Flips, body slams and arm bars. That is the action of this thrilling Olympic sport that enjoys worldwide popularity (the #1 sport in Japan), and substantial corporate advertising. Despite that, no Hollywood movie has ever been made about it.
Although it looks brutal, judo translates into “gentle way” and was developed by a famous Japanese educator (Jigoro Kano) to teach children character. (The belt system was started with judo one hundred years ago). It stresses respect, honesty, hard work, and mutual benefit of your fellow men.
Jigoro’s Way is the story of how a blue collar fireman used this Japanese tradition to raise his son. Fearful Jimmy would follow him into the firehouse, Jim Sr. pushes his son to excel. Some would argue too hard, but he had no choice. Firefighting is the most dangerous profession in America.
Jimmy Pedro and his wife, Marie (also raise in the judo tradition), both exemplify character. Despite no prospect of money, a broken neck, despite the demands of two jobs each and raising three children, Jimmy and Marie persevered to win the World Championship. They are an inspiration to all.
The screenplay tackles the debate of the role of physical education in a child’s development. It argues that in this world of global competition we can no longer afford to be so isolated. Jimmy may not have made money, but his exposure to cultures beyond Boston made him a far richer man.
This screenplay was a finalist for the 2006 MovieWrites competition. If you are interested in reading it, please contact me at .
Year of Production: 2007
Country: United States