Erin Fish, AIPS Young Reporter, USA
LAUSANNE, January 22, 2019 – When a young boy from the Netherlands was being bullied, his mother did everything she could to protect her son. She switched his school multiple times, but the bullying continued; until judo came into the boy’s life and changed him for the better.
Although he did not want to enroll in the sport because he felt it promoted violence—he later was enriched with the benefits on his mental and physical health. The change in lifestyle ultimately brought him to feeling more comfortable and confident in his school environment.
“As you know, judo is not only a sport,” said Marius Vizer, the International Judo Federation President. “It’s a philosophy and a way of education.”
A presentation at the 82nd annual AIPS Congress from President Vizer and Ruben Houkes, Judo World Champion (2007) and Olympic Bronze Medalist (2008) turned Judo for Children leader in IJF, explained the growth and power of judo. Both Vizer and Houkes addressed the audience, asking for their support of the organization.
Kanō Jigorō, the founder of judo had the intention to better society through the value of sport.
A video was projected on the screen visually guiding the audience through the story of judo and how it has already impacted many kids and adults around the world. Programs such as the Judo for Peace and Judo for Children organizations as well as a recently added program –the Resettlement Assistance Program– to support refugees and migrants are just some of the many ways the IJF is working to grow the philosophy and education of judo.
Houke’s stories of children from around the globe who have been impacted by the world of judo, like the young boy from the Netherlands, reached the crowd to show the impact of the sport that creates values such as honesty, respect and friendship in the lives of youth.