Home > Challenges, Judo, Life, passion, Women > “This is when my life destiny was set.”

“This is when my life destiny was set.”

A friend of mine shared the above clip of Sensei Fukuda, a 98 year-old judo practitioner who serves as a true pioneer for female judoka. (And really, that’s not saying enough.) As the clip describes, Sensei Fukuda was denied the right to advance in rank for 30 years due to sexism within the Kodokan. What hits me hard regarding this phenomenal women is her powerful tenacity and commitment in the face of such adversity. When she was told she could not be promoted and therefore denied acknowledgment of her skills, she could have stopped. However, her passion was so great that she decided to give her life to judo anyway.  To me, that decision is profoundly admirable.

When Sensei Fukuda says that her marriage was judo, I thought about how lonely it can be sometimes to take big risks for the things you believe in. I think her journey affirms for me that there is joy in the struggle. I am also reminded of how strong women are, particularly in their ability to keep fighting even when they know the rest of the world could care less about their battles, whether it’s raising children, climbing the corporate ladder, or earning the title you deserve.

While I look to Sensei Fukuda for my big picture inspiration, I am fortunate to have many strong, resourceful, and passionate women in my personal life. I have had fiercely dedicated supervisors in my career to serve as mentors, and numerous friends, co-workers, and fellow female judoka who forge their own path, making tough sacrifices in pursuit of their goals and in support of their beliefs. Each of these women pop into my mind at various times when I think about who I want to be when I grow up. With such incredible examples set, I can only hope to contribute as much to them and other women as they have so generously given to me.

Categories: Challenges, Judo, Life, passion, Women
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