Judo principle





Kumi kata


Throwing phases

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Keiko - Training-/Exercise forms

Keiko is the term for practicing or training in Budo.

A major feature of Keiko is practicing with permanent self monitoring and self control. The kanji for the word Keiko is assembled out of the characters for "think", "superior" and "old" (in the sense of things) - so think about old (proven), do not forget the old values.

It makes clear that any practice is inextricably linked with greatest attention. As the result of thinking is an understanding, the right practice causes the real understanding of relationships. This has less to do with logic than with intuition. Also the perfection of the technique, not so much in the foreground. Keiko acts through pure targeted technical training beyond. Practicing waza (technique) is only one element of Keiko. The other key elements are Shin (mind) and Ki (energy). Waza helps us to be aware of our limitations conscious.

The really crucial boundaries in the dojo are the limits to our teachers, training partners and students. Here is respectful handling required. And border crossings are also very much more serious than if we overexert. Here interpersonal boundaries are violated, and the cure is very difficult by itself. The practice in the dojo turns therefore over time into an exercise of interpersonal contact and the practice of mutual respect more and more. This is the so called character development in the Budo sports. The technique (Waza) is similar an exerciser.

Against this background, it comes clear that unfortunately in much dojos the principle of Keiko will be violated; if weaker students are ridiculed when techniques are presented far beyond the threshold of pain, or even if exercises are required, which ruin the long term health.

The last two sections of Keiko will be understood as the practice of the elements and Shin Ki. The concept of Ki is relatively easy to understand when you know that according to Asian idea of the whole cosmos of Ki; meaning life energy, is imbued. Ki is, for example, in the air, or in water. Contempt of Ki inevitably leads to a weakening of the vital energy. To understand Ki and feel Ki is the result of long practicing. Shin is to grow the mind that is constantly working and striving for an intuitive understanding of the inner workings. Keiko is not possible without the guidance of a teacher. A teacher is very important because the elements of Keiko cannot be learned from books. They must be felt and that is possible only under the guidance of a teacher who has the necessary experience.

In front of this background, a typical story is told, that we have already heard in different variations. It's about a student who asks his master how long it takes, until he reached the mastership. When the response of the master is unsatisfactory for him, he tried to negotiate with the master by offering to train even more harder. But instead to shorten the training period , it was extended. From our western rational point of view we would now argue sports medicine. Excessive hard training does not progress, because the body is missing the chance to regenerate. It comes to the phenomenon of the so called overtraining. Progress stays out, the performance rate drops and increases the susceptibility to injury. But we know now that the student has provided a surfeit of Waza. This leads to a neglect of the other elements, Shin and Ki. But for true mastery the balance between all the elements of Keiko is a prerequisite.

German text excerpts with permission of
Claudia Schröder /