The first thing you learn in practically all Asian Martial Arts is how to bow - something that is foreign to most other activities in western life.
Why is this important?
Because it teaches respect. Something that is precious and often all too rare today. As well as all too often too absent from most sports.
In most forms of Martial Arts the second things you are taught is how to kick, punch or grapple. But in Judo the second thing you learn is how to fall and how to get up from that fall. Knowing how to fall is an extremely valuable asset in life.
If you know how to fall, not only do you know how to get up from being thrown on the mat but you need never be concerned about falling in your every day life. I don't know if you can imagine the difference it makes to your willingness to tackle many tasks, when you are not concerned about falling.
It is often a strange sight to none Judo players, to see students breaking out in laughter after a very hard fall.
I've watched people fall and seriously hurt themselves, all because they do not know how to fall.
Yet a Judo player does not shy away from it. More than that, the same fall that would seriously hurt someone else is taken in the stride of a Judo player.
I have had many students come to me with stories of how knowing how to fall has saved their lives. Knowing how to fall is a metaphor for life. There are many things in life that will throw you. You can try and overcome this by being better than everybody else. But sooner or later you will be beaten and you need to know how to get up and recover from the fall.
There are many things that you can learn from Judo but respect and knowing how to fall are the single most important and that's what makes Judo unique.