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I was determined to go to Japan to outstrip them all, to learn judo. It wasn't to
go to the Olympics, it was to become really, really good at judo. Doug Rogers
How very Canadian - I had a one-way ticket to the Olympics. Doug Rogers
In the tunnel
the black taxi roof
a stream of neon Colin Oliver, haiku
Youth is not a time of life
it is a state of mind
it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees
it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions Samuel Ullmann, Youth
There was a link on a judo site to an old documentary called Judoka. It's about a Canadian called Doug Rogers and his serious judo training in Japan. He was there from 1960 to 1965. He was obviously an exceptionally talented and determined judoka and he became one of the very best in the world. At the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 he won the heavyweight silver medal.
It's a very interesting documentary. It shows the training and life of a young martial artist in Japan. It was a simpler, more innocent time.
There is a nice scene of Doug Rogers doing randori free training in the Nippon Budokan. The Nippon Budokan is a huge martial arts hall in central Tokyo. It was constructed for the 1964 Olympics. Over the years it has been used for rock concerts and many artists have recorded Live at Budokan albums. The All-Japan Aikido demonstration is held there every year in May.
You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you're down to your reflexes - that means your preparation. That's where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you're going to get found out now, under the bright lights.
I have nothing against sports; they train the body and develop stamina and endurance. But the spirit of competition and power that presides over them is not good. It reflects a distorted vision of life.
Taisen Deshimaru, The Zen Way to the Martial Arts
To fight yourself is the toughest fight. To overcome yourself is the greatest victory.
I never met anybody who wanted to win as badly as I did. I'd do anything I had to do to increase my advantage. Anybody who tried to block the pursuit of that advantage, I'd just push 'em out of the way. Didn't matter who they were, or what they were doing.
A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one.
from Cool Runnings
This week Yuki Saito, the number one draft pick in Japanese professional baseball, started his first training camp. There were 200 reporters there. He's a very talented and promising young pitcher. He became famous at Koshien - the high school summer baseball tournament - in 2006 when he kept wiping his face with a blue handkerchief. He was given the nickname the handkerchief pri
Shochugeiko: Training conducted during the hottest months of the summer in order to cultivate physical and mental strength, a Kodokan tradition since 1896.
Kodokan New Japanese-English Dictionary of Judo
It's 35 degrees Celsius today in Tokyo - 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Yesterday it was 38 - over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity is high. There is what's called the urban heat island effect. It is hot. Everyone starts to feel lethargic and low in energy - natsu bate (夏バテ) in Japanese. But the solution - air conditioning - is even worse. Trains and shops and restaurants are all cold. Humans are gradually being shepherded away from nature.
Japanese people have always had a close relationship with nature. The passing of a year has very clear phases and the rhythm of the seasons is marked with traditional events and customs: like cherry blossom viewing in spring and moon viewing in the autumn.
So the Japanese people have developed traditional ways to fight the heavy summer heat. Many houses have wind-chimes (furin - 風鈴). Even a tiny sound gives the impression - real or imagined - of a slight breeze. Then there is a custom of exchanging summer greetings cards. Some people draw their own cards in watercolours or ink and wash (sumi-e) and send them to friends and relatives with a polite enquiry about their health in the heat. And there's a special day in August (doyo no ushi no hi) to eat eel (unagi) to get stamina and to protect against