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Priming the pump

In grade school, one of my teachers made us listen to a cowboy song called 'Prime the Pump'. The gist of the song was that a desert traveler, dying of thirst, comes across a water pump with a small bottle and a note. The note indicates that the small amount of water is neccesary to 'prime the pump' so that you will be able to get more water out of it. The chorus' final line -'You need to give of yourself before you're worthy to receive.' He asked us to ponder that thought and think about the concept of reward for personal sacrifice.

This concept popped into my head yesterday about Randori and Judo. Our sensei was away yesterday and class was taught by one of the senior blackbelts in the night class - someone who rarely comes to the afternoon classes. I commented to him at one point that the thing I love most about Judo is that to be able to execute a technique, you must make yourself vulnerable first.

Every time I enter for a hip throw I need to give my Uke my back; Every time I go choke against choke in the guard, I need to give my uke some leeway before I can get close enough to choke him out.
The moral of the story is you need to have the courage to accept the risks so that you can execute. Yes I know that if I go in for the win, I will need to make myself vulnerable. The worse that can happen - I lose the match, or I tap out. But playing defensive gets me nowhere. I guess its like playing the market - investing nothing win nothing, invest wisely, and even though you have risk - it's heads you win a dollar, tails you lose a quarter.

This strategy paid off for me as I through the guest instructor with Eri-Seoinage. I was definitely not ippon worthy, but the key point was that I pulled it off.

Now I just need to keep the 'prime the pump' song in my head and I know that I will improve in Randori.

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