21 January 2024


IJF Refereeing & Coaching Seminar 2024 in cooperation with EJU


On the second day of the IJF Refereeing and Coaching Seminar 2024, over 200 participants were present in the Richter János Congress and Conference Center. In the afternoon period, we were honoured to welcome the President of the International Judo Federation, Mr Marius VIZER, as well as Dr Lisa ALLAN, IJF Secretary General and EJU President, Dr TOTH Laszlo, who followed the section assessing hansoku make examples. 

For the majority the rules were clear, but with the somewhat contested examples, IJF Head Referee Directors, Daniel LASCAU and Armen BAGDASAROV as well as EJU Head Referee Director, Alexander JATSKEVITCH were able to answer all questions and find resolve. 

Physical demonstrations given by Armen BAGDASAROV gave a greatly entertaining element to the seminar. © Tino Maric

After already giving welcome words, President Vizer also concluded the first part with his own beliefs and his desire for future plans. The IJF President has not only come to his position by means of popularity, but his experience as a judoka, coach and former President of the European Judo Union (2000-07), means that his comments are not simply ‘airs and graces’ but are a reflection based on ample experience.

Firstly I would like to congratulate you for the cooperation between the International Judo Federation and European Judo Union, having this successful seminar for the development of our sport in a very important year before the World Championships and Olympic Games in Paris. 

To be sure, related to what I have seen today and what I have seen in the last period of competition and taking in to consideration all of these exceptions and forbidden actions, my conclusion, also as a former coach, is that we have very big problem in the educational and methodical process of teaching judo. If you ignore the process in teaching from A to Z, respecting the rules, all the steps in the judo, that creates a big number of these exceptional and negative cases. 

Unfortunately we have seen a few times in competition, a fight between a great judoka and a talented fighter, because sometimes the latter doesn’t know the rules, we are arriving to a lot of these cases which aren’t appropriate and not in line with judo rules and techniques. I think that we have to increase the education. 

Coordinator of the EJU Coaches Commission, Shany HERSHKO and Commissioner Christophe MASSINA. © Tino Maric

Over the years I have seen many of our champions, from all over the world, who become European or even World champions, not knowing the ukemi. If you don’t know the techniques, methodology, rules and principles of judo, of course you will land in so many various positions that are not in accordance with the sport. 

I think that we have to increase the cooperation at club and national team level of the athletes and the coaches with the educational sector of the federation and referees. I believe that our referees have to be more active at the club level, teaching and hosting seminars in the best clubs to attract people. It is also important to be at training camps of the national team, to teach the rules. There are so many comments about ‘too many shido’ or ‘too many hansoku make’, yes it happens because some of our athletes don’t fully know the rules, if they did they would never be executing these techniques or avoiding landing in certain ways which would leave them disqualified. This we can clearly see in competition, in seminars and here in these videos.

So my suggestion for the future is to support a general action following Paris, at international, continental and national level, to increase the collaboration between sport, education and refereeing. They are together a unit that is the key to success in judo.

President Vizer concluded by congratulating the attendees on their work so far and wished good luck for the future and to continue improving as always.

Author: Thea Cowen