Last week in Abu Dhabi, the IJF Kata Commission held a meeting with Director, Mr Daniel de Angelis giving the first word to Mr Mohamed Meridja, Education & Coaching Director.
Meridja emphasised the importance of Kata in education for our global members, which we are trying to express is not only an alternative to high performance judo, but should be a base of learning for numerous reasons. He also appointed the importance of strategic work for the commission to have a “road map”, stating the goals and expectations of the commission, and of course, how they’re going to succeed. Echoing this was Chair, Mr Franco Capelleti welcomed those present and shared his experience and explained the importance to teach kata to children and young people. He also mentioned the importance of sustainable work, “step by step”.
With support from the IJF, the Kata commission and relative continents are looking to increase participants, and given the past two events of increasing record numbers; 149 pairs and 21 countries in Podčetrtek, Slovenia 2023 as well as 141 pairs from 33 nations in the world championships.
Mr KARYA Chikara was next to welcome the cooperation, together with the global judo family and with the Kodokan. This summer, he was impressed with the record number of more than 300 participants in the summer seminar in July. The Kodokan also want to continue with kata seminars like they did in Europe in June.
The whole group discussed how to attract more people to kata, with the IJF Academy offering good examples in Azerbaijan and Türkiye, who had first time competitors at the European Championships. It is important in all aspects of judo to have role models, and the group agreed that this is no different for Kata, and that it would certainly be beneficial to younger athletes. Kata is education and not just for competition.
Moving forward there were many ideas to help promote Kata including demonstrations during the EJU Judo Festival where many are already present and have the opportunity to give it a go.
Attendees of the meeting included;
Education & Coaching Director, Mohamed MERIDJA, Education Director, Sanda CORAK, Chair, Franco CAPELLETTI, Promotion and Communication Director Daniel DE ANGELIS, Coordination Director, Giacomo BERTOLETTI, Academy Director, Envic GALEA, Coordination Director, Michel HUET, Sport Director, Raul CAMACHO, Kata IT Team, Dimitri NEMEGAIRE and Carlos CALDERA, Commission Members, Slavisa BRADIC and Gavino PIREDDA. From the Kodokan KARYA Chikara was present and from the continental delegations; Thomas DUNKER (AJU), Bill VINCENT (OJU), Rioiti UCHIDA (PJC) and Kristiina PEKKOLA (EJU).
Author: Thea Cowen