The Will to Make It Happen

Now let me talk about an example which doesn’t apply to anyone else here. Suppose I am 60 and I want to learn a new and difficult language. People would tell me: ‘That’s absolutely out, absolutely out! At your age, you know, the brain cells are dying at the rate of 100,000 a day’. I look it up, and it’s true. I feel like clutching my head and crying, ‘Aaargh!’ That’s what they want me to do. But if I have faith, I think that I can do it with fewer brain cells and then find that in fact I can.

As a matter of fact, if I look a bit deeper I find that I’ve got 10,000,000,000 brain cells, so at that rate they’ll last me 274 years. If I had been scared off, I should have been scared by nothing.

In this sort of way, the experiences which we have at Judo are meant to be a training for later experiences in life. If we just practise and teach Judo, as something separate from life, then it is really probably not worth spending very much time in it. It is interesting, but not all that interesting. But if we can combine it—and perhaps in our teaching show others how to combine it—with living experience, that is something important and valuable..

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