Stances

‘Oh no, I’ve never been any good with figures.’

‘I can’t understand these legal things.’ ‘I don’t get on with people.’

‘I get on with people all right, but where I am no good is when I am on my own.’

All these are weaknesses, and judo should help us to confront those weaknesses with courage and go for them.

A Japanese chess champion I knew could sit in front of the board for 10 minutes, a quarter of an hour, half an hour without moving a muscle and without making a move.

His opponent was fidgeting, going to the lavatory, having a drink, lighting cigarettes.

The old boy just sat there.

After he had won, I talked to him and he wasn’t at all this calm figure, but a wisecracking Tokyo cockney. I asked, ‘How is it that your chess personality is so different to your ordinary personality?’

He said, ‘Well, when I was young I was like that young chap, impatient, fidgety, and I realised that I would always lose to an old boy who can just sit there. So I practised sitting in front of an empty board for an hour every day for a week, then two hours every day for a week without moving.’

‘Now I can outsit the best of them.’

This is the sort of thing which judo should help us to do – to confront our weak points.

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