I am in the process of Reading Neil Ohlenkamp's new book - Judo Unleashed so that I can review it here. With most of the Judo books I have read in the past, I have glanced over the 'intro' sections and jumped right in to the 'instructionals' -i.e. the illustrated pictures and steps of techniques. However, this time around I am perusing the 'intro' because I find it is a tremendous improvement over other books in the past.
One such element is the notion that Judo is a never-ending, lifelong learning process, and that one of the best ways to improve your Judo is to seek out new challenges.
I wonder about this principle a lot. I am, admittedly, sometimes reluctant to play people phyiscally larger than me (regardless of their relative skill). I know that the challenge is great, yet sometimes I am just not willing to step up and on to the mat.
It's strange, but Ohlenkamp also suggests Judo is a way of life - a sentiment echoed by many - and looking for challenges is a fitting example. Even in life we need to seek out and embrace new challenges in order to grow. Yes that makes us vulnerable, and at first we may stumble, but if we truly strive to succeed, it will work itself out.
Now the question is - does life imitate Judo, or does Judo imitate life?