Oisin Bourke posted a great link elsewhere and I wanted to comment, but I think the comments belong better here, so I'll add them to this thread and link Oisin's thread here:
I'm surprised that no one at all has commented here.
That article on Mifune has some extremely uplifting and encouraging information. It's well worth reading carefully.
"From the great masters of the past he inherited the belief that nature was an important source of martial arts training. But he also believed that martial training came from equal doses of human and divine intelligence. He taught that human intelligence is essential in the pursuit of self-perfection through training. His philosophy of judo rested on both a respect for tradition and the value of the human creative spirit."
This may explain why a lot of aikido teachers don't like people with judo experience coming around. Judo people don't have the sense that they shouldn't question everything and many aikido teachers like students just to accept whatever they tell them.
But judo people always look for the bottom line--uke hitting the mat. If you tell them goo-goo, they start thinking, "Well, how does that get uke on the ground?" And the aikido teacher is saying, "It's not about getting uke on the ground..." etc.
Judo people immediately put their minds to a technique and try to figure out how to do it, how to do it better, why it works, what's wrong with it, what's their own error in perfecting it, which situations is it perfect for and so on. They analyze it physically and rationally at the same time, while applying their own creativity and keeping themselves open to divine inspiration.
""The true feature of judo is to show justice through reason: that no action is to be done without reason is most important.""
"The gist of judo is to find the original characteristic of the man… and to personify true freedom of thought and action."
And this doesn't mean anything weird or mystical: it is rather mundane in appearance. It's just "Bob Smith, CPA," who lives life very effectively, conducts his business solidly, maintains his home, keeps himself in good shape and is not conflicted within himself about what he wants to do and whether he will do it.
Judo fosters that direct understanding. One has an instant to see what could be done, decide to do it, and a milisecond to do it. Any hesitation spoils the moment. Judo people get used to operating in that moment and either doing nothing or acting with utter decisiveness, with complete relaxation because they have worked through the relationship between mind and body. It's not to say they will never be confused about what to do, among choices, but they won't get wound up while waiting. They'll stay loose and ready to act decisively while they observe the situation and adjust in preparation.
Aikido could develop this but only if there is a level of aliveness where there is, if not "winning and losing," there is at least "succeeding and failing." If uke just falls down, no matter what nage does, if nage can't feel any weight from uke, no resistance, docile following of nage's movements...rationality cannot get involved. There is no reason to do or not do any particular thing. And that's not "justice". Mifune used the term, but in the context of "things happening as they must according to the laws and principles of nature." It's justice for you to fall down, not because you're a "bad" person who "deserves" to fall down, but because you failed to put your foot in a place that supports your body.
Or you fail to throw uke (or you get thrown by uke) because you put yourself in a weak position relative to natural forces.
So the perfecting of self is a matter of Taking Care of Business, at base. It's to be a good citizen, but also to be creative and always apply reason.
In aikido, it's easy to get lost in the mush of "love the universe." We see so many jerks who play that "love the universe" tune.
Judo has something very important for the world and most aikido people could use a lot of it.
Thanks for posting.