As with most skills, there’s an art and science to judo. The science part refers to the mechanics of each technique. If you have a good coach, you can learn this part well, at least in theory. And if you are agile, coordinated and athletic, you can learn the practical part of it fast too.

The hard part is the art component. That refers to two things: the natural flair that some people have for a technique and mat sensibility. Let’s look at each of these components.

Flair refers to the natural feel you have for a technique. Some people just have a flair for judo, which means they have a good feel for almost any technique you teach them. Such people are rare but they are really meant to do judo. Some people have a natural flair for a certain kind of technique but not so for others. A player might have a natural flair for seoi-nage but not for tomoe-nage, and vice versa.

It's hard to teach flair but it can come about with experience. The more judo you do the more familiar your body becomes with judo movements and after some time, some of these moves will become instinctive. Then, you would have achieved flair. It takes a lot of time though.

The other thing is mat sensibility. That refers to your ability to react to any given attack or movement by your opponent. Whatever they do in standing or groundwork, you instinctively and instantaneously know how to react. This is done without thinking. It is truly instinctive.

Mat sensibility comes with time spent on the mat. You literally have to spend thousands of hours doing randori to develop an instinctive flow to your judo. I’m not talking about the flair for a throw but the ability to respond appropriately and immediately to any action taken by your opponent.

Flair and mat sensibility are an art form. They can’t really be taught. They can be drilled to an extent, but the only real way to develop them properly is to spend a lot of time on the mat.