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Weakness or Strength?

Sometimes our biggest weakness can become our biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study Judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese Judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know.” – the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

“No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grap your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Bits & Pieces, August 15, 1996, Economic Press Inc.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • pinki March 9, 2022, 8:41 am

    its very inspiring story and learn more

  • KAVINCIA April 13, 2021, 8:49 am

    This story is very inspiring it teaches you of how you can lose your strength so fast but once you keep trying you can earn the strength that you had before

  • Anjaana Rajapaksha December 30, 2016, 10:43 am

    Nice story…itz really interesting…!!

  • Edgel Orola Escomen July 4, 2015, 5:54 am

    Wonderful story

  • Prisha November 26, 2014, 9:55 am

    Very nice story. I really like it. .

  • Lycah ^_^ November 20, 2013, 1:00 pm

    What we think, we become..:).. just be positive and rely on what God can do if we believe in His promises and deed.

  • Jyoti November 11, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Nice story

  • Aesesk October 4, 2013, 6:40 am

    Teacher turned his weakness into strength!!

  • Chandan Bhaskar August 8, 2013, 9:59 am

    Nice story. Believe ourselves is the key of success.

  • Nidhi August 1, 2013, 4:09 am

    Nice one.

  • Arun July 31, 2013, 11:43 pm

    Really nice one!

  • Shivani July 10, 2013, 11:22 am

    Superb story !

  • Noufal June 7, 2013, 6:25 am

    Excellent !!!

  • Krish... May 31, 2013, 2:04 am

    Really excellent ….

  • Felicia Lewis May 27, 2013, 9:38 pm

    Very inspiring. Good judgement. Always take advise from the one who knows best.

  • Thieu May 22, 2013, 9:10 am

    A useful motivation and success story!

  • Chillydolma May 19, 2013, 10:32 am

    Good inspiration !!!

  • Raji May 18, 2013, 4:27 am

    Nice story…

  • Dennis May 18, 2013, 12:33 am

    Despite having one hard the boy remained focused n won the tournament.

  • Mitali Vyas May 16, 2013, 10:15 am


  • Amit Ashta May 14, 2013, 5:08 am

    Awesome story…. wow, only way to stop the move was to grab boys left arm which is not there… great story.

  • Ayyappa Das May 14, 2013, 4:29 am

    At the end the Sensei’s interpretation of winning the match is really outstanding. Listen & trust your teacher he/she will give you exactly what you wanted.

  • Lino May 14, 2013, 2:28 am

    Amazing cool story. Being handicapped was his true strength in the end, a winner.

  • Yumi May 13, 2013, 11:33 am

    Soo cool X3

    Things do happen for a reason, and what may seem bad at first can actually be your strength in the end. Amazing story ^^

  • Syed Sadath May 13, 2013, 2:29 am

    Great teaching by a great teacher. Never loose your hope till last moment.

  • RASHMI May 12, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Nothing is impossible.Trust in teacher and hard work can do miracle.

  • Rohan May 12, 2013, 8:39 pm

    Heart touching story..Don’t Loose hope believe in yourself and your teacher…

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