Kosei Inoue: ‘Judo is similar to life itself; you get thrown and you stand up again’
(CNN)In Japan, where judo is more than just a sport, Kosei Inoue is no ordinary athlete.
Essentially unbeatable between 1999 and 2003, the half-heavyweight judoka won three world titles and Olympic gold, placing him among the greatest of all time.
Now head coach of the Japanese team, the 39-year-old is passing on his secrets to the next generation, proving just as successful off the tatami as he was on it during a stellar 10-year career at the top.
“We look at judo not only as a sport but as a ‘budo,’ or martial way,” Inoue tells CNN.
“There is the competition — we come to a World Championships and aim to win a gold medal — but there is something far bigger behind this.
“By practicing judo every day, it really helps you win in life in general. In judo, you always get thrown and you always have to stand up. It’s very similar to life itself.”