Modern living is very comfortable. For most of us fortunate who are fortunate enough we live lives of relative physical comfort. As we have become more and more accustomed to this living we tend to not seek out challenges and uncomfortability as often. Uncomfortability and struggle breed mental toughness. This is the idea from which Kan and Sochu Geiko come from. Kangeiko meaning “winter training” and Sochu geiko meaning “summer training.”
The first Kangeiko that we know of took place at the Kodokan in the winter of 1894-1895. The Kodokan being, essentially, the first dojo to teach the modern version of Judo in Tokyo, Japan. The sensei and founder of the Kodokan, Kanō Jigorō, would throw the doors of the dojo open in the early hours of the morning during the dead of winter. His students would then train in this extreme cold. This was developed to train mental toughness in his students. If they could wake up in the early morning to train in the extreme cold they could do anything. Sochugeiko is essentially the same practice except it is held in the summertime. Training is held in the dog days of summer, training in the early morning with the heat and humidity. As time progressed and Judo travelled the world it mingled in Brazil and had a heavy influence on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The practice of Kangeiko and Sochugeiko was passed in between the two and is still done today in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
What to Expect:
Here at Gentle Art Dojo we will be holding our Sochugeiko from August 3-7. Classes will be held at 5am and will consist of 10 five minute rolls. Every year we have an amazing turnout and everybody always has a great time! Training early morning is an incredible opportunity to build up the mental fortitude that is so important to have in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and life. If you can drag yourself out of bed early in the morning to train for an hour then there is little that can stop you in life. Training during Sochugeiko is a celebration of life and having a place to train. The current state in which we live is often confusing and scary. Sochugeiko is a celebration of having an amazing school to train at, with amazing coaches and training partners. Not only should we all take part in Sochugeiko for ourselves, but for the love of the gym and the sport that changed many of our lives!