I’ve been practicing judo since I was a little kid. Thirteen years ago, I joined a club called Judo Clube Total, which promotes inclusivity and was created for anyone who wants to practice, including people with disabilities.
As a defensive martial art, judo has helped me learn how to manage my life with diplomacy—how to solve challenges in constructive ways, without ‘hurting’ others. Those skills are transferable, helping me act more empathetically toward others at work and in everyday life.
I’ve found my large judo family has also helped deepen my knowledge. I learn from my training partners—some who have invested more in the judo theorical part and others who more deeply rely on their senses when fighting. It creates a different way to compete and helps us all increase our learnings and experiences, especially when working together.—José Pedro Ramos, shown with Miguel Vieira, the first judoka to represent Portugal in the Paralympic Games (Rio 2016).