Progress and Success at European Kata Championships

Progress and Success

The SNJU would like to congratulate
our technical director Tycho and his kata partner David on their fantastic
achievement of winning silver at the recent EJU European Kata Championships in
Gran Canaria. Their performance in katame no kata was just 5 points off the
gold medal spot.

This alone gives us great pride;
however the story doesn’t stop there. For the very first time in European Kata
Championship history, a very special demonstration was invited to take place.

With the progressive development of
adaptive kata practice within SN judo across Europe, it was fitting for two
teams from the Netherlands to demonstrate the possibilities of adaptive kata to
a packed audience at this year’s European Kata Championships.

First of the demonstrations came from
the pairing of Sanne Simons and Thomas Schepen. Sanne
and  Thomas both have Down Syndrome and both share their passion
for Judo and in particular Judo Kata. They presented three adapted series of
the nage no kata to a packed arena who could not contain their appreciation and
excitement following the final rei. The standing ovation and applause lasted as
long as the demonstration itself.

When eventually the audience calmed
down, it was the turn of Cees Roest and his kata partner Janienke Roelfsema.  Cees is paraplegic and his display of
brilliance was performed from a kneeling position.  The various techniques were adapted to Cees’
condition, and they demonstrated a meticulously executed interpretation of
nage-nō-kata. Again following the final rei, the arena goes wild with a
well-deserved standing ovation and applause delivered by a stunned and appreciative

This is a major step forward for
adaptive judo in general and adapted kata in particular. It is fair to say that
the interest of the European judo community has been aroused and the
possibilities acknowledged.

SN Judo Kata has been developing
across Europe for some time now and is now included in a number of SN judo
tournaments, the biggest of which is at the SN World Judo Games in Beverwijk,
Netherland in April each year. We are confident moving forward that SN kata can
be included at more events both SN and mainstream and will promote positive
inclusion right across our sport.

 We would like to thank the EJU for having the
vision and courage to understand and recognise the importance and possibilities
of adapted judo and for taking the historic step forward to include all ability
judoka in its future plans and visions.

Source: SNJU (Progress and Success at European Kata Champioships

Swiss International SN Judo Festival

weekend (20-23/6) the SNJU proudly supported the Swiss International SN Judo
festival in conjunction with Special Olympics Switzerland and the hosts, Uster
Judo club.

Thursday 20/6

It was an
incredible 4 days of inclusion, play, fun, sightseeing and competition. The
event started on Thursday with the arrival of international teams from Romania,
Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany and France. Two international inclusive
training sessions were arranged by the hosts Judo club Uster and were run by
SNJU directors James Mulroy and Cilia Evenblj. Fun and games was the topic of
the day and a great session was enjoyed by all.

Friday 21/6

morning it was time to see of the wonders Switzerland has to offer. With
volunteer guides everyone boarded the train to see the magnificent Rhine fall,
waterfalls. What an amazing trip with incredible views, great company and a
soaking boat trip to the base of the waterfall.

In the
afternoon it was off to the venue for check-in and the now infamous mixed,
mixed international team event.  This
event mixes countries, players, coaches, weights and levels to create mixed
mixed team who all compete together in a fun and friendly contest.

Dinner was
served for all at Scout House where most of the visitors made their home for
the duration of their stay. As the very tired athletes headed off to get some
sleep, the coaches, referees and guests gathered for our seminars and
workshops.  In our quest to deliver new
and interesting education seminars, James introduced a seminar on autism
assistance dogs and their benefits and roles. He then handed over to parent
Eamon who presented George the dog and informed every one of his and his
children’s experience using a service dog.  
The seminar was certainly interesting and attracted a lot of questions.
Next up was the topic of divisioning and the importance of the involvement of
coaches and referees. This was expertly delivered by Cilia. Last on the list
was the contest and play safety rules seminar delivered by James.

Saturday 22/6

And on to
the main event…   Saturday morning saw
the arrival of the Swiss teams and the check-in and divisioning. The
divisioning was led by Cilia and assisted by all the coaches as discussed the
previous evening. The result of the divisioning was 24 beautifully created
pools that were even and fair for the athletes. Competition started at 1.30 and
was a beautiful display of friendship, skill, determination and judo spirit.
The divisioning proved its worth with fair yet competitive pools in all

After the
medal presentation it was back to the scout house for an evening food, drink,
fun and laughter, a great end to a great event. Congratulations to Cilia for a
great run event and to everyone involved in the preparation and execution of a
wonderful festival of judo.

Source: SNJU (Swiss International SN Judo Festival