Defence is more crucial than attack...
I have had a love for playing and exercising since childhood. In my schooldays, I got ample opportunities to play various games on the playground that helped me in develop a healthy body. But after reaching my 20s, I was so immersed in business that I couldn't spare time even for regular workout. This problem was troubling me. In that era, martial arts movies had captured the young generation's mind. And I was no exception. Fascinated by the Kung Fu techniques displayed by heroes like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, I also decided to join a Karate class. Due to daily workout, I had already developed a lean and muscular body, and I desired to supplement it with self-defence techniques.
I soon found a gymnasium in Dubai where, apart from regular workout, they taught various techniques such as Judo, Karate, Kick boxing, etc. I enthusiastically enrolled for the Karate class and visited the chief instructor of the gymnasium. He casually asked my background, daily routine and the motive behind joining the class. Upon learning that I was in business, he thought for a moment and advised me: "Young man! Please don't mind if I suggest a different course for you. I think you better opt for a Judo class. Judo is a self-defence technique where you need not attack the opponent with full vigour. Instead you can overpower him with strategic manoeuvres. Since you are a businessman, mastering Judo will also benefit you in your profession. Remember my words - A good defence is more crucial than attack."
I was surprised. Although he had no experience of business, his outlook was unmistakeable. I followed his advice and learnt every Judo technique. I followed the same strategy in business. I never envied anyone, never got involved in competition and never took an aggressive stand. Instead I concentrated on keeping all the necessary permits, documents and accounts of my business and brand up to date, thus safeguarding my castle. It helped me enormously.
Once, our marketing staff reported that a malicious competitor was copying our wrappers and distributing counterfeit products in the market. I pacified my employees and prohibited them from taking an aggressive stand. Instead, I used a manoeuvring strategy that I had learnt in my Judo class. We collected evidence and legal documents first, hired a corporate lawyer, and only then, I dragged the culprit to the court to file a case against him. As he was cornered from all sides, he began imploring to us for a pardon, but the stringent law didn't spare him from and he had to pay a hefty fine, besides losing his reputation forever.
How true is a quote by Barry Eisler, a best-selling American novelist. He says: "The two most important things to do for self-defence are not to take a martial arts class or get a gun, but to think like the opposition and know where you're most at risk."
Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.
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