2 May 2024


1st Azerbaijan National Kata Championships


After several IJF Academy events held in Azerbaijan, the activities received serious support from the national federation. Subsequently, several kata seminars were held in cooperation with the IJF and EJU and for the first time last year Azeri judoka performed at the European Judo Championship kata.

On May 1, the Azerbaijan Judo Federation (AJF) marked a significant milestone in the development of judo in the country by hosting its first national kata championship specifically for athletes under the age of 18. This pioneering event was held under the auspices of the AJF and attracted young judokas from all over the country to demonstrate their skill in Nage-no-Kata.

The competition was attended by 12 dynamic pairs who displayed an excellent range of knowledge, competing not only for medals but also for recognition in the national judo community. This event served as a critical platform for emerging talent, allowing them to demonstrate the discipline and commitment required in kata, an essential aspect of judo that focuses on form and technique.

The championship was elevated by the presence of international judo authorities such as Mr Mehmet Yılmaz, Director of Education of the Turkish Judo Federation (TJF); member of EJU Kata Commission and Mr Gökhan Çelik, who is also an expert in education from the TJF. Their presence emphasized the importance of international cooperation in the development of judo and highlighted the significance of the event.

During the awarding ceremony, Mr Rashad Rasullu, Executive Vice President of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation emphasized the importance of basic judo education. He congratulated the athletes on their successes and expressed his satisfaction with the role of education in strengthening the development of the sport: 

This championship does not only promote the development of skills but also serves as a confirmation of the key role that structured education plays in the field of judo. All the coaches of the competitors are graduates of the Academy of the International Judo Federation, which speaks volumes about the quality of the education provided.

Mr. Yılmaz then highlighted the strategic importance of educational initiatives within judo in Azerbaijan, noting their potential to push Azerbaijani athletes to greater heights in international competitions. It was also noted that this year there will be a Children kata Festival held, which is the driving force in the development of the promotion of kata in Europe. The members of the national kata team will also go to the Kodokan Judo Institute for training later on this year.

The successful organization of this inaugural national kata championship not only highlights the growing popularity of judo among the youth in Azerbaijan but also sets a benchmark for future events. It is a stepping stone towards nurturing future champions and elevating the sport on both, national and international level. This event demonstrates the AJF’s commitment to fostering a robust judo culture, grounded in skill, discipline, and educational growth.

Author: Szandra Szogedi