Respect in Judo: The 3 R's

Not Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

It's always amusing to me, as indeed I think it is supposed to be, that reference to the three R's in education is a mnemonic instead of a correctly spelled words. As if the very quote is intended to put the cat among the pigeons. But in Judo the concept of respect also comes in three R's except they actually all start with R's.

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Judo tradition however has it's own 3 R's.

These 3 are not unique to judo but they do carry a special power in a traditional sport that is not carried in others.

I remember sitting and a generic coaching course whilst the coaches were discussing the difficulty that they were having with parents, coaches and players seeing that sledging or being personally derogatory to other players, as part of the game. This was creating an enormous problem for them as overtime had degenerated even more to the point of racial vilification, verbal abuse and even physical assaults. Often umpires were not respected and parents not only set very poor examples to their children but even sent this veil the way of children.

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The leader of the discussion turned to me and said: "What about you Richard, you've been sitting there silently through this whole discourse. What do you think".

I replied that I could not contribute because judo was so traditional and the rules of respect so deeply ingrained and the consequences of disrespecting another player or umpire were so harsh that sledging was very rare. The coach behind me who had also been sitting quietly turned out to be a fencing coach and made similar comments.

It showed me just how important it is for us as judokas and sensei's to maintain our tradition of respect and one of the ways I like to teach that is with the 3 R's.

No not Reading, Writing, Arithmetic but:

  • Respect for self;
  • Respect for others;
  • Responsibility for all your actions.
So Remember the three R's:





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