An old Motto About Aggression, Timidity, Skills, Discipline, Unbroken SpiritsI used to have a motto for the Newport Judo club that went:
"Building Character Not Aggression, Building Confidence Not Timidity,
Life Skills & Discipline in Unbroken Spirits"
I really liked it.
In fact, you can probably still find it under the Newport Judo Logo on some of my older posts. It represented something that Judo had always represented to me.
Of course, it is really too long to fit under the logo and eventually, I had to surrender it to space. Hence the existing slogan that now resides under the logo on this page.
|Stand Tall: Respect and Affect |
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However, I thought I would like to explain why I liked the old motto so much.
Building Character, Not AggressionI started Judo because I was sick and tired of being bullied. I never wanted to become the bully, I just wanted it to stop. The beauty I found in Judo was that it was not about betting your opponent but it was about taking their aggression and using it against them. 12 months after I started Judo I suddenly realised that without lifting a finger the bullying had stopped.
However, it was not until years later that I was able to identify that it actually had nothing to do with my new found skills and everything to do with the confidence that came across to others as I developed those skills. I had no need to be aggressive to anybody else. I could be myself and no one would do anything about it.
Of course, I have since done the research and whilst I am far from unique in this, I have discovered that Martial artists throughout the world have all experienced the same thing; with a few notable exceptions. However, I will be forever grateful to Judo for introducing this confidence to me. Confidence that over time actually took away or helped me manage my aggression. I teach Judo because I want others to experience this same reduction in aggression.
Building Confidence, Not TimidityI would never want anybody to think that I am completely passive as a result of doing Judo. Far from it. I can be very assertive. This too was something that Judo taught me. I don't have to be aggressive in order to stand my ground.
I think it is very interesting just how much knowing how to fall allows you to stand up. If there is no fear of the fall nobody can intimidate you. Hence there is really no reason not to stand your ground.
It will always be disappointing to me that some teachers of Judo are so obsessed with teaching for competitions that they no longer spend the time to help students get their falls correct.
Whilst it is true that some will pick up a good falling technique quite quickly and those are often excellent candidates for competitions. But for some, a good, safe, comfortable fall can take years to learn and in that journey, many such students will learn more about themselves than most other people do.
Life SkillsAs my Judo skills developed over the years something strange happened. I discovered that all of the skills that I was developing had life skills applications. I have been amazed at just how most, if not all of those life skills align with my faith.
Yet this was less important to me than the fact that I still had a fighting spirit. All the bullying and all those that had felt that I was an easy target. All those who felt that I could be manipulated or threatened or in any way forced into doing something I was not prepared to do. These people would rarely succeed and if they did I knew just like in any competition, whether in within my spirit or in an actual contest, there was always another contest. A different challenge in which I could overcome.
Discipline in Unbroken SpiritsThe discipline of Judo, combined with my faith taught me that I am free to live life with an unbroken spirit. No one can break my spirit unless I allow them to. No matter how bad things get there is always the hope of overcoming in the next challenge.
This then is why I like the above motto so much. It represented a significant part of my life journey. It is a significant reason why I teach Judo.
I wonder what your journey has been or will be with Judo.