To view judo as a means to protect one’s self gives an imbalanced representation of the martial art. Judo is a way of thinking; a guiding principle that manifests itself in a sound mind and the ability to fight. Popular media has emphasized the latter as the most profound facet of judo; yet for many masters, it is only when the art is done with meditation and Zen does it achieve proper fruition.
The achievement is based on diligence. Those who train in martial arts or mixed martial arts are told to improve on their fighting techniques daily. The goal is to achieve physical strength and to build resistance. One never knows when to defend himself of herself. Still, physical training is merely an action towards a goal. Steps without substance lead to a person knowing how to fight but not understanding why.
This is where meditation comes in. It provides the necessary introspection for the fighter. Many masters rarely engage in battles because they have already reached the point of true understanding. They are not cowards, but they also do not needlessly pick fights to prove their strength.
Meditation also has a physical benefit. Studies show that daily and powerful mindfulness techniques improve the immune system and enhance general well-being. Fighters typically are stressed and can over-exert themselves. The practice of meditation can ensure total mind and body health.
Peter Spennato is a martial arts specialist with advanced training in judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. He wants to help people better understand the importance of martial arts – that it goes beyond throws and grabs. Learn more by following this Twitter account.