For the first time the World Championships & The Olympic Games are in the same year and almost within a month of each other. Due to COVID-19 with the Olympics being postponed, the IJF decided that it will continue to run the World Championships in order to keep the World Tour on schedule. Thus creating an interesting environment for Olympic Team selection as this World Championships will have an impact on the World Ranking List and ultimately the seeding for the Olympics.
With 711 total athletes from 133 countries this will for sure to be an exciting event.
The 2021 World Championships are being held in Hungary and will start Sunday, June 6th and run through the 12th. Leading the team will be Justin Flores.
Team USA will be sending the following athletes to compete in Hungary.
Hatashita Sports understands that gyms across the country have been devestated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With other industries getting relief, gyms and martial arts centers are being left behind. Join the coalition to help support gyms and martial arts centers!
A little bit about the GYMS Act:
On February 5, 2021, U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)filed the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMS) Act(H.R. 890) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacting health and fitness facilities around the country. Most of Congress's previous economic relief packages have either left out or not really helped the fitness industry.
If passed, the GYMS Act will create a $30 billion fund to provide grants to affected businesses in the health and fitness industry. The fund would cap initial grant amounts at 45% of the facility’s 2019 revenue—or $20 million, whichever is less. Health and fitness businesses considered severely impacted—with revenues of only 33% or less in the most recent quarter as compared to 2019—would be eligible for a supplemental grant, of up to 25% of their initial grant. The most an eligible business and its affiliates could receive is $25 million.
A few expenses the grant would cover include:
rent or mortgage payments, including interest,
interest on debt accrued before February 15, 2020,
payments required for insurance on any insurance policy,
costs required under any State, local, or Federal law or guideline related to social distancing,
Learn more about the GYMS Act and stay up-to-date on how the efforts to pass the relief bill are going by visitingthe IHRSA dashboard.
Pick up the phone, send an email or write a letter - do all three! But if we can get enough support across the country, gyms and martial arts schools can get the support they need to surive!
If every school owner & practicioner can contact their local representative(s), we can do this! Here is a pre-written draft message you can send to your students!
Team USA scored two 7th Place finishes this past weekend in Tbilisi! Colton Brown (-90kg) and Angelica Delgado (-52kg) both went 2-2 and earning some valuable points in the Tokyo Olympic Qualification.
Host nation Georgia finished first earning 9 medals followed by Canada and Mongolia.
The 2021 TBILISI GRAND SLAM is this weekend! The draws have been completed and we are excited to see World Judo continue.
A total of 465 judokas from all over the world have made the trip, divided almost equally between men and women, with 253 males and 212 females.
One big thing to note is that the French Team was forced to pull out due to a postive COVID-19 case. This means two reigning World Champions (and other superstars) will not be on the mat clearing the path for someone else to shine!
Team USA has 9 athletes stepping on the tatami to compete.
The third IJF event for 2021 has come to an end. With over 500 competitors from 71 different countries, it was a nice sight to see in terms of "normal". Plus there was a lot of exciting judo!
"In just a few weeks, the world circuit will stop in Tbilisi, Georgia, before Antalya in Turkey and Kazan in Russia and at the beginning of June the International Judo Federation will organise its world championship in Budapest, Hungary. If all eyes are already on the Tokyo Games, the events of the World Judo Tour, by the summer, will attract the attention of judo fans from every continent." - International Judo Federation
Japan dominated the Tashkent Grand Slam with all 11 athletes earning medals. Nine golds, one silver & one bronze for Team JPN. Absolutely astounding and possibly expected if you've been following the team but at times felt as if they were still finding their flow/rhythym which can be expected given the circumstances. Host country Uzbekistan was unable to climb to the top of the podium but they earned two silvers and four bronzes the Uzbekistan Judo Team can be satisfied with this grand slam.
Team USA had some trouble making headway this event. No doubt the restrictions around the country are making it difficult to properly prepare plus having zero domestic events and warm up events are clearly taking a toll. However, the goal is Tokyo and it's important that Team USA can reflect on Tashkent, regroup and move forward to achieve the ultimate success at the Olympic Games.
The 2021 Tashkent Grand Slam is this weekend! Team USA is currently in quarantine awaiting the draw to continue to earn points towards the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. While you will see no fans in the stands and masks worn by officials and coaches, you will see some of the highest level judo in the world step up and compete!
According to IJF.org, there are 8 things to look out for:
Reigning World Champion Abe Uta from JPN is making a return to the World Judo Tour after the last few months off in the Women's -52kg division
A possible rematch between Saeid Mollaei of MGL and home player Sharofiddin Boltaboev UZB - they had an amazing stand off in Tel-Aviv, will they meet again?
Serbia is still looking to earn their spot at -48kg in the 2021 Olympics!
Heavyweight Kokoro Kageura was able to overcome Teddy Riner at the 2020 Paris Grand Slam, will he continue to dominate the division?
Will Ilias Illiadis continue to lead Team UZB to success and the medal stands? In Tel Aviv they earned a gold medal, can their success continue?
Miklos Ungvari is 40 years old and looking for his fifth Olympic qualification, which would be an amazing achievement for the Hungarian judoka.
While eyes are on Toyko 2020, we will see a ton of up and coming athletes to get their feet wet in international competition. Check out teams from Ukraine, Italy, Russia and Finland.
Team JPN has 11 athletes competing, how will they fair for medals this event?
Team USA will be sending 10 athletes to compete. Most looking to lock in their spots for the 2021 Olympics or at least make some headway to be able to make the team this Summer.
Be sure to log on to watch and support Team USA Judo!
When you’re aiming to get some kuzushi, you pull with your hands. However, when all you want is to get some form of reaction from uke, you don’t pull but rather, snap with your hands. In top-level competition you see a lot of players constantly snapping their hands, as well as doing all kinds of feints with the heads, hips and legs in order to elicit a reaction from uke. Snapping with the hands is a key part of that effort.
There's tremendous buzz about the upcoming Maruyama vs Abe battle for a spot on the Olympic team. If you want to watch it, here's thelink to the livestream(it'll be at 3pm Japan time, Sunday).
Japan's "good problem" of having more than one excellent player in a category isn't restricted to the -66kg division. At -60kg, they also have two incredible players in the form of Takato and Nagayama. And at -73kg, there's Ono and Hashimoto. It's also not limited to the men's division. At -52kg, there's Uta Abe and Shishime.
But in all those other categories, the superior player is clearer. Nagayama is absolutely world class (and he has beaten Takato before) but he's a double World Bronze Medalist while Takato is a triple World Champion.
The gap between Hashimoto and Ono is relatively smaller, and both have shown an ability to beat anyone in the world. But while Hashimoto is a World and Asian Champion (held every year), Ono is an Olympic, triple World and Asian Games Champion (held every four years).
Shishime is a World Champion and World Silver Medalist while Uta Abe is a double World Champion. On that basis, they seem pretty close. But a deeper dive into their respective stats will provide clearer insight on who is the one with more potential. In the past four years, Abe has lost only once (to Amandine Buchard of France). In the same time period, Shishime has lost to Krasniqi (KOS), Kelmendi (KOS), Buchard (FRA) and to Abe (not once, not twice but five times!).
Crucially, Abe has beaten Kelmendi, the defending Olympic champion. That alone probably makes her the obvious choice for Japan.
On paper, Hifumi Abe is superior to Maruyama. Abe has two World titles and nine IJF World Tour golds while Maruyama has a World title and five IJF World Tour golds. In terms of results, Abe has a more impressive record. A scrutiny of their stats however makes it harder to decide who is actually more likely to win gold at the Olympics.
Both seem to be hard for international players to beat. In the past four years, Abe has lost only four times (once to Lombardo of Italy, once to a Mongolian and twice to Maruyama). In the same time frame, Maruyama has lost five times (three times to An Baul of South Korea and twice to Abe).
So, as you can see, there is hardly any gap between them in terms of their ability to win internationally. While it might be easy to conclude that Maruyama seems to have a bogeyman in An Baul, it should be pointed out that he has actually beaten An twice.
As for Abe, there are signs that he has difficulty dealing with Italy's Lombardo. Although technically he has lost to the Italian only once (in the 2019 Paris Grand Slam), most observers feel he had lost to Lombardo in the 2019 Tokyo World Championships and was only saved by a dubious judges' decision.
It's worth noting that it's 2:2 for Abe and Maruyama when it comes to their international battles with each other.
If you were to ask most judo fans and commentators whether the choices of Takato, Ono and Uta Abe were the right ones, you'd probably get a chorus of agreement. But ask them who would be a better pick, Abe or Maruyama, and you will surely get very deeply divided answers.
Maruyama has an unbelievable uchimata but Abe has an unreal morote-seoi-nage. A play-off is probably the fairest way to decide who gets to be on the Olympic team. But should it be just one match to decide this? Perhaps the best of three matches would be a better way.
This, in fact, is the format that Judo Canada will be taking to resolve their "good problem" of having to choose between Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait. They will battle it out, in a yet-to-be-determined date, over three matches.
In judo, sometimes luck (good or bad) can decide a match. Anything can happen in one bout, especially when it involves two very evenly-matched players. When you have the best of three, you are better able to mitigate the role of luck. If a player can beat the other one at least two times (or perhaps all three times), you can feel confident that he is the right one to be selected.
Three matches will also make it more exciting for the audience. I'm sure if you did a poll of judo fans asked whether they would prefer one or three matches, the answer would overwhelmingly be the latter. But one match is all we'll get.
So, don't miss it. Be sure to tune in on the livestream on Sunday 3pm, Japan time.
Olympic Medalist & World Judo Champion Jimmy Pedro & Olympic Medalist & BJJ Black Belt Travis Stevens have teamed up to bring you the AMERICAN JUDO SYSTEM. The American Judo System is more than just technique breakdowns, it is a fully realized system on how to improve your judo and elevate your understanding and knowledge of the sport itself.
Ultimately, the American Judo System is designed to help you win more matches easily with all of the tools you need on one platform. Decades of judo experience and proven methods of success are at your finger tips in this digital platform.
Right now, you can get access to SIX FREE TECHNIQUES just register for an account on USAJudo.com and get ready to elevate your judo!
A few weeks ago, the International Judo Federation announced the imminent return of the World Judo Tour, which has been at a standstill since the start of the global health crisis linked to Covid-19. Today, we are delighted to confirm the holding of the Grand Slam Hungary which will take place, as planned, at the end of October 2020 (23-25), in the beautiful capital of Hungary, Budapest.
IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, said: “It is an historic moment for world judo and for sport.
According to the IJF, the 2020 competition season will begin in October with the
Budapest Grand Slam and will be followed by the Tokyo Grand Slam in December. The World Judo Masters will be held at the beginning of 2021 in Doha, Qatar.
While this is a huge step towards the "new normal", the IJF is committed to the safety of the athletes, coaches, and officials.
"The health of our judo family is of the utmost importance and we will ensure that the local and global health situations will be taken into careful consideration in the planning of each event, with more details to be given in the coming weeks." - IJF Statement
Joint Statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning (March 24, 2020) to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
They were joined by Mori Yoshiro, the President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee; the Olympic Minister, Hashimoto Seiko; the Governor of Tokyo, Koike Yuriko; the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, John Coates; IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper; and the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi.
President Bach and Prime Minister Abe expressed their shared concern about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games.
In a very friendly and constructive meeting, the two leaders praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against COVID-19.
The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is "accelerating". There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
With everything that is going on, it is easy to lose focus and not take care of ourselves during such a stressful time. Hatashita Sports has compiled a list of things you can do at home to stay healthy mentally and physically.
NO EQUIPMENT REQUIRED - Just a few ideas...
Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, Squats & Timed Planks
Simple Yoga Poses for Stretching
Jogging In Place
Footsweep Drills / Movements
Here are some excellent "At-Home" Training Exercises from Olympic Silver Medalist Travis Stevens
Notice how Travis trains BOTH sides during his at-home training. Travis is a right-sided player, but it's important that we practice both sides just like we would in a regular lifting / stretching workout.
Also, here are some more "At-Home" training exercises and drills you can do without any equipment:
AAre you training at home? Be sure to share your workout journey with us on Instagram - @hatashitasportsjudo
We are teaming up with FUJI Sports/Hatashita Sports, FUJI Mats, BJJ Fanatics, and Judo Fanatics to give back to the community! We’re giving away a 10’ x 10’ premium home tatami kit from FUJI Mats to 1 winner. Shipped right to your door for FREE - over $1,500 in value. Here’s how to enter:
"During an extraordinary meeting of the International Judo Federation Executive Committee organized today about the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, the following three decisions have been unanimously voted to guaranty the safety of the whole judo family as well as the fairness of the sport:
The Olympic qualification period will be extended until 30th June 2020
The Continental Championships planned in the period until 30th April 2020 will be postponed
All Cadet and Junior events are also canceled until 30th April 2020
We will inform you if there are any changes or updates."
"In light of the continuous new developments in the COVID-19 crisis and the deterioration of the situation in many countries, traveling has become more and riskier, and so have become any public gatherings.
We are in the unfortunate position where we must take a drastic decision in order to protect the judo family and also to comply with the general safety measures all around the world.
The IJF Executive Committee has taken the emergency decision to cancel with immediate effect all Olympic qualification Events on the IJF Calendar until April 30, 2020. This includes the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in Russia and the Grand Prix in Tbilisi (GEO) and Antalya (TUR) and the continental events.
Unfortunately, the situation is now dangerous and critical from many points of view. It is of paramount importance to keep the judo family safe in these difficult times, and also to ensure fair chances for all athletes engaged in the Olympic qualification.
More information will be released in the upcoming days."
Regardless of what you feel about Coronavirus, it is clear that the safety of the athletes, officials, volunteers, and spectators needs to be the first priority. Also, would it be fair to the countries that cannot participate because of travel restrictions for these events to still be held? Hatashita Sports will be sure to share any and all information released by the IJF & USA Judo.
The third IJF event of 2020 has concluded and it was an amazing showing of high-level judo. Athletes from all over had a lot on the line as they were looking to set the precedent for the world to see.
Hatashita Sports Athlete / Team USA member Angelica Delgado who competes in the -52kg division earned herself a BRONZE medal going 4-1. Delgado was on fire all day looking fierce and focused. The IJF interviewed her right after her match, here is an excerpt:
“It feels really good to get a medal in a qualifying year,” the Tokyo Olympics just months away, the 29-year-old Delgado said.
She added, “To make a statement like this in a qualifying year means I know I can get a medal at the Olympics.”
The third event in 2020 is here - the Dusseldorf Grand Slam! With Paris behind us, this event features 676 athletes from 117 countries will meet to continue to climb the World Ranking List for top spots in Tokyo this Summer.
Team USA will be sending the following athletes (list courtesy of USA Judo):
The second IJF event of 2020 has concluded and it was an amazing showing of high-level judo. Athletes from all over had a lot on the line as they were looking to set the precedent for the world to see.
Hatashita Sports Athletes / Team USA did not make it to the podium this time around but a lot of valuable experience was gained. Plus most of the team stayed for the training camp which will be sure to help refine and sharpen their skills.
Leandro Guilheiro from Brazil at 36 years old showed signs of possibly retiring from competition. Guilheiro fell to Italy in the first round. The Brazilian is no stranger to success having two Olympic Bronze medals under his belt. We wish him the best of luck on whatever path he chooses whether it be competition or retirement! Read the full article from the IJF here.
TEDDY RINER LOST! After 152 consecutive wins, Riner of France fell to Kageura Kokoro of Japan in the third round. However, while you may see articles flood the internet, it's important to understand that Riner wins with grace and as we saw losses with it too. He bowed, shook his opponent's hand and walked off toward a loving crowd who STILL regardless of the result - loving him. Riner is a two time Olympic Champion and eight-time World Judo Champion. Read the full article and watch the video from the IJF here.
The second event in 2020 is upon us - the Paris Grand Slam! Arguably, one of the most exciting events on the IJF Tour, this year's event will be no different. 740 athletes from 121 countries will meet to earn the title - Paris Grand Slam Champion.
Team USA will be sending the following athletes (list courtesy of USA Judo):