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My façade it is ‘hard as nails’, and I survive that way.
but when folk get to know me well, it’s then, I hear them say.
That really I’m a softy and they really don’t see why
martial arts became the  sport my needs did satisfy.

Judo is the sport I chose and always loved to play,
a martial art?... you’ve  got it wrong, it is ‘The Gentle Way’.
For though in contest you must win the glory to be found.
most of the time, just like in life, you struggle on the  ground.

You fight from there or get back up, both ways you stand to win,
enjoying trying to compete, although it can be grim.
A hold, a strangle, lock or thrown, just take it with a grin,
but keep alert, ignore the pain and seek the chance from him.

To be thrown hard and love your ‘foe’ for what he taught you then,
to stand back up and laugh and plead, “Please show me that again!”
To know that when you lose a game to someone in his prime,
It’s just the lesson that you’ll need, to make you win next time.

Yes, I love  this ‘Gentle Art’ that sometimes can be rough
and although  I’m getting older and it sometimes can be tough.
I pass on skills and attitude to keep the youngsters bold
and learn defeat and sometimes pain will help their skills enfold.

With injuries and aching bones I try to give my all,
I used to bounce around the mat but now I barely crawl.
But still I I find this ‘Gentle Way’ will always be my call
for only Judo shows the way to rise from every fall!

Ivor G Davies

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