The philosophy that guides much of our teaching structure and pedagogical approach is based on the idea that students must learn humility as the first step in a judo career before progressing to be able to grasp the techniques in judo, which will ultimately be tested in competition (shiai).
Humility and Technique
The humility that we need to see in a student refers to the attitude that the student brings into the dojo. Is it one that is open to help or more open to giving excuses? The student must learn to understand that each practice is a stepping stone towards perfection of technique and because of this, there is no end to any of the training – only constant improvement. There are no parts of the syllabus that can be completed and forgotten about.
Even at the most basic stage of learning judo, breakfalls are improved upon throughout a judoka’s rise to black belt; and even after that, there is still more to improve – albeit more in terms of form for demonstration rather than safety at that point.
The link between humility and technique is one that can be easily accepted or learnt the hard way. In the latter, impatience will be the consequence of lack of humility. Learning how to throw someone to the ground against their will, with technique rather than brute force and momentum, is a difficult thing and requires long hours of repetition and muscle memory development to be able to “feel” someone who is off balance and to be able to use this to throw their opponent.
Technique and Shiai
Technique is in constant improvement. The human body changes – it grows and gets stronger and then it ages and weakens. Depending on which stage the judoka’s body is at, certain techniques will need to take on its own adaptation to fit that particular body-type. Throws that work for one judoka will not necessarily be appropriate for another. Throws that require a lot of movement in the hip or a big sweeping action may seem effortless to be executed by young players. However, this may not be the case at all when the same player is middle-aged – when the most efficient techniques of footsweeps and hand techniques will likely make up the larger part of the judoka’s arsenal of available throws.
All of this practice would be quite meaningless if it could not be tested. The true test of technique is to see how the judoka will react under pressure. It is surprising to see how many people will crumble under the pressure of a match – simply put, the judoka is entering into a fight where the other player wants to throw the judoka to the mat to win. The mere fact that it is actually a fight where chokes and arm-locks are also allowed raises blood pressure and can cause quite a bit of anxiety. The training that Hayabusakan Judo offers is that which will teach the judoka how to deal with this stress and pressure. Learning how to deal with this amount of stress and pressure will later translate into life when major decisions must be made in pressure situations where a clear mind must be in control to make the right call.
Hayabusakan’s recreational Judo program is designed to build the basic technical skills in judo along side physical strength and agility through the usage of judo-specific exercises and games. The aim is to build a strong physical core that is accompanied by a heightened ability to focus. Many parents have found that our judo program has promoted increased attention span which translates well into focusing at school.
The “Fun” in Judo
Having read the above description of the program structure, many will be wondering where the fun in judo is. The simplest answer that we can give is that the fun comes in basking in the appreciation of achievement after a hard practice. Training hard on the mat and smashing even club mates into the tatami (who know how to take the fall to protect themselves) builds an odd comradery that can be similarly observed in rugby players. The fun actually comes off the mat in the form of results that can be seen physically, psychologically, and socially. Judokas who train properly are always in shape. Judokas who train under the Hayabusakan Judo system will find themselves calm and collected in even the tensest of situations. Finally, judokas who come through the ranks of the Hayabusakan Judo program will likely become role model citizens who will set examples for younger generations through their humility and compassion, all of which will have been learnt and developed at Hayabusakan Judo. For us, judo is more than an extra-curricular activity. It is a way of life.
The “Hayabusa” Peregrine Falcon
Our club mascot is the Peregrine Falcon. “Hayabusa” means Peregrine Falcon and “kan” means “place of”. So our club name means place of the Peregrine Falcon. Please find a short excerpt from the National Geographic about the Peregrine Falcon below.
“These falcons are formidable hunters that prey on other birds (and bats) in mid-flight. Peregrines hunt from above and, after sighting their prey, drop into a steep, swift dive that can top 200 miles an hour (320 kilometers an hour).” -National Geographic
The 10 lessons that Hayabusakan Judo will teach you:
1. If you think that you know everything, you will not learn anything except how to learn absolutely nothing.
2. Getting back up is the hardest thing to do in Judo, and in life.
3. Losing is a part of learning how to win.
4. Losing is only truly losing if you make the same mistake twice.
5. It is possible to control physical and psychological pain.
6. Perfect technique learned through hours of training is more efficient than natural talent.
7. Train one thing to be so good that it scores every time that it is used.
8. If you fear defeat, then you have already been defeated.
9. Training and working hard is only part of the road to success; application and execution make up the rest.
10. Accept that there will be many times in life where you will lose when you should clearly win.
These are the values and attributes that Hayabusakan Judo strives to instill in all of its students. They promote humility balanced with dignity and resilience, focusing on hard honest work that is constantly tested by the realities of life.
The lessons are ordered in ascending difficulty, with respect to the ability to understand and accept; however, all of them still rank equally in importance. The beauty of this order is that the tenth lesson always leads back to the first thus creating a never-ending cycle of self-betterment/learning, and each of these lessons can be applied in life whether it be in business transactions, social settings or just personal decisions. Judo is a life-long journey and is an extremely rewarding one.