SYA The Art of Success 1 – Learn From Masahiko Kimura

Masahiko Kimura is the world greatest judoka of all time.

Failure is the root towards Success ( Never Give Up )

He reportedly lost only four judo matches in his lifetime, all occurring in 1935. He considered quitting judo after those losses, but through the encouragement of friends he began training again. All through the nights, he practiced osoto gari, a basic leg throw, against a tree.

Human should treat both failure and success in life equally important in their life. We will only lose in life if we choose to let failure to bring us down. As long as we never back down and stand up again after each fall then each time we stand up it will be harder and harder for us to fall again.

If Masahiko Kimura let his 4 loses of Judo Match in a row to defeat his spirit and fighting spirit then he will never ever be the greatest Judo Fighter of All Time.

We can afford to lose anything in our life be it love , money , business , competition , battle or anything but one must never LOSE YOUR FIGHTING SPIRIT. As long as the fighting spirit is still there then you are not beaten.

So whenever you are fall down or being push down then next thing you should ever do is stand up again and again and each time you rise you should rise with greater fighting spirit.

Anything can be beaten but your FIGHTING SPIRIT can never ever be beaten.

Only through failure we will discover and find space towards improvement. Only though failure it will give us extra motivation towards victory. Only through failure we will discover and learn new things that will be the key for us to go further and higher in life. Only through failure great Champion and Winners are born.

We should follow Masahiko Kimura foot steep to bounce back from his defeat and train even way harder towards a great victory in life.


From being bullied in the school until nobody in the entire school could ever bully him again.

“I was challenged by K (Note: the name of this student is kept secret in the book) who was then considered to be the number 1 street fighter among all the junior high school students in the area. He was a student of Kumamoto Commerce Junior High. He was small in stature, but was known to pull out a knife in every street fight. It was known that when he loses, his parents and relatives all join him and ambush for revenge. On my way back from Butokuden, I was about to cross Nagaroku-bridge, he found me and said “Hold it right there. Come with me”. We walked to Shimogawara park near the sunset. He said, “You are Kimura, aren’t you?” This was the first time that we saw each other face to face. We glared at each other over a distance of about 1 meter. He then suddenly pulled out a Tanto (short sword), and thrust it forward at me. I evaded it, grabbed him, and threw him hard onto the ground. Now, in this state, he is no match to me. “I am K. I surrender. You are strong.” He honestly revealed his identity and apologized. After this, none of his parents came to see me. Moreover, no junior high student challenged me for a street fight. “

Turn Adversity in Life into Strength ( Be Positive )

“ The following is what motivated me to start judo. It was around the beginning of my 4th grade year. During a large-scale school cleaning (this is called O-Soji), Mr. Tagawa in charge of my class was absent. When I noticed it, I ran to a nearby Manto (Japanese pastries) Shop, ate four or five Manto, and came back to the school. I then noticed that some of my classmates were carrying the teacher’s desk. I ran toward the desk and jumped onto the desk. The desk collapsed making a loud sound. I jumped up and down with joy screaming “Banzai, Banzai”. Suddenly, someone grabbed me firmly in the rear lapel and pulled me backward. When I turned my head, I found Mr. Tagawa, who I thought was absent, glaring at me with a very scary look. He yelled “Idiot face!” and slapped me in the face. He then threw me to the floor. He pulled me up, slapped me, and threw me to the floor again. After this, I was scolded in the teachers’ room, and stood on the corridor. After this incident, I decided to get even with Mr. Tagawa. I though about how to get revenge on him for about a week, and investigated his background. I then found out that he was a 1st dan in judo. I thought “Is judo such a formidable art? Then, I would be able to throw him around if I became a 2nd dan.” Soon after this, I entered Shodokan Dojo nearby my elementary school. “

It was because he was being bullied in the school that motivates and lead him to take up Judo and the rest of his journey in Judo became a history.

So if we ever face with challenges in life we should be grateful for it because all the great people on earth rise through adversity.

Just imagine if Masahiko Kimura was never being bullied in the school ? Then he will never ever be the world greater Judo fighter of all time. Every incident will lead us towards betterment in life.

Therefore we should welcome every single obstacle, problems , adversity and challenges in life with an open heart. Overcome it with a positive ego and strength and find room to improve ourselves to be a better person and winner.

Nobody is born to succeed or be a winner overnight. It takes a journey of obstacle to be overcome before one can eventually became a winner.


Perfectionist – Success is about Continuous Effort

Nothing is perfect is the world but that should not be an excuse for all of us to learn and work hard towards reaching nearing to perfection in any aspect of our life.

At the end of the day, he would review his training in his head, scanning for room for improvement. If he saw an opportunity to improve, he would get up in the middle of the night to train immediately. The same night he won his first championship, he performed 500 pushups, bunny hopped for 1 km and performed 500 karate strikes because he was unhappy with his performance.

Most ordinary people after winning over a battle , task , title , competition or anything they achieved or gain they will most likely go for a big celebration on the same night or some might even take a short break.

Masahiko Kimura never stop training and practising even after he won his 1st Championship. He continue perform 500 push up , bunny hopped for 1 km and performed 500 karate strikes because he got high expectation in himself. He wants to be better and he is not satisfied about his performance although he won the match.

He got the right philosophy of success because success is not measured by the title that we won but the effort that we put in to make us a better Winner.

Hardworking ( Go Extra Mile )

Kimura believed that to be better than his competition, he would need to train harder than them. In his book, “My Judo,” Kimura describes how he initially performed 300 pushups a day and trained for three hours a day, which was typical for a skilled judoka. After his losses in 1935, he began to train twice as hard, up to 600 pushups and six hours a day. After winning his first All Japan Judo Championship, he realized that others would now train twice as hard to catch him. He decided that he would now train three times as hard, up to 1,000 pushups and up to nine hours a day. He called this San Bai Ro Rioku, or triple effort.

Most people when they the get better they will start to train lesser but not for Kimura as the further he goes in his life the more harder and the more he train in his life.

He is willing to give all his heart , soul and mind to go all out to achieved his goals and dreams in his life. He is willing to work HARDER THAN ANYBODY ELSE ON EARTH TO REACH WHERE HE WANTED TO REACH.

He not only dreaming and wanting it but he train and work as much as he aim for it.

Anybody that can go extra mile in anything that they are doing they will eventually be among the best in whatever they are doing.

So are you willing to sacrifice everything it takes and go extra mile and put in more effort than anybody else on earth to reach and be whatever you wanted to be ?

Maintaining Our Success ( Become A True Winner )

It is way easy to achieve success than maintaining it. It just like it is easy to chase after a girl than maintaining the relationship or even is even way easier to buy a car than to maintain it.

“ Today’s victory is a fluke. I had more stamina than Nakajima simply because I am younger than he is. Could I beat him again? Probably not. I would lose next time.” Before the championship, I wanted to win All Japan Championship just once. But once the dream came true, I did not want to give up the title. I felt like defending the title again and again. I got up from futon, turned on the light, and looked at my body. Neither my height (169cm) nor weight (86kg) is outstanding. There was no guarantee that I could continue to defend the title judging from my body size. I kept on thinking everyday, “I want to become a true winner.” About 10 days after this, I came up with a solid good idea. That is, “San-bai no Do-ryoku (Triple Effort)”. Until then, I practiced about 6 hours a day. I thought practicing twice as much as others would be sufficient since I had heard that others were practicing about 3 hours a day. In reality, however, they had been practicing about 4 hours a day (which I found later). But now I am the champion, others would start to train 6 hours a day to beat me. I could not beat them as long as I trained as hard as others. If my opponents train twice as hard as others, then, I will train 3 times as hard as others, i.e, 9 hours a day. This way, I would gain extra 3 hours a day, and I will do this everyday. The accumulation of these extra hours will become my flesh and blood, that is, my skills and mental power. This will automatically give me real self confidence. If I had this much accumulation, I would be able to fight as usual even if I got sick with fever at 40 degrees centigrade. I practiced “Triple Effort” everyday. “

Kimura started to TRAIN 3 TIMES HARDER AND LONGER THAN ANYBODY to maintain his success. He never treat or take his success lightly.

There a huge difference between being just a winner and a TRUE WINNER.

A winner are those who achieved any particular success but a true WINNER are those who maintain their SUCCESS.

Building Internal Strength

“ Soon after I started “Triple Effort”, information on my rivals started to pour in such as “In Kyoto and Tokyo, tough challengers are studying how to cope with Kimura’s initial attack. They are carefully analyzing Kimura’s favorite techniques to come up with a method for defending against the techniques and countering them”, and “Hirose 5th dan of Osaka has already extended his training hours to 6 hours from 3 hours. Ishikawa 5th dan of Tokyo Police has started training more than 6 hours a day.” Initially I listened to these information with confidence thinking “I will never lose since I have been training more than 9 hours a day.” However, after a while, I started to doubt my self-confidence. In those days, I was interested in Zen. I wanted to reach “the state of no ego”, discover secret judo techniques and throw around tough opponents using the techniques. “

Physically and externally Kimura had train hard and practise enough to be a real CHAMPION. But in life the most important part that require proper training is internal training.

One must develop a strong heart and mind to be a true undisputed Winner.

It is million times way easier to design and fix a Ferrari and Lamborghini external design than to build and develop a good engine. What makes this 2 cars different from the rest is not because of the price or design but it was the speed and strength of their engine.

That apply in this case where to train hard externally is important but what much more important that that is to develop internal and inner strength which is our heart , mind and soul.

Any ordinary people can train or practise as much as you do to gain your external strength , technique , skills and etc but they can hardly practise to develop the internal engine of yourselves which in this world you will be the ONE AND ONLY OWNER OF IT.

“ I first struggled to reach the state of no ego, but soon I lost the force for struggling and forgot about tomorrow’s bout and the fact that I was sitting. Soon after reaching this state, the character of “win” appeared on my mind. But the character soon got superimposed on the character of “loss”. However, my mind was already empty. I did not make any effort to get the character of “win”. I don’t know how much time has elapsed since I started to sit. Suddenly, my whole body became hot as if somebody poured boiling water over me from above the top of my head, and my body started to tremble. I then noticed that the character of “win” was shining at the center of my forehead as if it had been waiting for me to notice its appearance. “I will win tomorrow’s bouts.”

The feeling , aura , charisma , strength and character or WIN only can gain through our inner strength. If we had practise enough to perfect of our external and physical strength then is time to develop our inner heart and mind that we are the true winner.  The power of Self Confidence. The power of Positive Ego. The power of determination , passion , endurance. The power of BELIEF !

When one truly develop the power of their inner strength , confidence , aura and charisma then they will achieved the highest level of any art in any industry or field.

“ I wrote “Championship Victory”, my name and today’s date (the day before the bout) using a brush. To my eyes, tall opponents looked short, and big opponents looked small. An old opponent, who was bigger than I, whom I met recently said to me that I looked big. “

See. When we had train and develop our inner strength well even a tall opponent will looks short and big opponent will look small and even when we are way smaller or weaker than our opponent we will look huge and strong ! THAT IS THE POWER OF INNER STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT !

Continue Learning and Growing Each Day ( New Technique and Training )

“ In judo, when one grabs the opponent’s sleeve or lapel, one uses 4 fingers of each hand extending the thumbs. Whether one pushes or pulls the opponent, without pressing the thumbs hard, one cannot grab firmly and the speed is reduced. Moreover, the opponent can easily cut off your hold on the sleeve or lapel. The 4 fingers generate an inward force, and the thumb creates the opposing force, creating a firm grip. Therefore, not using the thumb goes against the principle of dynamics. Even though I knew the efficacy of using the thumb, it was not easy for me to actually master it. Today, no matter what judo practice or bout I see, I do not see anyone grabbing with 5 fingers, which is disappointing. One day, when I visited Karate Club of Takushoku University to see a karate practice, I noticed that everyone was punching with his thumb over the pointing finger and middle finger. I thought they were all doing so to prevent the thumb from getting jammed on impact. I came to a conclusion that if I practiced Makiwara karate strikes, I would be able to grab with 5 fingers in judo. As soon as I got home, I started Makiwara strikes. After I practiced it everyday for 3 months, I found my hands grabbing my opponent’s dogi firmly with 5 fingers. I discovered many things only after I struck Makiwara. I had thought that those who are trained in judo have strong finger tips, elbow, wrists, and fists. But, when I actually struck the Makiwara, my finger tips, elbow, wrists, and fists all hurt numbingly. Such weak finger tips, elbow, wrists, and fists are useless in pulling the opponent or controlling the opponent using elbows or wrists. I therefore slammed these weak parts onto Makiwara and strengthened them in preparation for bouts. I struck Makiwara with knife hand, backhand, and thrust 4 fingers into a sand box. I did this 1000 times a day. In this way, I developed steel-like strong hands. “

Kimura was a Judo fighter and instead he learn karate not to be a karate fighter but instead he learn it to improve his Judo skill.

We should also be like Kimura learning new tricks , methodology , knowledge and whatever it takes to continue improve ourselves to be better and better day by day even when we are already successful so that we can be even way much more successful.

We should never stop improving and learning until to the day we die.


“I received a head cracking impact. I experienced a tremendous ear ringing, and got momentarily unconscious. I received a head butt on my left temple. It was a head butt from a side. I had thought that all the head butts would come from front. I never knew a side head butt. “I cannot lose here. I must win even if I may die”, I thought. Driven by this willpower, I tried to find a way to fight back.”

Kimura almost went unconscious in a match but his inner strength , endurance , ego and will power is strong.

In any condition he never fail to try a way to FIGHT BACK.



Never ever give up. Willing to DIE AND DO ANYTHING IT TAKES TO FIGHT BACK !





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One Response to “SYA The Art of Success 1 – Learn From Masahiko Kimura”

  1. Good read :)
    But fighting spirit is important, but without knowing what you are fighting for, it is useless.
    However there is no real way to develop passion or purpose.

    Kimura is lucky.
    He already had that.

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