Summer break was about to start, and all the students in Daisan Junior High were excited, especially one quiet guy, who sat in the back of the classroom. He excited the most. His name was Ryu Kanemoto, the middle school judo champion of Japan. He became champion when he was in 7th grade, and this year, he had a tournament in America. Not just any tournament: it’s the world championships. He was very excited about it, however, he had to spend most of his summer break in America, so his friends were making plans for the summer without Ryu. He felt lonely, but this was the most important event for him in his entire life.
So Ryu went to Kokushikan University to practice and to get ready to take on the world. Ryu was having a hard time getting used to the intense practices, but he had become much stronger than the day he started his practice at the university. On the last day of practice, an incident occurred. Ryu’s right arm broke. It happened when a 100 kg high schooler accidentally rolled over his right arm when they were sparring.
He was shocked and panicked. The doctor said that it will take about a month for his arm to heal, but the tournament was going to start in 10 days. But he couldn’t just quit. Entering the world tournament was his dream since elementary school, and he was able to make it this far thanks to all the people who supported him. Running away wasn’t an option.
The day Ryu had to go to America finally came, and he got to ride first class, thanks to his sponsor. He never rode on an airplane for 14 hours straight, so he was a little tired. Fortunately, the day he arrived was only the opening ceremony, so the actual tournament starts the tomorrow. In junior high Ryu was in the 66 kilogram class, but he had to enter the open-weight class for the world tournament. There were a lot of people who weighed far more than him, but that meant nothing to him. He just couldn’t wait for his match to start the next day.
So the big day that Ryu had been dreaming of came. It seemed that his match was the opening match of the tournament. He finished all the matches in less than a minute, and made it to the finals.
Before the finals, his arm began to hurt again. The final match started. For the first two minutes he endured the pain, but the next moment, his right arm wouldn’t move. The referee stopped the match, and the doctors came to give first aid treatment. “I didn’t want to say this, but it’s better for you to forfeit the match,” said the referee. Ryu’s right arm was so helpless that first aid treatment wasn’t enough.
Then he noticed someone up in the bleachers. It was his friends, who he thought went on a vacation and ditched him, rooting for him. He was happy. He thought he was abandoned. And now he realized that he wasn’t fighting alone. “No, I will continue the match without my right arm,” said Ryu. Everyone was watching his match. No one has ever seen someone doing judo only with his left arm. And when he noticed, everyone in the stadium was rooting for him.
The five minutes match time was up, so the match was extended. If the match was extended, the first one to score in a point wins. Ryu wanted to end it quick. He did some of the best techniques consecutively, and he was able to throw his opponent on his back. The crowed roared in excitement, and so did his friends. Ryu won the match.
When the tournament finished, his friends leaped on him. He asked about the vacation that they were talking about in school, and it turned out it that it was a vacation to America to go see Ryu win the title of World Champion.