Judo, Golf, Scuba Diving and Personality Fit

As many of my followers know I am quite active within the Victorian Judo scene. I have been involved in Judo on and off since I was about ten. Over that time I have trained, competed and coached with participants ranging from novices through to the sport’s elites.

Over this time I have observed that judoka (those who participate in Judo) are often also active participants in golf and/or scuba diving (as am I). I ask myself why is this? The answer would seem to be reflected in the personalities of those who participate in Judo. Clearly those personality traits are also suited to these other sports and so there is natural attraction to them by judoka.

What are some of these traits?

  1. Sociability – Although judo when competing is a one on one sport, most judoka attend training in the dojo regularly once or twice a week (unless you are an Olympic elite of course!). Like any sports club there is much social interaction on and off the mat. Unlike many other martial arts, you have to have others to practice with. Many lifelong friends are made in dojos.Scuba diving and golf are similar; a diver may spend all day out on a boat with other divers, and only spend a couple of hours actually in the water. It’s a highly social sport. Golfers often spend a lot of time in the clubrooms mixing it with other golfers after nine or 18 holes as well.
  1. Self Discipline – to perfect a movement or throw in Judo, disciplined repetitive movement is utilised (uchi-komi). Golfers likewise repetitively practice their swings to get them right. You only have to visit a driving range to see this in action.
  2. Competitiveness – In competition, judoka are naturally wanting to win, but as a judoka ages (I write from experience here) they focus more on participating, sharing their knowledge and fitness rather than the competition itself. The same also applies to golfers generally. Scuba diving is not generally a competitive activity, but all three sports keep active members well into their later years.
  3. PerfectionismJudoka continually strive to make their movements perfect. We have a kata (form) for all aspects of the sport. As we progress through higher Dan (black belt) grades we strive to ensure our kata continuously gets closer to the classical forms. Golfers do this with their swing and putting and how close they get to par. Divers do this through parallel activities such as underwater photography and getting the compositions etc right.

The upshot of all this is clearly we migrate to activities and roles that suit our personalities. In my business life I am constantly evaluating individuals for roles based on personality fit for the role and the employer’s culture. If it’s not right they won’t enjoy the role, be successful and stay. Likewise, Judo doesn’t suit some people. As with all sports I’ve seen many people try it for a few weeks and choose not to continue with it as it’s not “them”, and that’s cool. But when you select your employees, you can’t afford the trial and error that goes on in the dojo.

Mindset is a professional sourcing and selection business. If you need help matching personalities to roles, talk to us, it’s what we do.

By Aaron Dodd, Shodan
Operations Director

Views: 463

Comment by Valentino Martinez on March 30, 2011 at 12:37am



I agree with your alignment of "traits" that can define a professional in the business of recruitment.


Having a broad array of interests of work and play open the door for the applications of sociability, self-discipline, competitiveness and pursuing perfection. 


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