire to push harder and note also when you prefer to perform exercises at a lower intensity level. Frequent intense work raising your heart rate and breaking into a sweat are necessary but remember to modify your training progressively. A well balanced daily diet made up of a variety of foods and plenty of water will normally provide you with the sufficient nutrients and proteins demanded by your training activities. The sugars, (glucose and carbohydrates) contained in food normally represent 50% of your energy source. The lipids or oils (triglycerides) are needed to produce fatty acids and make fat reserves. Experts claimed that 4 to 5% are needed to produce 90% of the reserve levels. Proteins are also needed daily to produce and repair damaged tissue. Do not forget your intake of A, B, C, D & E group of vitamins as they are elements not normally produced in sufficient quantity by the body. Finally, an intake of sufficient water is needed to transform and transport the various minerals indispensable to facilitate chemical bonds and reactions. Please note that more water is needed in hot weather conditions or when the body is undergoing an intense training period. Electrolytes must also be replaced – this can be achieved by drinking an energy drink or a beverage containing salt and sugar. You may observe that some athletes consume caffeine before their training sessions or before a competition because caffeine is an ergogenic aid known to improve the capacity to do work or exercise. One may become excited by the caffeine effects from one to four hours after its ingestion. Researcher T.E. Graham reported in 2001 that caffeine prolongs time to exhaustion or enhances performance in prolonged, moderate to high intensity exercise lasting between 30 to 120 minutes.58 Caffeine, however, is not the sport’s elixir as other researchers, such as Tarnopolsky and Cupido, have demonstrated that habitual coffee consumption has a minimal impact on the ergogenic properties of caffeine.59 It also appears that the ergogenic effects are less visible in short duration/high intensity sports such as judo. It remains that coffee has beneficial effects on concentration, fatigue and alertness that might still play a role in our energy levels. Be aware that the diuretic effect of caffeine may be a particular disadvantage for those practicing a sport under hot conditions or when undergoing a long tournament where the risk of dehydration is high . On another note, it has been my observation that many judoka will undergo quick fasting or follow a diet reduced in calories in order to meet their weight class. Some judoka have even started dieting in their early teens in order to keep fighting in a given weight-class for two to three additional years. The negative side effects of such a practice are numerous. Those who have followed this unhealthy practice should seriously consider seeking medical and professional counsel if they struggle with keeping a healthy and nutritional diet.

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Graham T.E, Sports Medicine Journal, No 31, 785-807, 2001 Tarnopolsky, M. and Cupido, C. Journal of Applied Physiology, 89, 1719-1724, 2000

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Further, finger pointing could be made towards the unhealthy habits of a few national or international champions who have adopted either the extreme sweat procedure,(where they wrap themselves in multi-layers clothes and run for hours) or fasted completely for 2 to 3 days before a major competition in order to bring themselves into a specific weighclass. Others have unnecessarily built-up their muscle mass in order to augment their physical size and appearance and to gain strength well in excess of any competitive requirement. Most, if not all, of these methods have no proven advantage over activityspecific skills. In a 2005 study conducted by French judo champion Frank Bellard60, it was revealed that 92% of champions have undergone some kind of special diet or nutritional programme before major competitions and that 71.8 % of them did not really need it. My recommendation is that during the two or three weeks preceding a competition, you should intake foods rich in nutrients and of quantities sufficient to satisfy the upcoming needs (energy = high carbohydrates). During the last 24 to 48 hours prior to a competition, you should concentrate on foods that are easy to digest. You may want to consider consuming richer foods during your post-event period when all the stress is gone and when you are trying to recuperate. The training regimen followed by most judoka on the competitive circuit takes place over several years (strategic plan) and is divided into shorter terms of one year cycles (tactical) for competition preparedness. The eight weeks of summer are used to prepare general conditioning. The following eight week cycle is used for strength and mobility training and the beginning of endurance exercises. The early fall period is mostly oriented towards the acquisition and tuning of basic competitive and technical skills. This is followed by 16 weeks where the judoka participates in various competitions to adjust tactics, technique and learn from experience following success or failure to achieve objectives. Peak performance is normally achieved in early winter and will last a few months; it is then followed by an active recovery period in late spring. Lastly, keep in mind that you have to train smarter and not necessarily longer. Most active competitors undertake at least five judo practice sessions per week. They are positively charged up and excited by the opportunity to train often. These technical sessions run from two to three hours in duration each and are usually accompanied by a two hour muscle building or circuit training regime per week and another 40 to 60 minutes of daily running, wind sprints or jogging done on either flat surfaces or in hilly surroundings. During the off-season, stay focused on the overall goal but practice other sports and recreation to develop your cardio-vascular system such as soccer, swimming, wrestling or hiking where jumping, side stepping, running and quick footwork will also be beneficial.

Tactical training is done on the tatami. Strategic planning is done in the overall environment.

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Frank Bellard, Ma Diététique de Judoka, Amphora, Paris, 2005

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In any case, when you are considering following a special diet, it is recommended that you seek a nutritionist and health specialist to obtain a personalized and professionally designed fitness program. Meanwhile, you can reflect upon the following nutritional tips:

1. Eat in moderation a diet composition made of various food groups. 2. Drink plenty of water with each meal and during periods of rest. 3. Limit the intake of coffee or tea to less than four cups a day. 4. Snacks should be high in carbohydrates and low in fat content. 5. Alcohol should be used in moderation or complement its intake with water.
There are many forms of nutritional products on the market from mineral water to Gatorade, not to mention the so-called energy or power bars that market an instant energy source. Then, we have the very popular energy gels that have appeared in the last few years in association with various sports, judo included. These products can be easily ingested and not all contain caffeine; most are composed of carbohydrates mixed with extra vitamins and electrolytes. You should not venture into making a habit of them. Too much reliance on such nutritional products may lead to a poorer quality of basic diet with the potential to lower your immunity levels and resilience. You should use moderation, trying them out in non-competitive periods as some of them are known to produce some gastric intestinal discomfort and you will need lots of water to accompany them. In summing up, you are reminded that you might be better off with an overall disciplined approach in eating habits, technical training regime and strong will power; they will enable you to reach the heights you seek above others.

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PHYSICAL PREPARATION
You cannot rejoice if you have not known pain. Hardship builds character and cleans it.
You have undertaken to practice judo seriously. You need to be fit for judo. We have previously discussed the two dimensions requiring your attention: mental and physical. We will now focus on the physical preparation. There are all kinds of ways to prepare your body for your eventual judo practice. As your time is precious, you need not waste it on non-essentials and there are no miracles ahead. Overall, you will need to improve: speed, power, flexibility, endurance, foremost creativity and concentrated efforts if you want to succeed. As a rule, your body will do what you train it to do. The expression: “FIT FOR WHAT?” summarizes the need to make a plan of action to excel in your judo activities. Your training program should reflect your goals and be compatible with your lifestyle. Before undergoing any type of program, evaluate your status and note your vital statistics. An evaluation at the fitness centre or a visit to your physician may also be appropriate, especially if you are handicapped by some form of sickness. You should talk to your teacher or coach and undergo an onsite evaluation normally consisting of strength, speed, flexibility, endurance and cardio testing as well as an estimate of your technical skills while performing standing and mat techniques. Working with them you will be more at ease to identify specific areas of concentration, training frequency and intensity, set priorities and consider alternatives. Let us review some of the terms used in the design of your fitness for judo plan: Muscle strength: The maximum force you can exert against a given resistance at one time. Muscle endurance: The ability to perform repeated muscle contraction. Endurance training addresses the slow twitch, endurance muscle fibres which depend on oxygen for energy. Muscle power: The combination of strength and speed of the muscular contraction. Flexibility: The ability of a muscle or group of muscles to move the joint through a full range of motion. Static flexibility refers to the range of motion of the joints and muscle groups when working against an external force such as gravity or dead weight. Dynamic flexibility is the range of motion needed to maintain a specific activity. Cardiovascular endurance: The heart and lung’s ability to supply oxygen and nutrients to the exercising muscles over an extended period of time.

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“Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow. Decision, to the releasing of the trigger. “
Sun Tzu Your internal systems are naturally equipped to move the oxygen to all the needed tissue to perform the exercise. They also possess the mechanisms to move glucose into the cells without the extra help of insulin. To that effect, you may note that during exercise, your blood insulin and glucose levels will drop while the level of insulin’s opposing hormones, the glucagons will rise. This is a positive balancing of your sugar needs and is an effect that may last well beyond your workout. Muscles need companionship. Upon receiving their “GO” signal from the brain, they always move in pairs. Every muscle has a partner that produces the opposite movement to the one they are associated with. When one contracts, the other relaxes. When you stretch in one direction, make sure you stretch in the opposite direction as well. It is important to maintain proper equilibrium in strength levels between the matched muscles for a too strong muscle over another may complicate the signal emitted by the brain and create a time delay in the response. You need to understand this duality in function and use it to your advantage. For example, when you wish to stretch or jump, you are better off to bend your leg first so that you use the reaction of the opposite pair to achieve more strength. Likewise, to pivot on the left side, make a first move on the right and make use of the action-reaction impulse. When completing a technique, study the joint locations and try to use them in a progressive way in order to ensure that the force from each joint is combined to produce the desired maximum effect. In your training program, you will need to specify what area needs to be addressed. You are not training your muscle groups for the simple aim of obtaining a bigger mass but to improve your mobility through strength and power. Your aim should be to improve your joint mobility to accomplish specific tasks; this is flexibility. You have to seriously consider your truck area muscles for they play an important role in keeping the right posture and are the first to initiate your move in hara-gi. They also produce more power because they are numerous in the abdominal zone. Your pre-work-out evaluation should be used to identify those needs, determine your current range of flexion and your future requirements. If you decide to undertake strength training to increase the size and volume of certain muscles, be sure not to overload yourself, keep some elasticity in the joints and pay attention to your angle of flexion. Try to combine fast and slow dynamic exercises where you can add progressive increases in intensity and volume. Add incremental resistance and augment the number of repetitions in a given time, move faster and reduce your period of recovery.

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You will note that your level of fitness does not remain constant. Should you stop your training cycle, its advantages will soon stop and you will reverse to a fitness level to best accommodate your more sedentary lifestyle. Gaining muscle strength can be accomplished inside and outside the dojo through various forms of exercises. The most common training programs are designed around the individual athlete’s needs and are much dependent upon the coach’s selection. You are apt to find a combination of the following popular methods: fitness class, weight machines, improvised weight exercises, kettle bells or dumbbells, barbells, callisthenics, 5BX military system, interval training, gross muscle work out, weight lifting or the general Eastern Europeen plyometrics systems. The important feature is to ensure your selected regimen of complementary strength training can fit within your schedule, your lifestyle, and that there is room for pleasure and play. Make the time for periodic evaluation and celebration of your success or improvement. Too often, these side training programs do not offer sufficient variety, are not goal oriented and not challenging enough. If they are not oriented to improve either your judo skills or physical weaknesses, there are good reasons you will soon get bored of them because of the lack of motivation. Increasing muscle strength while performing your regular judo skills is possible but the results may not be as evident as you would have obtained from having a special program designed exclusively for you by your coach. The key words to remember are progressive intensity and repetition of multi-directional judo-like movements. As a guide you may check and note your heart rate periodically. Take your pulse early in the morning, at the beginning of the training session, in the middle of it and at the end if you can. Compare the degree of elevation as well as the time it takes you to return to an average or quasi normal rate. Be careful not to exceed 60-90% over too short of a period. Your exercises must be gradual. Take every opportunity to practice with a partner, to do natural body lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying different weights around, ground work and reversals while grappling, attempting curls and sit-ups and performing front and side jumps, extended body turning and skipping. All these exercises when mixed with technical training will reinforce your overall conditioning and provide ample opportunity to increase endurance, speed and flexibility. Although crude and primitive muscle power is often seen to win in shiai, there is greater hope to attain the podium for those who train their technical and mental skills, endurance, flexibility, timing, tempo, power of the body mass and not to be forgotten, to have a good game plan to outwit the strongest or more skilled opponents.

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The British trainer Geof Gleeson defined fitness as the development of appropriate strength and stamina. Of flexibility, he said:61 ” As the ability to meet all the possible demands of the challenge to come, having adequate and relevant reserves to maintain the capability for as long as necessary, so that physical effectiveness and mental satisfaction is not marred, and that recovery from the effort is quick and efficient.” When he identified the flexible and variable opponent as the most difficult to beat, he implied the development of muscle power and strength as well as cardio vascular capacity.

“Train today, train tomorrow; all days are good training days.”
For now, let us briefly talk about the cardio and respiratory domains. Your cardio-respiratory system is frequently associated with the endurance factor. Whatever exercises you choose, you should attempt to remain comfortable with the amount of effort you dispense and maintain balance in your routine. It is important not to waste your energy on fruitless effort. When you deploy energy at the right time and for the right purpose, your effort will bear better results. For improving oxygen intake and circulation capacity, you will need to perform additional intense exercises. During beginning sessions, you may consider having sustained high intensity exercises to last no more than 15 minutes per interval. As you progress, you may add and extend these routines to your program. The intensity (working harder, doing more in less time) will determine the % of benefit levels received. Whatever frequency of repetition chosen, try to retain both a progression and a variety in your training regimen. Having established a training routine, identify the best period of time were you have the desire to push harder and still have periods where you are able to perform exercises at a lower intensity level. You may also supplement oxygen intake by drinking more water as the minerals contained in the liquid will regulate the body’s chemical reactions. You need the frequent intense workload to raise heart rate and break a light sweat. Do not push yourself beyond the capacity to talk while exercising. Keeping in mind that you have to train smarter and not necessarily harder; you note that most active competitors undertake at least five judo practice sessions per week. They are positively charged up and excited by the opportunity to train often. These technical sessions run from two to three hours in duration and are usually accompanied with a two hour muscle building or circuit training regime per week and another 40 to 60 minutes of daily running, wind sprints or jogging done on either flat surface, in stairs or in hilly surroundings. During the off season, still stay focused on the overall goal but undergo more relaxed exercise by practicing other sports and recreation such as soccer, water-polo, wrestling or hiking where jumping, side stepping, running, jogging and quick foot work are being practiced along with cardio vascular exercises.

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Geof Gleeson , The Complete Book of Judo, Coles Publishing, Canada, 1976

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The training regimen followed by most judoka on the competitive circuit take place over several years (strategic plan) and over shorter term of one year cycle (tactical). The eight weeks of summer are used to prepare general conditioning. The following eight weeks cycle is used for strength and mobility training and the beginning of endurance exercises. The early fall period is mostly oriented towards the acquisition and tuning of basic competitive and technical skills followed by 16 weeks of experimentation where the judoka enters into various forms of competition and adjusts his experience following his success or failure to achieve his objectives. Peak performance is normally achieved in early winter and will last for a few months; it is then followed by an active recovery period in late spring.

Tactical training is done on the tatami. Strategic planning is done in the overall environment.

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PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS
“Whether we remain as ashes or become a phoenix is up to us.”
Tao meditation

Disastrous accidents may happen at any time, particularly if you are careless in your training program. No matter how extreme the situation will looks, it will change and you will be able to restore proper balance after a while. Coming back to specific judo training, you must realise that two thirds of judo activities are conducted with physical contact with a partner. There is bound to be serious physical contact between partners and because of the speed and impact involved, some injuries may happen. Most judo injuries are associated with incorrect performance of technique, poor human abilities, lack of coordination, and incorrect application of strength. They are either self induced by over training and fatigue or caused by an inattentive partner during the intense exercise period. Excessive use of strength, bad posture, and difficult grips are common causes of injuries. Occasionally, injuries may result from hitting immobile objects in the dojo, or caused during a competition where you are unfamiliar with the shiai-jo or rules. Minor injuries such as bruises, mat burns, nose bleeds, broken teeth, ear deformation, and finger and toe sprains are nevertheless frequent. To avoid being a victim or a target, you should always present yourself to the judo practice, in good health and not suffering from previous injuries or bacterial infections that may be harmful to others. If you have a medical history, please advise your teacher so that the necessary preventive or containment measures can be taken. If your training environment is not adequate, you should insist that the dojo be cleaned, the training surface big enough to accommodate your movements and exempt from the odd apparatus and free of stray clothing pieces that can hurt you. Always take time to warm-up properly either individually or with classmates. This period is vital for you to stretch your muscles, to rotate the joints, to heat up your body parts and loosen your joints while preparing your mental attitude towards the more specific exercises that you will undertake. Whenever sitting around the mat or listening to instructions, always be alert and aware of your posture. Keep attentive to the activities taking place around you and be prepared to react. With increased frequency and intensity there will be more occasions for serious injuries to occur. Pay attention not to be burdened with over training. On the first appearance of fatigue symptoms such as: mobility impairment, cramp, inhibition, hesitation and lack of concentration, pay particular attention to their sidekicks namely: diminishing strength, slower speed, increase recovery time and lack of interest for competition. Under such circumstances, you may feel irritable, obstinate and quarrelsome. Attention span will be reduced considerably and you will become a prime target for: dislocation or fractures of the collar bone, ribs, ankle, knee, shoulder and elbow.

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When the following signs show up in your program by over loading, fatigue, poor preparation of muscle groups, lack of attention, disobedience to rules, lack of ethic, too much confidence, mental resistance, stubbornness not to yield, and faulty techniques, it is time for you to change your goals, discuss with your coach training loads, make changes, bring variety and remove the irritants that have crept in your lifestyle, environment and your health conditions. If unchecked, you may be confronted with additional accidents involving internal injuries such as cardiac irregularities, appendicitis or stomach trouble caused by age differences, gender differences, changes in diet, weight fluctuations and mental preparation. These will normally necessitate medical intervention and hospitalization. The healing time required from most of these injuries can be from 10 days to 36 months and some will require surgical procedures or interventions. Be on the watch for concussions which are the result of receiving a severe blow to the head, face or neck. They may be produced from a bad fall, or an accidental blow. You may be subject to short lived impairment or more severe injury. There are different levels of severity including the instant dizziness, lost of memory, internal bleeding and unconsciousness. As soon as you experience one of these blows, stop all form of activity and come to a complete rest. During that immediate period of rest, you should try to assess how you feel, what you can remember and what you can see. Whenever you feel pain or pressure in your head, have a balance problem, unable to see properly or do not hear well and feel dizzy, you should seek immediate and proper medical attention. These procedures are also valid for training partners who have had a similar and unfortunate incident.

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Epilogue JUDO OUTSIDE THE DOJO
“The real master is the one who can fit in his environment.” Zen proverb It was reported in the literature, that a great Japanese military general by the name Kenshin Uesugi is known to have said: “I do not know the knack of victory at all times. I have only learned how not to miss the right moment.”62 In a judo contest as in life, you will face many occasions or situations where oral or physical confrontations between people, events or animals will occur. You have to be knowledgeable of the various and potential forms of violence in order to be able to observe its manifestations, seek ways to master and suppress them. Often, violence is caused by fear of the unknown, the strong desire to dominate and overpower or by the lack of self confidence and love for self or others. You have to stay alert and in control. It is said that a person who angers you, controls you and a person who can provoke you has already found the opportunity to take advantage of you. Since words can be used to get your attention, shock you, anger, relax, cheer you up, move you to tears, destroy your confidence and convince you to act prematurely it is important to remain calm like the surface of undisturbed water. As a rule, you should not seek confrontation just to prove your worth, nor should you shy away from providing assistance to someone or defending yourself. Before you decide to act or intervene in such situations, you need to know who or what you are facing. You need to understand the battleground over which the combat or battle will be fought. You may then seek the right opportunity to act accordingly and be in a better posture and mental framework to make intelligent use of your strength to successfully resolve the situation. When such aggressive occasions present themselves outside the dojo, you need to be familiar with the rules of engagement of your respective province or country as everything around you can become a weapon with mortal consequences. You need to be capable to properly assessing the danger before it is too late and you are taken by surprise. Such situations are normally very stressful and your responses may be influenced by your control or lack of experience. You will need time and a safe distance to make the accurate observations and reflection as to the choice of weapons you will use and results anticipated. You have to be vigilant from the first instant to the last. You have to exercise control and not act foolishly or in excess.

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Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Bushido, The Way of the Samurai, Square One Classic, New York, 2002

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When defending against non-provoked assault where force is used against you or you are threatened by it, you have the civil rights to defend with such appropriate skills and techniques commensurate with the gravity of the situation. You may improvise your actions and choose to be a simple observer, a passive analyst or someone committed to engage spontaneously the threat and get involved resolving the situation. When you intervene as a Good Samaritan to assist others, you are justified to take appropriate and reasonable actions to ensure their safety and that correspond to using your learned skills and entire body to protect others. Whatever the intervention considered, your action should be rapid, sufficient and timely and be kept simple. Some times, it is recommended to take a vantage point at a reasonable distance and observe the situation and try to establish calm and distance in order to assess all your options. Just like in randori, you may have three options: to attack, to defend or remain neutral. Facing energetic and direct opponents, use your yielding principle and appear to support their initiatives until they are fully committed and then, turn their energies against them. Before being committed, identify as many physical and mental factors as possible, the strengths and weaknesses and select the proper time and place to act accordingly. You need to look for signs around you, identify the meaning of the actions by the aggressor and clarify in your own mind, their intentions. Be ready to move in all directions and when facing an opponent desiring to quickly seize the moment, trap him by providing him with an opportunity of your choice which he can not refuse. With the smart and witty opponent, play on his vanity and trap him with a mysterious move and lure him into your trap. Reflect upon the following cycle of events that may take place: act now, use moderation, control the opponent and the situation, know when to withdraw safely and show modesty and respect for life. Once you take the initiative make use of your entire body (mental-physical and techniques) as a weapon. All your actions should be made intelligently. At all times, you should attempt to protect your life and the life of others and not take it away savagely. When engaging, try to concentrate your efforts where they can assume their greater amplitude and try not to lose the initiative. You should have the will power to finish your intervention with grace and respect for others. If you are too eager to defeat your opponent, you may well overlook an opportunity of success. Your power and physical strength should be relegated to a secondary position, and every effort should be oriented towards control and employment of spirit and mind. By giving life and spirit to others, you demonstrate your generosity. The good you do to others will often be forgotten. Do it anyway because you choose so and feel good being generous.

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In our journey through life, we have to adjust and find equilibrium within the various currents whatever they may be: social, political, spiritual or physical. Should you be facing an event that troubles your health or social stability? Your desire for happiness and self realization should guide your approach in similar ways as you practice in your judo training. You have learned to be in harmony and rhythm with your opponent. Now your opponents have different faces and attributes; you need to acknowledge their presence and maintain your determination to improve and be in control. If you are taken by surprise by odd events or were unable to prevent their occurrences, you till have to recognize their presence. Their first impact may stun you, shock you and temporarily set you back. But you are there, still capable of reasoning and still in possession of unused weapons of survival. Establish their boundaries, their characteristics and their development cycle. Try to assess their potential impact upon you and what reserve energy you still possess. If you have already been damaged or hurt, you need to limit those damages with evasive techniques and withdraw to where you can assess the action-reaction scenarios for your comeback as soon as possible. Here again, you may have two options: to flee or fight. Fighting may be to take the initiative or withdraw to a more favourable moment when and where you will decide to go on the offensive with a powerful game plan. Remember you have to be in charge, you are the manager of your life and your future will depend on your decision. Once you have obtained sufficient intelligence about the events or circumstances, you need to draw up your battle plan, keep track of your actions, secure your allies and determine what weapons and what actions or events will be significant enough for you to deploy the necessary energy to stay on top of the situation and reverse the negative trends. You have to outwit and out manoeuvre whatever is stopping the attainment of your goals of happiness and contentment. You might be alone facing most events, but there will be times where you will need the help and support of a team of experts to guide you in the more technical venues. Select your team members or assistants as you would have chosen a coach and instructors. Make sure all the selected ones are providing the necessary positive effort and that they are all committed to your goals. Listen, think and digest their counsel, observe their actions, profit from their concomitant efforts and direct them to precise intervention as you see fit. The path that you decide to proceed upon will be the best way if it is in harmony with your personality and your individual welfare goals. You will soon discover that natural events affecting your goals of happiness, health, peace and contentment are complex and frequently disturbing in a negative or positive way. You will discover tons of dualities such as: winter-summer, fall and spring, nightday, success-failure, peace-war, health-sickness, contentment-bitterness, and strengthweakness, none of those will last forever; there is a continuum to be found if you are prepared to make the necessary discovery efforts and use the time lapse to make an offensive plan. You are already familiar with the notions of push-pull, action-reaction, and attack-defend, so just use those learned skills to attack the unknown.

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As in all judo practices, you should apply in life threatening situations the judo principle of JU or yielding to overcome. There is very little time for margin of error in a life threatening situation and you have to maintain your serenity. You must react forthwith without losing balance and mental composure. With a good game plan, you should be able to neutralize the negative effects of whatever troubles you and minimize the expenditures of energy by properly selecting when and where to go on the offensive. Being positive in time of hardship is to be in control of a situation and in balance while the other event or situation loses ground. Accepting the difficulties and seeking better knowledge of the unknown are signs of intelligence and your action plan is the way to show your courage and determination to stay in control and make positive improvements. Sensei Koizumi was very positive as to our capacity to tackle difficult situations and make improvements to our life when he said:

” Judo is the mental process of yielding and leading to better understanding of the natural laws and ways of solving human problems on our way to attain our ultimate objective.”63

“When you seek it, you cannot find it Your hand cannot reach it Nor your mind exceeds it. When you no longer seek it It is always with you.”
Zen Proverb64

Every one and everything has a purpose. You only need to be yourself.

Step by step we go forward in our path. Here and now, we need to find happiness. Do not let this opportunity fly away.

63 64

Koizumi Gunji, My Study of Judo, Cornerstone Library, New-York, USA, 1960 Watanabe J & Avakian L, The Secrets of Judo, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan, 1960

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Conclusion

The second principle of judo Jita Kyoei (mutual prosperity for self and others) makes us think about the importance of knowing thyself well and understanding the realities of nature around us so that we can better determine our physical, mental and technical limits and our ability to deploy them in order that they may be more useful to society in general. Tsubusu akuma (to crush the demons or evil persons) is such an expression of introspection well worth our final meditating moment. To transpose your judo skills into life survival skills will necessitate that you free yourself of your demons: fear, apprehension and false pride, although part of our natural survival instinct, need to be replaced with inspiration, imagination and love. It will take some effort but you have already undergone serious training and developed good habits on the tatami. If you succeed in conquering yourself, you can take on all the lesser difficulties of life. When in doubt, remember that the white judogi you wear is a symbol of purity, indicating that you have washed away all the internal demons and selfish ideas; have learned to fall safely when hit by surprise or superior force. You have acquired balance and space orientation so that you can find yourself and recover in unknown territory. Training has offered you the experience to be honest with yourself, to make decisions, to take action while conserving precious energy and to use power and combat weapons intelligently. You are prepared to withstand the various assaults without losing control and balance. We can never be absolutely sure of what will happen tomorrow but we need to explore the unknown with confidence. Your future actions are not wasted. Your success or failure can be used as platforms for further improvements. Ronald Désormeaux August, 2008

“Love is eternal” by Zen teacher Deshimaru Taisen

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Biography
Abe Ichiro, Judo, Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, Chiron, Paris, France, 1976 Bellard Frank, Ma Diététique de Judoka, Amphora, Paris, France, 2003

Bolelli Daniele, On the Warrior’s Path, Frog Edition, Berkely, California, USA, 1974 Charlot E & Bridge J, Cours de Judo, De Vecchi S.A, Paris, France, 2008 Ducasse François et Chamalidis Makis, Champion dans la Tête, Les Éditions de l’Homme, Montréal, Canada, 2006 Draeger Donn F, Modern Bujutsu & Budo, vol three, Weather Hill, Tokyo, 1974 Daishimaru Taisen, La Pratique du Zen, Éditions Alvin Michel, Paris, 1981 Gleeson.G.R, The Complete Book of Judo, Coles Publishing, Toronto, Canada, 1976 Feldenkrais Moshé, Higher Judo, Frederick Warne Publishing, London, England, 1952 Fukuda Keiko, Ju-No-Kata, North Atlantic Books, Berkely, USA, 2004

Harrison E.J, Kiai dans les arts guerriers du Japon, Judo International, A.M.I Paris, 1947 Habersetzer, Gabrielle & Roland, Encyclopédie des Arts Martiaux, Amphora, France, 2004 Habersetzer Roland, Tengu, Amphora Publication, Paris, France, 2007 Hoover Thomas, L’Expérience du Zen, Édition Albin Michel, Paris France, 1989

Jazarin JL, L’Esprit du Judo, Édition le Pavillon, Paris, France, 1968 Kotani S, Osawa Y, Hirose Y, Ne-Waza of Judo, Koyano Bussan Kaisha, Kobe, Japan 1973 Kawamura T & Daigo T, Kodokan New Japanese English Dictionary of Judo, Kyodo Printing, Tokyo, Japan, 2000 Musashi Myamoto, A Book of Five Rings, the classic guide to strategy, Overlook Press, New-York, USA, 2001 Laserre Robert, Le Livre des Kiai et des Kuatsu, Édition Originale Complète, Édition Judo, Toulouse, France, 1954

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Lie-Tseu, Le Vrai Classique du Vide Parfait, Gallimard, France, 1961 Legget Trevor, The Dragon Mask, Redwood Books, Wiltshire, England, 1993

Koizumi Gunji, My study of Judo, Cornerstone Library, New-York, USA, 1960 Kudo Kazuzo, Judo in Action, Japan Publications Trading Company, Tokyo, 1976 Mendell Earl, Diet Bible, Fairwind Press, Maryland, USA, 2002 Mirken Gabe Dr, & Hoffman M, La Médecine Sportive, Éditions de l’Homme, Montréal, Canada, 1978 Murata Naoki, Mind Over Muscle, Writings from the founder of Judo Jigoro Kano, Kodansha International, Tokyo, Japan, 2005 McNaught Ann and Robin Callender, Illustrated Physiology, Livingstone Medic Division, Canada 1975 Otaki Tadao & Draeger Donn F, Judo Formal Techniques, Charles Tuttle Co Inc, Tokyo, 1983 Roullet Jean, Le Judo et l’Éducateur Physique, Maison Lemeac, Québec, 1969 Stevens John, Zen Masters, Kodansha international, New York, USA, 1999 Tanahashi Kazuaki & Schneider David, Essential Zen, Castle Books, New Jersey, USA, 1996 Tomiki Kenji, Judo, Kyodo Printing, Tokyo, Japan, 1956 Tsu Lao, Tao Te Ching, translated by Gia Fu Feng, Vintage Books, New York, USA, 1989 Tzu Sun, The Art of War, Edited, James Clavell, Delacorte Publishing, New-York, 1971 Watanabe Jiichi & Avakian Lindy, The Secrets of Judo, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan, 1960 Watson Brian, The Father of Judo, Kodansha International, Tokyo, Japan, 2000

Westbrook A & Ratti O, Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan, 1970 Zin Jean, L’Aikido, La victoire par la paix, Édition Limitée, Maison Chiron, Paris, France, 1960

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Table of contents

Shin-Gi-Tai, The Discovery of Judo’s Arsenal
Acknowledgement Foreword General Orientation Strategic Perspective Tactical Implementation Part One: Shin The Judo Concepts The Language of Judo Judo Surrounded Strategic Alliance of Dreams and Goals Strategic Overview-Inspiration Strategic Brain Storming- Meditation Strategic Image The Champion Identity Your Strategic Plan Creating Your Strategic Plan Dealing with Problems Dealing with Potential Opponents The Battleground/Randori Taking the Initiative Your Team and Coach Ethos Part Two: Gi Intuition: The first impression Perception Combat Intelligence Tactical Weapons First Weapon: Ukemi Second Weapon: Shisei Third Weapon: Shintai Fourth Weapon: Tai-Sabaki Fifth Weapon: Kumi-Kata Sixth Weapon: Kuzushi Seventh Weapon: Tsukuri Eight Weapon: Sen-no-Sen Ninth Weapon: Kake 2 4 5 7 10 11 12 16 21 23 29 30 35 37 40 42 45 47 48 49 53 57 58 59 63 65 68 73 75 78 81 83 88 91 92 93

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Tenth Weapon: Sesshoku Eleventh Weapon: Ju-Wa Twelfth Weapon: Hara-Gei Thirteenth Weapon: Kiai Fourteenth Weapon: Kokoro Tactics from Ancient Masters Summary of Combat Strategies and Tactics General Training Rules Part Three: Tai Fitness and Tai-So Nutrition Metabolism Physical Preparation Prevention of Accidents Epilogue Judo Outside the Dojo Conclusion

94 95 97 99 102 105 111 113 114 115 117 119 122 128

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Biography

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About the author
Ronald Desormeaux graduated with a degree in Physical Education from the University of Ottawa and later obtained his Master degree in Public Administration from ENAP. After serving in the Military Police of the Canadian Forces and having retired from the Security Branch, he went on to hold several key positions within the Federal Government of Canada. His judo career began in 1956 and provided him with opportunities to excel at local, provincial, national and international competitive levels where he participated as an athlete, a coach and as an administrator. He has written several articles and essays on related judo subjects. The following essays produced in limited edition are still available upon request: 1. Les mystères du judo : Céder pour vaincre. 2. Les mystères du judo : Innover pour sauvegarder : (goshin-jutsu) 3. The discovery of judo: Yield to overcome. 4. The discovery of judo: Tokui-waza. 5. The discovery of Judo’s Arsenal: Shin-Gi-Tai. 6. Les mystères du judo: L’essentiel de l’étude des katas judo. He can be contacted by e-mail at: ronalddesormeaux@yahoo.ca

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