The One-armed Judo Fighter

Excerpt from Planting Seeds of Greatness
By Robert A. Schuller

With God as our Instructor, even our weakness becomes an advantage.

You probably know the rest of this sentence: Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness, right? Well let's take it the other way around. If that's the case, your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength. If you look at where you are weak, you can know from that position you have incredible opportunities.

There is a story of a young man who didn't have a left arm. This young man wanted to do something athletic so he decided he was going to learn judo. He went to a judo studio and he met the Sensei and he started training. The instructor said, "I want you to learn this particular move. So he taught him the move. The young man practiced that one judo move every single day. That's all he would practice. He did that week after week. Finally after several months of coming in every day, practicing this one judo move he asked the Sensei, "Why do you have me practice this one move over and over again? How can I ever learn judo and be good in judo if I only know this one move? Sensei replied, "You need only one move. You can do anything with this one move." The next month his Sensei took him to a tournament and in this tournament he fought for awhile and he did quite well and he actually pinned his opponent and won his first match. The second one was a little more difficult but as it went along he finally did his one move again and he pinned his next opponent. In the finals he had his opportunity to use his one move and he won the tournament. On the way home he talked to his instructor and he said, "How is it that I was able to win this tournament with only one move?" Sensei replied, "Two reasons: the move I taught you is the hardest move to learn in judo and secondly, the only counter to that move is to grab the left arm."

Your greatest weakness is an opportunity for God to come in and give you the greatest strength you ever could imagine.

The Bible tells us that whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. And then the greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

So the biblical perception of greatness is to be able to serve, to be able to give something back, to be able to do something for others, to be able to express love.

Yesterday, while I was watching the much awaited deciding rematch of our very own Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao against the very formidable Mexican technical fighter Juan Manuel Marquez, I remembered this story of the one-armed judo fighter.

At some point in the fight, Manny's one eye was unable to see clearly because of the blood that got into it as a result of an accidental head butt. This gave the opponent an additional big advantage, yet Manny was able to adjust to the condition and managed to win the fight.