Jigoro Kano (Founder of Judo) had two ideals upon which he based Judo.
Of course, Japanese is notoriously hard to translate literally, so those are loose translations. When I am talking about these two ideals to my kids' classes I try to put them in simpler terms...
- Jita Kyoei - You and me both win.
- Seiryoku Zenyo - find the easiest way (for me and you to both win).
...and to drive the point of those ideals home, I quiz the kids each time, "What is your main job in judo class?" The correct answer to which is, "To make everyone else better." Often I'll ask each participant in the class, "What is your main job in judo class?" and make them acknowledge that they are here to help everyone else in the class get better and/or win.
I don't do this just to have some nice morals to talk about to the kids. The judo ideal is a super-important lesson, without which judo classes devolve rapidly into a fight club situation. Judo classes simply do not operate when everyone is a mat bully who is out to get what he can get at the expense of the others in the class.
Judo does not work unless everyone in the class keeps in the forefront of their minds all the time that their main objective is to nurture the development of the other participants.
And this applies just as much to adults as to kids.
And it applies to aikido (A.K.A. separated judo) as much as to judo.
Stay tuned tomorrow for an article on perhaps the most difficult situation in which to apply these judo ideals!
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