Happy International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP 2016)

Photo credit: Airbear Photography

Photo credit: Airbear Photography

RON C. PECK & NEGAR TAYYAR

Judo Journey's partner, the Blind Judo Foundation (BJF) introduces and trains individuals of all ages that are blind and visually impaired. Jointly with BJA we are aiming to reach all individuals around the world especially those less fortunate to experience a martial art that improves wellbeing and social inclusion. As most of us may have experienced Judo transcends lives and once you step on the mat we all speak the same language. Judo develops confidence, character, commitment, humility, respect and responsibility and is a catalyst for a peaceful society! 

Bullying is an international epidemic experienced around the world and is more prevalent to those individuals with disabilities. Judo has proven to be inherently a positive activity building character and connecting people. 

Seek out your neighborhood Judo dojo and take one quantum step onto the mat to empower yourself and make a contribution to your community! The world will be a better place because of your action and commitment. If you are not convinced yet, take one minute and read a moving story by an incredible judoka!

Turning Disadvantages into Advantages

Starting at two, a baby boy was submitted to several drowning attempts in the family bathtub, hit with a baseball bat, bullied along with other physical and psychological abuses. Even though he learned early to fight for his life, he was determined from an early age to transcend the bullying, abuses and visual impairment focusing on sports. Track and field were two outlets along with wrestling that helped calm and comfort his internal struggles providing a focus for development and internal peace as he grew older.

He was introduced to Judo as a natural progress from wrestling and his passion for the martial art has not dwindled since. As a fierce competitor and advocate for Judo, he has been able to physically move beyond the early days and emotionally is turning the abuse and bullying into positive results competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He was also honoured in providing, along with fellow Judoka, visually impaired Judo demonstrations on the Whitehouse lawn of the President of the United States.

Practice, practice and practice is his mantra with a vision and focus beyond the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro to the 2020 Games in Japan. He is using Judo to not only develop himself, but to be a role model for the disadvantaged who are seeking ways to raise above their current situations for social inclusion and examples of peace within their communities.

Find out more about the Blind Judo Foundation here and for the United Nations IDSDP here.