Best Practice - Danish Judo Federation

Today, the World celebrates International Women’s Day. In Denmark, they pay special attention to this with particular arrangement for the day. The purpose is not only to celebrate, but to increase the percentage of women participating judo in the country. At this moment, 25 % of Danish Judo members are women.

Today, the Danish Judo Federation encourages all clubs to have an open house for all women in the clubs, including their female friends, sisters, moms, and all other women in the local area. An official poster and press release was made prior to today.

Development Consultant of the Danish Judo Federation, Karina Sorensen, is working across several projects with the purpose to maintain judo members and enrolling more people to judo. Ms Sorensen will ecplain more about this project. What have you got planned today in your club for this special day? 

Interview with Karina Sorensen 


When and how did you get involved in judo? As a female, what attracted you about judo?

"I got involved in judo in 2013. Before that time, I didn’t know anything about judo. When I saw judo for the first time I got very fascinating. And when I tried judo, I found out how hard exercise it actually was. You use all your muscles, get to defend yourself, learn how to fall and at the same time you get to feel the cultural values in the sport." 

Throughout your years, from a women perspective, how did you benefit of our sport, judo?

"I have only tried judo a few times over the years (because of knee injury) but from my perspective judo training activate all your muscles – also muscles you didn’t know existed even though I have played badminton at elite level. So, you get a better condition, flexibility and strength that you don’t get in the gym and other sports. 

"But what also I experienced was the mental aspect in judo. It was very transboundary for me to throw another person and “fight for your life” in the dojo. You must be mental present in judo and forget your busy life outside the dojo. Therefore, you have to work with your mental aspect. 

"Another aspect, I have benefit a lot from judo is the social aspect. Everybody is very friendly an open-minded. It’s a big judo family in the judo clubs, at tournaments and everywhere where you meet a judoka. That, I appreciate a lot by working at the Danish Judo Federation."

What made you to arrange this project for International Women Day?

"We wanted to do some extra for women in judo. Only about 25 % of our Judo members are women, we want that percentage to increase and therefore we saw International Women Day as an opportunity to focus more at women in judo this day."

What is the project about in details? Do you do it every year?

"We have done this project since 2016 and want to continue every year. We encourage our clubs to have an open house for all women in the club as well as their girlfriends, sisters, moms, etc. and also invite women in the local area to the open house. For this purpose, we have prepared postcards, a press release as well a promotion video to help the clubs get visibility."

Why would you recommend any female to take up judo?

"We want to recommend female to take up judo because it is a very good workout – physically and mentally. They learn self-defense, get another body awareness and naturally transcend boundaries in relation to other people."  

What are you hoping as the outcome of your project today?

"We hope that the women will have a fun and wonderful day in the judo clubs. We also hope that it helps the judo women to get a more social network and the new women experience all the qualities we see in judo and want to begin judo."