A 10-year-old boy 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 over-matched. 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 grab your left arm.”
The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength!
Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame God, the circumstances and our self for it, but we never know that our weakness can become our strength one day. It may still, in some way, help us in our progress and development.
To illustrate this there is a couple of example from cricket. Cricketer Bhagavat Chandrashekhar suffered an attack of poliomyelitis as a child, which left his right arm withered: he always threw the ball in from the outfield left-handed. But his thin whippy other arm was magical from 22 yards away from the batsman: he could send down a wonderful mixture of brisk bouncy legbreaks and top-spinners. Chandra was never more effective than at the oval in 1971, when his 6 for 38 skittled England for 101 and helped set up India’s first series victory in England. With the help of his weak right arm Chandra managed to give strong bowling performances over a period of time!! He was one of the world famous spinning quartet of India of the late 60’s and 70’s.
Another cricketer, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who sadly died recently, was among the most brilliant of young batsmen: there are tales of him playing for Oxford University against mighty Yorkshire in 1960 and taming the county attack – Fred Trueman and all – to the extent that they did not know where to bowl at him. But the following year Pataudi was involved in a car accident that permanently affected his vision: for a while he saw two balls “and tried to hit the inside one”. Eventually he opened his stance, pulled his cap down over the bad (right) eye, and continued to bat (and field superbly too). He managed to score a Test double-century despite all this. With impaired vision he still managed to be a very good player and captain of India.
Each of us is special and important. Each of us has a purpose to serve in the divine scheme, however insignificant we may think ourselves to be. We should never allow ourselves to be depressed by any weakness we may have.