A ten-year-old boy once decided to learn Judo. But he had a handicap. A couple of years ago in a terrible car accident, he had lost his left arm.
An old Japanese sensei, a great Judo master of his time, agreed to take on the boy as a pupil. The exercises began.
The boy was totally focused and did well. But he couldn’t understand why, after three months of hard training, the master had taught him only one move.
“Sensei,” the boy filly mustered up courage to ask, “Should I not be learning more moves?’
“This is the only move you know, and it is the only move you will ever know,” the master replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept on training.
Several months later, the master took the boy to his first tourment. 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 incredulous at his success, the boy was now in the fils.
This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, more skilled and 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 sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”
Soon after the match resumed, the opponent made a critical mistake. Executing a showy move, he got carried away and suddenly dropped his guard. In a flash, the boy seized the opening to use his own move to pin him down.
The match and the tourment was won. The boy was declared the champion.
On the way home, master and pupil reviewed each and every match. The boy then asked the question that was really on his mind.
“Sensei, how did I win the tourment with just 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 defence to that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”
The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength. It only needed the right context to reveal itself. And the faith of the boy in his teacher, and ultimately, himself.