From white to blue, from Europe to Oceania, from the beginning to the top of the podium, our opposites are our reinforcement, our strength and our reason. We cannot rise without the bottom rungs of the ladder to climb and cannot reflect without opposition to highlight us.
We encourage the young to surpass us while still evolving to be able to stay ahead of them. We pass on knowledge and experience, claiming our own new learning at each step, celebrating and commiserating in equal measure.
Our true strength is not that we try to become fit for the uniform but that we aim to be the best, truest, most unique, pure selves within the shared philosophies of a community which frames difference and aspires to belong in the understood collective individualism that judo promotes.
What an astounding space this is, that encourages us to accept all while at the same time asking us to sacrifice so much to feel victory over every friend. Judo is the sport of opposition, of paradox and of conflict and is always fought holding hands with rivals in a family that cherishes failure as much as gold.