15 April 2024



Cees Roest is a wheelchair dependent individual who also happened to be a judoka. In 2003, he wanted to take his black belt exam however, for that to happen [at the time], he needed to be able to stand on his own legs. There is a saying which goes like this: “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain”. Well, Cees done just that and altered the required Nage-no-Kata to his abilities, creating an Adapted Nage-no-Kata, resulting in him claiming his 1st Dan. His brilliance made it to the Kodokan where they were just as impressed.  

In 2012, Adapted Judo Expert, Tycho van der Werff made Adapted Nage-no-Kata available to individuals who are unable to walk unaided. He created four ways to apply the sets, three variations from kneeling and one from sitting position. Tycho refers to these athletes as Ne-waza judoka and such as the wonderful Petra Oreskovic is one of them. Petra was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and now acts as the Tori of this new project. Now, whilst performing Adapted Nage-No-Kata is not the first time for Petra, nor her coach Sanja Delladio, it is the first time that it has been done under a professional setting and with and elite production team! 

Without further or due, the European Judo Union is pleased to announce that for the first ever time, a high-quality Adapted Nage-no-Kata tutorial will be available to our judo family. The team is presently in Lisbon, sharing their own first experiences, working tireless hours to create this content, something new and beautiful. The filming and editing are done by Take It Easy production company where video assist, Vera Santos jumped right in to say;

I don’t know anything about judo but it seems like a sport that demands a lot of discipline. I was very impressed with the moves and the falls. I can see that Sanja and Petra do this for a long time, they are super strong! With my experience from other sets/shoots, I noticed that Telmo it’s a great maestro! Always keeping the good mood, directing all very wisely, assertively. He knows exactly what he wants. I am very excited to see the final result which I think will be amazing! I feel like it could be a music video also or a Tarantino Kill Bill scene (she laughs).

Tycho continues the dialogue;

Kata for Adapted judoka is so important. Because Kata is all about the basic principles of judo. Practicing Kata helps the mind and body to improve not only in judo but also in life. Ne-waza Nage-no-Kata is such an adjusted Kata form, in where all key elements of the Nage-no-Kata has been kept. Via this tutorial, we will be able to give informal instructions and focus points of the basics of Kata so more and more judoka, mainstream and adapted, can enjoy this important element whilst having fun. 

EJU Head Kata Commissioner, Mr Slavisa Bradic also backs the idea;

The recording of Adapted Nage-no-Kata taking place in Lisbon these days can certainly be classified as a historic moment in which, through the synergy of EJU’s expertise and organisational capacity, we will create useful material to assist everyone working with such groups.

As mentioned all expertise as well as our ‘actresses’, Petra and Sanja, have been robustly working on a full on repeat mode. To create such a tutorial requires perfection, from the direction of the head, the movement of the tip of your toes to the speed you are breathing in and out. Repeating the same motion until all parties are satisfied with every milliseconds of the video is vigorous, however the team behind this project has unlimited resilience and will guarantee a long lasting high quality content for our judo family, worldwide.

Finally, EJU Head of Adapted Judo, Marina Draskovic recaps her thoughts so far;

The idea for filming this tutorial is actually part of the development of educational content related to adapted judo within the European Judo Union. Our desire is to create lasting high-quality production value that will not only be a source of information but also serve as motivation for everyone involved in adapted judo. With this tutorial, we are opening new doors for judoka who cannot walk unaided. Looking at the effort put into every detail in Lisbon, I believe the final product will be exactly what we expected. We have set high standards for ourselves because adapted judo deserves it, and even more so the judoka with different abilities.

The release date of this tutorial will be announced in due course. 

Author: Szandra Szogedi