The Motions

I’ve been reading through an old Judo grappling book by Kazuko Kudo, and there was one line that really struck me: “Do not make motions that have no meaning”. The first thing it made me think of was all the times I’ve been grappling and I flailed around in a desperate attempt to make something happen. Instead of being purposeful, my actions were mindless and pointless. Once in awhile I would get lucky and make it work, but usually all it ever succeeded in doing is tiring me out.

That quote also made me think about last week when Ray was instructing some Jiu-Jitsuka on a Judo throw combination. The students were faking the first technique, and trying to execute the second. Ray told them that the second throw would never work if they didn’t commit to getting the first one. If their “motions had no meaning” their opponent would would never believe the fake. Ray told them there was no fake, they should attempt everything like they mean it. Then the first throw might even work, leaving no need for the second, and no wasted actions.

Going through the motionsI think that quote can be useful in so many different ways in martial arts, and life in general. What is the point in doing something that has no meaning? Even when you’re doing drills in class and practicing something you’ve done a million times before, you should never just go through the motions. Every time you do it, there should be meaning.

“If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”


4 comments on “The Motions

  1. The book of 5 rings talks about this… ( a good book to read! and its free ) outlines 9 principles…1. Do not think dishonestly.2. The Way is in training.3. Become acquainted with every art.4. Know the Ways of all professions.5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.6. Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen.8. Pay attention even to trifles.9. Do nothing which is of no use#9 is the principle of your blog post! :)

  2. Thank you, Keith! I actually own two different translations of The Book of Five Rings, but it's been a few years since I read them. I think at that time I didn't understand a lot of it, and your comment has inspired me to read them again. :-)

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