Bushi of the Yin, Bushi of the Yang

One of the old texts say there are two kinds of bushi (the Japanese warriors) – the bushi of the yin (the quiet) and the bushi of the yang (the positive).

The bushi of the yang, the positive, walks as if his feet would crush the earth. His glare looks as if it would powder rocks. He walks on with small steps uttering shouts which terrify the opponents.

The bushi of the yin is calm. He walks steadily. He is silent. But the response is instant because he is not making the response – the response is coming from the beyond.

These are some of the traditions within judo. And in judo we can try them. This is one of the things judo can give us for life: energy, courage – but also the ability in difficulties, or in triumph and success, to be free from it all.

O-me-dame de shinde koi.
With wide open eyes come and die.

This dying means give up the thoughts on which we rely. Give up the things we hold on to and walk forward with wide open eyes.

These are some of the things that judo is meant to give us – and can give us if we practise in that way.

It is not wrong to practise in other ways. But we ought to think, occasionally, if it can give us more than just fighting on the mat.

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