That a single man in the nineteenth century had this gift to create all these things. To move away from harmful elements into a softer and protected judo. Wether it’s from standing, groundwork, or up to neck and armlocks. At least for me, it’s easy to forget that there have been so many great and exciting techniques that often falls into the dark. At specially now in these times when they take away more and more techniques from the competitions.
Seeing judo. To really look at judo and see every little detail, you think into their situation and way of thinking. The concentration, stubbornness and power. To be part of a brownbelt -graduation is special. Every judoka is by the beginning walking into a dojo is like a closed book. But when you open the book and page by page begins to fall through, you become more and more impressed and once again fascinated by the variation of judo.
However Judo is a very fascinating and for me magical sport. Unique, technical, clean and beautiful. When you have timing in a leg sweep, it looks so damn simple. Same with a uchi mata it looks so easy when you have just that exact touch of elegance. Back to the graduation. When you sit there and study the graduation with an open mind, you become so happy inside. A show that both surprises and impresses because you have no idea what happens next just as well for tonight’s uke .
It makes me simultaneously thinking back on my own graduations, big as small. That nervous butterfly feeling to walk up on the mat and be completely in the coach power. That they can ask anything and you have to keep your focus on. When we were younger, we were more in a group graduating but the higher up you got, the fewer we became. Though it was safer before than when you stood there all by yourself. Your thoughts rushed around in your head : “Have I practiced enough?“, “Do i know all the names?“, “What if i throw relly bad?” and so on. But in judo, it’s also much about curage. To dare standing there and getting through it.
We also have the benefit of judo in our daily life as well. Patience, respect, courage, helpfulness, self-control, honesty, honor and modesty. When you think about it these parts are incredibly useful in ordinary everyday life, at work and in other social enviroments. You learn simultaneously a lot about yourself and build a secure feeling inside.
A belt can lift a judoka up so much. Give new confidence, recognizing that you can and has been developing and a joy to share with your teammates. Only joy comes out from that. Then you should not give away belts too simple either because then they would not appreciated it as much if they don’t have to fight for it. But not be too hard either. When you select someone for graduation you should be sure that they are at the right level already from the beginning. I don’t really think to flunk someone is a good thing for their motivation. You as coach need to do the assessment already. But of course if the graduation is noot good enough you must take it at another time, but you probably understand my point, to be prepared. Anyhow it’s really fun to rate others and the higher up you go, the more fun becomes perfecting it. And you’re never fully learned, its the good thing about it. That really describes the Magic och Judo!