How I threw depression for Ippon!




When I was asked to write a piece of work for the launch of the new website, I genuinely had no idea what to write about. Sure, I could write about Judo. However, with world events as they are, I was sure that I could write something that could have a positive impact and do more help to you – the reader.  

My name is Callum and I have been extremely fortunate to have a career based around coaching Judo for for the past 17 years. Very blessed to have a lovely house, 3 wonderful children and the most supportive and loving wife.  
Until the age of 20 I was a competitive player. Coming up against opponents sometimes bigger, stronger and more agile than myself.  If you are a judoka then you know what I mean; I loved the mental and physical chess match.
Roughly at the age of 24 I encountered my biggest competition so far. Little did I know that this competitor wouldn’t just stay for a 4 minute fight but continue to reappear for the next 12 years. The battle against depression dwarfs any competitive judo fight I ever had in my Judo career.  If sharing my story helps just one other person it will have been worth it.

Depression has a very unique way of making you feel alone.

I could share several battle stories around depression, but I won’t!  I will however share the most important one: How I turned it to my advantage!

Judo is all about using your opponents weight and momentum against them. I decided to do the same with depression.  
I got curious. If the brain can take you to depth of depression, then it can surely also take you to happiness and gratitude.  

Photographed by Callum Woods

The same as learning a Judo technique, I had to learn new skills and repeat those skills every day to improve.

Here are a few things I did 
1. Practise gratitude daily 
2. Live my life in line with what I value 
3. Exercise  
4. Challenge beliefs holding me back. 
Depression certainly has much less of an impact on my life that it did a few years ago. However, I still remain curious and that is why at the start of lockdown I enrolled in a Diploma in Transformational Coaching.   

The same as learning a Judo technique, I had to learn new skills and repeat those skills every day to improve.”

With the skills learned I hope to be able to help people with their mindset and improve their overall well-being.

I will also be sharing hints and tips across the Destination Judo social media channels to take a more holistic approach for our members and their families.  

Depression has a very unique way of making your feel alone. I’m here to tell you you are not alone. The battle can be long and hard, but it CAN BE WON – and it is worth the fight. 

Reach out if you need to.

With love,  

In the meantime you are more than welcome to follow on my personal coaching channels: