KANO Jigoro (1860 -1938)

Judo founder Jigoro Kano was an educator and a visionary who started jiu-jitsu to develop his strength.

The 5ft 2in and 41kg Kano added his own ideas to his jiu-jitsu experience to develop a complete fighting system which personified ‘maximum efficiency with minimum effort’.

Kano founded The Kodokan in 1882 and became the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee. In 1912 he helped to establish the Japan Amateur Athletic Association and was a Japanese representative at the Olympic Games of 1928 in Amsterdam, in 1932 in Los Angeles and 1936 in Berlin. Kano died at sea in 1938 at the age of 77 while on board NYK Line motor ship Hikawa Maru.

Judo was introduced to the Olympic programme at the 1964 Tokyo Games and has been featured in every Olympiad since 1972.

Kano’s official honours and decorations included the First Order of Merit and Grand Order of the Rising Sun and the Third Imperial Degree.

Kano once said: “Judo is the way of the highest or most efficient use of both physical and mental energy. Through training in the attack and defence techniques of judo, the practitioner nurtures their physical and mental strength, and gradually embodies the essence of the Way of Judo.”



Robert Sullivan is a former British judoka who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics. In 1973 he married Welsh singer, Bonnie Tyler.

Chelsea GILES

Chelsie Giles won Team GB’s first medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when she clinched bronze in the -52kg category. Chelsie initially made her senior breakthrough in 2019, winning bronze at the European Games and finishing 7th at the World Championships. in 2022 Giles became GB Judo’s first European Champion since 2006 when she won gold in Sofia.


Jamie MacDonald was a Welsh judoka who competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and won several international medals. In 2015, he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in November 2017. In memory of Jamie, there is an annual tournament called The Jamie MacDonald Memorial Championships.


Ashley McKenzie is a former British judoka who competed at three Olympic Games under Team GB and won two Commonwealth Games gold medals. In February 2023, he gained his Jamaican nationality after his father as he continues his judo career under Team Jamaica. Ashley has been in several reality tv shows including MTV’s Ex on the Beach.


Judo 9th Dan and Olympic coach, Neil Adams MBE is known for his glittering medal tally of five European Titles, two Olympic silver medals and his World Championship gold. He is world-renowned for his technical excellence as is demonstrated by his involvement with the European Expert Commission (EJU), and as The Voice of Judo for his international commentary on the Judo World Circuit.

Neil Adams has his own company called Neil Adams Effective Fighting Ltd. The company is dedicated to the quality development of the Olympic sport of judo at all levels. Their mission is to promote the technical development of judo and martial arts and create environments that aid in the forums of good sportsmanship, realizing goals, and overall health and fitness for individuals and families.

Judo Fanatics  

Judo Fanatics was founded by professionals who live by the belief that knowledge is key and the best competitors simply know more. They make it their mission to find the best competitors and coaches on earth and bring their wisdom to you.


British Judo

The Association represents Great Britain internationally and is a member of The International Judo Federation, The European Judo Union, The Judo Confederation of the European Union, The British Olympic Association, Sport and Recreation Alliance, Commonwealth Judo Association, and the Commonwealth Games Federation.

It was established in 1948 and was incorporated as a company, limited by guarantee in 1978.  It is recognised by UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Scotland, the British Olympic Association and the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

The BJA is a membership organisation and has expanded its network of clubs, qualified coaches and individual members throughout Britain providing access to the sport in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is a public company whose principal activity is the promotion and supervision of judo activities. The Association’s executive staff and seven commissions address delivery of the BJA’s strategic objectives and other specific corporate issues.