The Importance of Judo in My Life

Kento Takahashi


     I started practicing judo when I was ten years old. It was the most significant decision of my life. Judo is one of the Japanese traditional martial arts and it is also an Olympic sport. As a result, Judo has become a popular sport around the world. I think that if I had not done judo at all, my life would have been completely different. When I was in elementary school, I really enjoyed judo just for fun. However, after I graduated from elementary school, I entered Kyusyu Gakuin middle school, which was a private school with the best judo team in Kumamoto city, which is my home city. I practiced four hours a day seven days a week for three years. After I graduated from middle school, I automatically went to its high school, so I had three more years of four-hour-practice sessions everyday. I spent most of my adolescence doing judo. It was intense and hard but really fun. That is why I truly love this sport. Judo trained me not only physically but also mentally. Even though judo is a sport, it is a way of education in Japan . We usually learn judo with a lot of manners such as how to bow, how to talk respectfully, and how to be humble. These are extremely important values for my life.

I came to the U.S. after graduating from high school because I wanted to study here and my high school judo coach had a connection with Keith Nakasone, who is a coach for the San Jose State University judo team. As soon as I came to San Jose, I joined the team and started working out with them. Therefore, I have made a lot of friends, and have been helped a lot by them. Finally, I have realized that my life is always related to judo in a lot of ways. Therefore, I truly believe that my decision was right and the discipline and lessons of judo will continue to guide me in the future.