There’s a very famous story about a 10-year-old boy who wanted to learn judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in an accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. He was doing well but even after three months of training, his master had taught him only one move.

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

“No, because this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the master replied.

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

Several months later, the Master took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself and everybody else, 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 master intervened.

“No,” the master 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 their way back home, the boy and his master reviewed every move in each and every match. Then finally the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

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

“You won for two reasons,” the master 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 grip your left arm. And my dear you don’t have a left arm.”

With the right mindset, sincere efforts and faith, it’s possible for anyone to turn their weaknesses into strengths. Because sometimes we are tested, not to show us our weaknesses but to make us discover our strengths. 

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Riddhima Sharma

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