Life and work lessons inspired by Judo

Judo taught me to understand the superiority of flexibility over rigidity in order to survive – we are taught to become like a willow. Beyond the fight, knowing how to use each other’s energy and velocity to defeat your opponent takes on surprisingly diverse meanings over the years. And it’s even more than that.

To help his son assert himself and defend himself, my father enrolled me in judo classes. I was nine years old.

At the time, shy and the hypersensitive type, it was the nightmare of my week. Just being barefoot and dressed in what felt like loose pajamas was an ordeal. Showing up in front of a group of strangers like that took every fiber of courage I possessed.

It wasn’t until decades later that I was able to recognize the lessons of judo in dealing with the trials of my life. Embracing difficulties and changes rather than resisting them is counterintuitive. So is pulling a person who chooses to attack you towards you. Pulling an opponent (individual, challenge, dismissal, grief, separation…) over your shoulder requires almost no strength. And he is knocked out. Choosing to resist and push him away is the beginning of suffering.

This is the moral code of judo. You’ll be amazed at the lessons we can learn from it for our lives alongside this age-old discipline:

– Politeness is respect for others.
– Courage is doing what is right.
– Sincerity is expressing yourself without disguising your thoughts.
– Honor is being true to your word.
– Modesty, it is to speak about oneself without pride.
– Respect, because without respect no trust can be born.
– Self-control is knowing how to keep quiet when anger rises.
– Friendship is the purest and strongest of human feelings.

Marc André Morel
Author of 3 x best-seller

Photo: Kampus Production

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