Judo and the ego

The egoic mind or ego is a protection mechanism that works based on experiences or situations that have occurred in the past, and also the concern of things happening in the future. Understanding this our ego is not focused on the present or the now. Therefore we are unaware and uninvolved in the experience at present and what learning and outcomes can arise from being present.

Unfortunately in Judo due to the nature of the sport our ego can run wild. Our desire to throw or submit our opponent and feel the satisfaction in winning is hard for us to remove ourselves from, as well as the thought of losing (a previous loss) or not throwing our opponent is also in play.

I believe however that Judo is great channel to play with our ego and to explore the possibilities of dropping it. The great thing about Judo is that we are taught what a great throw or ‘Ippon’ feels like. This is a special point, as when learning something we must be able to obtain feedback. Having a clear expectation of getting Ippon allows us to move throughout our Randori (practise fighting) and look at trying to be present and hoan in on what this situation feels like and more importantly what it allows us to do.

Examples might include, I am present and I feel my opponent moving in this direction, I am present and I see my opponent is getting frustrated, I am present and I feel my opponent is trying to do this, or that.

Eventually being present will allow us to feel and in turn better expose our opponents weakness and throw them. If this is done effortlessly, there is something to this, and I believe it can give you a big tick for a correct decision. The more ticks and right decisions (displayed by an effortless Ippon), the less our ego has to be present and hopefully allow us to be more in the now. I believe that through Judo we can explore this and in turn playing with this controlled situation through Randori, we can aim and hope to utilise similar employment of these tools in the real world to being more present minded day to day.