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The Little Mouse


The Little Mouse

By Frances Dea

My life has changed significantly because of Judo. As a
woman I have learned, through Judo, to trust the way my
body moves and to be aggressive in order to accomplish my
goals. I have been amazed by the changes I have gone
through; getting accustomed to being pounded through the
mat by two hundred pound guys who threw me all over the
place and choked me until I turned blue. I went from
being a little mouse who feared the thought of even
asking for a piece of cheese to an assertive and
confident person who would not hesitate to demand a
bigger and better slice of cheese if the need arose.

I have gone through killer workouts, which are actually a
test for the mind. I have been taught to strive for my
limits and after having found these limits, to go even
further. In the beginning my mind fought me every step of
the way, saying "Oh no, can’t do it anymore…
…can’t go on…please stop the torture!" But
at some point after doing randori for what felt like
hours-on-end and God knows how much uchikomi, my mind
stopped making these weakening remarks. Instead it
ignored the pain of countless repiti- tions and cheered
me on by saying "Hey, let’s do a little bit more…it’s
not so bad…almost there." My body was actually
starting to become an even better friend, because
eventually it began obeying me and my Sensei; keeping up
with his demands and being able to do just a wee bit more
with every practice.

It’s actually quite remarkable because the changes didn’t
just stop there. I have started to feel better about
myself. I am happy with who I am be- coming and with my
accomplishments. My new found confidence and
assertiveness has quickly, yet silently trickled into my
personal life. I’ve found the courage to begin resisting
others who try to push me around. I’ve developed the
power to say no. All of my life I have had great
difficulty in standing up for myself. I would always say
okay to anyone who asked something of me, even to the
point of letting that person take advantage of me.
However, being thrown around a dozen times and having to
fight for a grip when practicing Judo, did something to
me. It gave me an inner strength, a sense of humility and

Now I can respect those who truly deserve it while
resisting those who try to take advantage of me. Judo has
given me the passion to strive to improve myself, both
mentally and physically. It has helped me become a better