What can you do when you’ve got a sedentary job? Well, you got to even it out with an active lifestyle. For some, this means commuting by bike, for others dancing. Cristi found the balance in judo. We asked him about judo and the competitions he participated in but ended up discussing the similarities between martial arts and “IT Arts”.
Why are martial arts so attractive to some?
We are all different, so I can only speak from my experience and from what I learned from others. Psychologists say that we are born with a certain level of aggression that we, as conscious beings, try to alleviate. Martial arts are a great way to discipline and channel physical aggression. Additionally, from a certain level, practitioners are guided by martial arts towards balance and spiritual fulfillment.
How and why did you start to practice judo?
It happened after a basketball game with my colleagues, Mishu challenged me for wrestling. Judo is the only fighting-like sport practiced in Oradea at veterans level. Here I found a large family of judo players from all professional spheres bound by a special spirit of camaraderie. Judo helps me relieve the stress I accumulate at the office. After training, I feel at ease both physically and mentally. I’m also trying to become a model for my kid, who also practices judo.
Why do you participate in judo competitions?
Of course, you can practice martial arts without participating in competitions. I see competitions as a kind of check-points. They motivate me as nothing else could.
You recently returned with a bronze medal from Hungary’s judo old-boys internationals. How was the tournament experience?
This year’s Hungarian Open has surpassed its 10th edition, and for a good reason! The Budapest Airport is near and the impeccable organization encourages more and more judo players to compete. This year, 18 countries participated. Practically, the whole former Habsburg Empire, plus Scandinavia, Turkey, and Russia. I also met Romanian competitors established in Spain and Belgium. Even Asia was represented by Japan and Sri Lanka. For me, it was a strong competition, and I am satisfied with the 3rd place (out of the 8 competitors) in my 73 kg category.
By the way, I was quite impressed with the cultural life of Százhalombatta, a town near Budapest that hosted the National Music, Dance, and Folk Choreography Festival in the same weekend. The agile and vibrant dances have reminded me of the quick reflexes and the flexibility you should have in martial arts.
You said that it was a strong competition…
Sensei Prof. Alexandru Chirila, one of the most reputable Romanian judoka, founder of the Kyokushin karate movement in Romania, considers the contest as one of the strongest on the Continent. I echo his sentiment. I’ve had the opportunity to be at the stands of the World Seniors Championship in Birmingham back in 1999, and I’ve seen other judo competitions, so I have a basis of comparison.
I will have my orange belt exam in May, while more than 90% of the contestants had the black belt, so for me, this further increased the competitivity of the event.
You picked an interesting title for this interview. Are IT and martial arts a good match?
For sure! My colleagues are practicing a whole range of martial arts. Both on the tatami and in front of the computer, you need the same abilities: concentration, mental strength, distributive attention, adaptability, reaction speed, coping with tense moments, and even with success! OK, they are different domains, but it can be just as satisfying to climb a podium, as to deliver good quality and useful applications to clients and, ultimately, to society.
What are your future plans?
I’ve got my eyes on two competitions: the World Championships in Marrakech and the European Championship in Mallorca. I’ll see if I can attend to both. Also, I would like to initiate my colleagues and their children in the art of judo. I’m confident that we’ll find a space for this in the new Qubiz office campus in Oradea.