Tuesday, October 2, 2012
What connects the 2012 AFL grand final to Kodokan Judo to Kojutsukan?
For the international readers of this blog, 'AFL' refers to the Australian Football League. Australian football is the most exciting football code in the world :).
Hawthorn (Hawks) and Sydney (Swans) battled out the 2012 AFL grand final on Saturday. The Hawks were favourites with a couple of out-and-out stars playing for them. The Swans were the underdogs with no stars of the same calibre as the Hawks. The Swans playing list was generally acknowledged as being inferior to the Hawks.
The Hawks won virtually every statistical category, and lost. The Swans lost virtually every statistical category, and won. This result can be explained as the triumph of systems thinking over analytical thinking.
Analysis is about breaking things down to understand them. Systems thinking is about synthesis, putting them back together, and understanding their interconnections. Analysis is about seeing the trees. Systems thinking is about seeing the trees and the forest.
Systems thinking is about understanding that everything is connected. The connections are what is important.
One of the fathers of systems thinking, Gregory Bateson, implored us to look for the 'patterns that connect.' Genius has been described as being able to see the patterns that connect things.
Jigoro Kano was frustrated that his jujutsu instructors simply taught a collection of techniques with no understanding of their relationship with one another. He sought the 'essence' of all jujutsu techniques. While he did not find the essence of jujutsu techniques that connected them together, he developed an essence which he applied to select jujutsu techniques to be included in his Kodokan judo. By default and design, Kano's essence is what connects all judo techniques.
Kojutsukan philosophy is all about understanding the patterns that connect. Not only the techniques taught by Kojutsukan, but techniques taught by all activities associated with preparing a person to survive a violent encounter and those used in violence generally.
Look for the patterns that connect.