Dear Gary Sensei,
It was a pleasure to finally meet you last weekend. I really enjoyed the event. As I told you, I love hanging out with people who understand the true meaning of judo. This couldn't have been more evident when you encouraged everyone to "just get out there" on the mat, and winning or losing was not the most important concern. This is the very spirit of judo, and I hope it reached everyone in attendance.
That being said, I wanted to tell you about a judoka from the event. He is a fine young man, and won first place at the last big tournament in Southern California, before the pandemic shut everything down. However, this same guy today lost all of his matches I think by beautiful ippon throws this time at the 3 Clubs Hollywood Scrimmage.
I chatted with him during the celebratory pizza social, and he was pretty despondent. I tried to console him, and admitted that the day's events presented learning experiences for both of us. We were lucky to get in our licks, in such a casual, supportive environment--and we all know the concept of what doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger.
Nevertheless, Kano's judo philosophy gives us more food for thought. As we are constantly working toward improving ourselves on and off the tatami, we must also keep in mind two other concepts: Maximum Efficiency must be achieved by focusing energy in the most positive and productive manner; and negative emotions are a waste of energy.
Personally, I was surprised and delighted to get onto the mat, for the first time in more than 35 years. Sure, I was too slow and unprepared for a modern judo match, but hey, I'm extremely blessed to relive such a dynamic and interesting situation. It was all a blur, but I left the event smiling from ear to ear. I think I learned from the experience, and will be better prepared, if the opportunity arises in the future.
But how does this jive with the popular adage, "show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser"? In my humble opinion, the adage is consistent with the shallow and short-sighted worship of "winning". I much prefer to think that winning a particular match is only winning a battle--but sticking to Kano's philosophy empowers us to win the WAR!
Sports allows us to define ourselves as human beings. We can focus our energy, learn as much as possible, and apply our talents and attitudes accordingly. We all face challenges and disappointments, and we all have personal limitations; but courage is probably the only attribute that can possibly be unlimited.
I enjoy your blogs for Black Belt Magazine, and hope you continue to preach the spiritual aspects of judo. I have some ideas on developing Kosen Judo competitions, I'll share with you in the future. Until then, I remain your devoted, Eduardo "Edo-san" Medrano.
Goltz Judo Year End Class & Promos 12-12-21Goltz Judo's Celebration for 2021 http://goltzjudo.com
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