Does Judo and Sambo only teach you physical attributes? -
Written by Douglas Oggelsby

During September, my focus was on interviewing Sambo College Champion Mihiro Isojima. Mihiro Isojima, now 29, has been involved in Sambo, Judo, and Powerlifting for over sixteen years. He was born in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, and now resides in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Meet Mihiro Isojima

Japanese College Champion in Sambo after second year of college.
Black Belt in Judo placed 2nd in the 90kg class in the Japanese Aomori Prefecture.
Powerlifting in University and placed 5th in my category in Japan.
I am the chief personal trainer with Kizuna Personal Gym.                         

Douglas Oggelsby (DO): What social skills have you learned while participating in these sports over the years?

Mihiro Isojima (MI): One of the most significant social skills these sports have taught me is proper etiquette. My lifestyle consists of raising a family and working as a personal trainer; etiquette is so important in Japan. People have complimented me on my posture and manners while meeting with existing and new clients and my superiors. Etiquette is also practiced at home and in different social settings, and it means a lot to my wife and me. I found this to be a difficult task without participating in these sports. I now ensure all of my students learn about etiquette. Sometimes it is a challenge with the younger students, but I continue to reinforce this, and they eventually get it. I have had students come back to me and thank me for being forceful about this etiquette issue. I enjoy going home at night, talking to my wife about this, and knowing I have changed many students' lifestyles.

DO: I understand these sports have prepared you physically to live a healthy lifestyle, but what about mentally?

MI: Yes, Judo, Sambo and Powerlifting allowed me to get physically strong and become a Chief Personal Trainer, but if I did not learn the mental aspects of my sports, I would not be the same trainer. These sports have allowed me to develop a positive mindset that will enable me to take on any challenge. Judo is the foundation for me. Even if something is painful or makes me angry, I can keep calm and make clear, decisive decisions, valuing the mindset I learned through Judo. By thinking positively, your body changes, and your mind and the way you think change for the better.

These sports have allowed me to think positive thoughts and improve my life, and my life is a lot more enjoyable than before I started these activities and weight training.

DO: What about eating? Did you learn some things while participating in these sports?

MI: For sure. One of the things I learned, especially during my powerlifting and weight training, was that people fail because they try too hard. You need to be flexible and follow a plan, but you must also enjoy the process. It is important to understand that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are all essential nutrients for good health. 

You must fully understand that to succeed. Everyone wants to lose weight, so they drastically reduce their intake of carbohydrates and fats, but I have found out the best way to good health is a well-balanced diet and moderate exercise. So, remember, carbohydrates are the energy that powers the body, protein is the material for building muscle, and remember lipids, nutrients necessary to maintain hormonal balance and good skin condition. When I say moderate exercise, I mean it. You do not have to go crazy on a treadmill or an elliptical machine. Walking does the trick. The key is to eat a well-balanced diet that suits your body. 

About lifestyle and how physicality has changed it? An example is being able to walk daily to participate in family events and feel good about yourself. I have young children, so being physically fit has allowed me to carry my children up and down stairs without difficulty. If you fall because you are physically fit, you may be able to grab your hands instantly to prevent any injury. I also walk with my family on weekends and spend time together while at the same time getting my cardio in. 

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