In this article, we engage in a discussion with Wee-Oon, a dedicated friend and advocate of Aikido Shudokan for the past forty years. In the last three years, Wee-Oon has wholeheartedly embraced and integrated the BUDO philosophy into the daily framework and functions of their corporate realm, yielding favourable results.

Over the course of the past three decades, multitude of corporate strategies have been conceived and endorsed by influential executives, management teams, CEOs, boards of directors, and prominent figures spanning various industries. These individuals bear the crucial responsibility of formulating the overarching direction and objectives for their respective organisations. In recent times, external consultants, frequently engaged through corporate mentorship and leadership coaching initiatives, have also been brought in to contribute their expertise and guidance to the development of corporate strategies.

AikidoAdmin (Interviewer): Thank you for sharing your insights, Wee-Oon. It’s fascinating how you’ve integrated BUDO philosophy into your corporate strategy. Can you elaborate more on how this mindset shift has positively impacted your organisation over the past few years?

Wee-Oon: Of course. Incorporating BUDO into our corporate strategy has been transformative. It’s not just about physical martial arts; it’s a holistic approach that focuses on discipline, respect, humility, and personal growth. In essence, it’s about cultivating a mindset of continuous improvement.

Since we adopted this approach, we’ve noticed significant improvements in several areas.

Firstly, in market analysis, we’ve become more adept at understanding and responding to market dynamics. BUDO’s emphasis on adaptability and improvisation has been invaluable, especially in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, its aftermath, and any potential future crisis.

Secondly, in competitive intelligence, BUDO has taught us to assess our competitors strategically, much like a martial artist studying their opponent’s moves. This has helped us stay ahead of the game and make informed decisions.

Lastly, in strategic planning, BUDO’s focus on discipline has improved our planning processes, making them more rigorous and effective. It has also helped us overcome obstacles that might have otherwise hindered our growth.

So, in summary, BUDO has not only changed our corporate mindset but has also led to tangible improvements especially in the 3 areas I just mentioned.

AikidoAdmin (Interviewer): That’s impressive, Wee-Oon. It’s evident that BUDO has had a profound impact on your organisation. Can you share a bit more about how it has influenced your approach to challenges, both personally and in the business world, and was there a difference between the two?

Wee-Oon: Certainly. BUDO’s influence goes beyond just corporate strategy; it’s about approaching challenges with the right mindset. As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about adaptability and dealing with life’s challenges.

In the face of adversity, BUDO has taught us to improvise and adapt, much like a martial artist does in a confrontation. Not everyone can be a champion, but everyone can learn to be the best version of themselves and overcome life’s challenges. BUDO has provided us with a mental framework for this journey, and this framework is applied to both personal and business aspects.

AikidoAdmin (Interviewer): It’s interesting how you draw parallels between martial arts and business challenges. Can you share more about your mentor, Joe Thambu Shihan, and how his guidance has influenced your journey with BUDO?

Wee-Oon: Joe Thambu Shihan has been an extraordinary mentor and teacher for us. With his guidance, we’ve not only enhanced our emotional intelligence but have also become stronger individuals, both physically and mentally, as well as emotionally and spiritually. His unwavering commitment to the traditional teachings of Aikido and his preservation of its simplest yet highly effective form has been inspiring.

Joe Thambu Shihan’s influence has inspired, and encouraged us to strive for excellence and authenticity. He has demonstrated to us that sometimes the simplest approach, regardless of how you label it, can have the most significant individual impact, and this positivity resonates throughout our organisation.

AikidoAdmin (Interviewer): Your journey with BUDO and the guidance of Joe Thambu Shihan are truly remarkable. Can you expand on the concept of ‘Being’ and how it relates to both business and Aikido?

Wee-Oon: Certainly. “The concept of ‘Being’ holds significance in both business and Aikido. In the business context, it pertains to cultivating an authentic presence within the corporate or business realm. This entails assimilating the knowledge and wisdom imparted by our mentors and internalising it. Achieving continuous steady growth through the application of this inherited wisdom, (which is acquired through diverse tools and training), is a remarkable achievement. Wisdom is the blueprint and it takes time to implement, and what takes time to be passed down, is not easily forgotten! This embodiment of ‘Being’ influenced by BUDO principles has proven to be an invaluable component in our version of corporate strategy.

Business, like Aikido, is not a race; it’s a journey. Both require essential traits and attitudes, such as discipline, adaptability, and a dedication to ongoing commitment. BUDO has helped us instil these qualities into our corporate culture, and amplifying the positive effects throughout our organisation.

AikidoAdmin (Interviewer): Thank you for sharing these valuable insights, Wee-Oon. It’s clear that BUDO philosophy has had a profound impact on your organisation, fostering a mindset of positive changes and adaptability. We appreciate your time and perspective on this unique approach to corporate strategy.

Wee-Oon: You’re welcome. It’s been a pleasure sharing our journey, and I hope it inspires others to explore the transformative power of BUDO in their own lives and business activities.

The book, “BUDO, ‘The Art of Being,’ is available for everyone who is interested, not just in the ‘Way’ of martial arts, but also for anyone seeking to develop their personal or entrepreneurial character through their chosen path in life.”


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