8 April 2024


1st Scientific-Professional Conference and Practical Demonstrative Activities of Adapted Judo


It’s a wrap here in Rome, with day one of the 1st Scientific-Professional Conference and Practical Demonstrative Activities of Adapted Judo concluded by the Expert presentations and discussion panel concluded. Partners of FIJLKAM, the Italian Judo Wrestling Karate and Martial Arts Federation, included the European Judo Union and University of Rome Foro Italico, the event sponsored by the Italian Paralympic Committee and Italian Paralympic Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual-Relational Disability.

Establishing the afternoon session with the Expert presentations was Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Sports Doctor, Teacher of Sports Psychology at the Sports and Exercise Sciences Course of the University of Genoa, Rosa Maria Muroni with the ‘Worst Mistakes While Approaching Disability’, which included making rough assessments of judoka, underestimating the abilities of practitioners, lack of adaptation with a focus on the lack of judoka feedback. This presentation covered each point in depth, and was not restricted to these topics.

Manager of the Adapted Judo Project of the European Judo Union, President of the Fuji Judo Club for people with disabilities and President of the Inclusive Judo Commission of the Croatian Judo Federation, Marina Draskovic followed, to give the attendees an overview of Adapted Judo in the European Judo Union. This encompassed the work that has been done so far, establishing rules, classification with fair and meaningful pools. Draskovic also explained the work during the EJU Judo Festival, and the upcoming EJU Get Together Tour which will include four locations; Croatia, Great Britain, Poland and the Netherlands.

Jose Morales, Professor Ramon Llull University, Department of Sports Sciences and Management, Blanquerna School of Psychology, Education and Sports Sciences and Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Judo Union, returned in the afternoon to deliver a presentation on the ‘Convalidation of the classification criteria for the Adapted Judo competition categories’. During this talk, he explained how judo should be a satisfying experience for everyone, whilst maintaining safety of athletes, a point that is important not only for adapted judoka, but at high performance which has been the catalyst for rules changes.

Kerry Tansey. © Emanuele Di Feliciantonio

Finally, Adapted Divisioning & Referee advisor, International Referee and Adapted Judo Coach British Judo Adaptive Lead ,British Judo Coach Education Tutor & Assessor, British Judo National A referee and Ex GB High performance athlete, Kerry Tansey. Tansey’s discussion was focussed on Divisioning and Refereeing, and explaining the idea of the EJU Umbrella, to create consistency throughout the nations, increasing inclusivity and the ability to bring judoka together. There were examples of the classification levels one to five with video demonstrations, as well as explanation of rules for sutemi waza or the dangers of dropping on the knees. Tansey accepted that this is practiced by many, but not all, and the aim is to have the same across the board and continue with the idea of the ‘umbrella’.

The programme is available here to reflect on, and the FIJLKAM YouTube Channel provides the live stream for all discussions and presentations on day one.

Tomorrow on the 9th of April, the practical session will begin at 10:00 local time and will be attended by the President of the European Judo Union, Dr TOTH Laszlo. We also give special thanks to a special guest today, EJU Honorary Member, IJF Hall of Fame Member, 10th Dan and IJF Chair of the Kata Commission, Mr Franco Cappelletti. 

Author: Thea Cowen