With that in mind, 板羽and 丸山, of their own initiative, left us to hold the fort temporarily over the weekend while they went forth in person to faraway Kyushu to document the rising stars and specialties of each of the ‘Seven Emperors’ over the entire tournament. And return they have, with invaluable footage of ferocious battles, ingenious techniques and innovative variations, which we reviewed at the end of today’s training – after a grueling line-up of technical practice, sparring and throws.
田澤君 sends a strong message here: you don’t need to be sparring to get serious – every movement, every technique should be a whirlwind of concentrated energy and spirit.
ミン’s face is one of intense focus as he grapples with 板羽 during a sparring match.
Looking outward for inspiration and learning opportunities is a key step towards improvement of course, but so is drawing inward into your own core to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and taking stock before plowing on forward.
丸山’s face is one of exquisite calm as he works unrelentingly on his weights routine to strengthen areas prone to injury.
While most non-practicing spectators often only see the burning spirit and adrenaline-laced excitement that permeates the typical Judo tournament, few actually are able to peer behind the veil of seemingly non-stop action to see the hard work that every Judoka puts in to get that chance to fight to his best ability in the tournament arena. The worst mistake one can make is to overwork oneself at the risk of injury (which is actually hugely counterproductive if you rationalize it in that manner – that you will end up being out of action and training far less, therefore, than if you had endured that short recovery period after an injury). With the 三商戦 only around five months away now, we will be sure to train hard while keeping safe to make the most of the time that we have still.