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10 Commandments of Judo

A student asked "If 10 commandments for Judo existed, what would they be?". I thought about it for a few days and this is what came to mind. What do you think?

1. Respect everyone. Work towards their, and your, well-being

The founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano, said that the ultimate objective of Judo is to be utilized as a means of self-perfection, and thenceforth to make a positive contribution to society. The greatest thing we can do to spread the principles of Judo is to embody them by respecting and helping those we meet both on and off the mat.

2. Listen to your instructor, they are there to help you

You don’t always have to agree with your instructor but make sure you listen to what they say. Our Sensei’s have a wealth of experience that comes from many years of dedication. The worst thing you can do as a student of Judo is to ignore things your instructor says or does because you don’t care or don’t understand.

3. Leave your ego off the mat

One of the most important things we can learn from doing judo is how to check our ego at the door. This means not being afraid to lose, even to someone who is a lower rank. It means not making excuses, and not complaining. It means celebrating wins at tournaments, not wins against training partners in practice. It means not being a bully by degrading someone else in order to make themselves look better. There is no place in Judo for egos and what comes along with them.

4. Don’t give up

Judo is tough, but sticking with it will pay for itself over and over again. So don’t give up when you are in a tough spot. Create achievable goals, and stick with them. Success is a marathon not a sprint.

5. Put your heart into it

The secret to Judo: Make practice regularly, be on time and work hard.

6. Never intentionally hurt anyone

Learning Judo means gaining knowledge that can be used to hurt people. We should use this power wisely both on and off the mats. Never lose your temper and (outside of a real life threatening conflict), always do unto others as you would have them do to you.

7. Stay clean!

We shouldn't have to say this, but it must be said! Wash your uniform and your body. Make sure to wear your shoes/sandals when off the mat, no one wants their face in whatever you just walked on in the bathroom.

8. If you are sick, stay home and get well

Your Judo team is a family and we don’t want to get the whole family sick. If you think you have a communicable illness go for and take a hot shower instead of spreading it to everyone else at class. Over the long run this is better for everyone.

9. Keep fingernails/toenails short

Some of the most irritating and avoidable injuries come from someone catching their long fingernail or toenail on another training partner and ripping their skin open or worse. Also, long nails can get ripped off easily during grip fighting. It’s simple and easy to trim your nails and avoid all of this, and if for some reason you can’t trim them (classical guitarists/bass players I’m looking at you) then tape the ends of your fingers.

10. Remove jewelry or other items before practice

Jewelry can wreak havoc in our sport both for the wearer or other training partners. Take it off before class, that includes rings especially. Also, make sure your cell phone is not tucked into your gi, hurts like hell to fall on a phone from a few feet up.

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