The writer and poet Christian Bobin said, "The child who draws goes straight to the essential. He follows the perspective of the heart which draws what is not, to better see what is", while Pablo Picasso said, “I spent my whole life learning how to draw like a child."

In their drawings, the children reveal their joie de vivre or their sadness, their wishes and their fears. However, sometimes to make fun of someone, we say that he or she draws like a child, ‘my 4 year old kid is as gifted as you!’ If we look a little closer, though, to the drawings of our little ones we will see that they are awesome!

The youngest draw without constraints, without filters and without adult censorship. They can experiment and they enjoy the activity above all, without focusing on the result. We can therefore say that children's drawings, often full of freshness and spontaneity, have a lot to teach us about the depth of existence.

When the International Judo Federation launched its Great 8 drawing contest, reserved for people under 14 years old, on the theme of the eight fundamental values of the moral code of judo, we were expecting to discover some golden nuggets and the least we could say is that we were not disappointed because among the 1,800 illustrations from over 70 countries that were posted, the community of our little judoka spoke right gave to our hearts.

ADITI NAIDU – 10 Fiji : “To show one of the values in judo and in my life that is very important to me through my love for art.” Parents - Arti Naidu: “Thank you for giving kids this opportunity to express themselves.”

However talking about friendship, respect or even self-control for a child is not necessarily easy. The values of the moral code are often very abstract concepts that even adults can find difficult to define clearly and even more difficult to apply.

The drawing competition nevertheless revealed a very interesting aspect because beyond allowing our children to express themselves, it made it possible for them to create, recreate or strengthen the bonds between parents, grandparents, the world of adults and that of childhood. We noted with happiness that often the drawings which were sent to us were accompanied by some words from the parents, explaining how delighted they were to have spent time with their offspring and that to explain honour or politeness had the merit of putting words on important values for society.

Beyond the playful dimension of the drawings, the children and parents therefore met around a blank sheet of paper and some pencils, to express what they had in their hearts and souls. The older ones had to find the right words, while the children had to translate their feelings.

MATTEO BENNARDI – 8 Italy: “I really miss being able to train with my friends. When we meet at training it's beautiful! We feel united." Parents - Simona Sordoni - “Thanks! What a nice initiative”.

In a world that is losing its bearings, in a society where certain values seem to be disappearing, turning to creation has the power to connect generations. Thanks to the drawing contest, thanks to the shared values that it highlighted, the links were strengthened and we were able to open the world of judo to people who were not connected to it as they would have liked to be.

Thank you all for your investment in building a society that is more respectful of everyone and to all those who made that beautiful project a reality.

MATEMEH EGHBAL – 10 Iran: “Judo creates friendship and respect among all the people of the world” - Parents: Behzad Eghbal- “Thank you”
MAGDALENA JAMBROSIC – 13 Croatia:“Sometimes we lose a fight. But we don't have to be angry or sad because of that. There is always another time to try our best! It happens often to me in judo :)”
MICAH WEGMAN – 11 United States: “Respect before, respect during, and respect after EVERY match. This is judo!”
FELICITAS BUCHNER – 12 Germany: “It is important not just to be the first, to be there and to have fun is important”.
BELOUSOV MAXIM – 5 Russia: “Judo is great! Thanks to judo classes, my sister and I made a lot of friends! Opponents not only become friends, they become part of the family.”
MIHA PETELINSEK – 5 Slovenia: “Modest judokas bow to each other.”
MARIA FLOR – 7 Brazil: “To demonstrate that through education we can be kind, intelligent and follow the norms of society. The drawing represents a girl on the mat being educated with her colleagues.”
VIKTORIA ISAEVA – 10 Russia: “Once in a big competition I lost the fight. My rival supported me as a real friend. I was very pleased. I drew this.”
AMIR MOHAMMAD ALIOSAT – 5 Iran: “Help and kindness”

All illustrations in this article were submitted during the Great8 drawing contest. The results of the contest will be presented on June 1st.

See also