9 February 2024


Children Kata Festival & Kata Seminar Iceland in cooperation with European Judo Union


Neither Mr. Slaviša BRADIC nor Dr. Georgios BOUNTAKIS needs any introduction. The latter was around the IJF world circuit as a Greek coach for a long time before diving into a deeper journey to lengthen his already extensive knowledge around the gentle way. In addition, he has been developing judo in Iceland for over a year now. As per EJU Head Kata Commissioner, Mr. Bradić, well, he is known for his own expertise. The two of them crossed path almost a decade ago and call each other The Greek Philosopher and The Kata Master. Of recently, during a fine morning, an interesting phone call took place. 

One day early in the morning on the way to the airport from one of the IJF academy course I got a call from George asking me: “Kids kata festival in Iceland, what do you think?”. My answer without a second thought was: “Let’s do a proposal to EJU President Dr Toth Laszlo and JSI President Johann Masson. 

recalls, Mr. Bradić. The pair goes onto further explaining;

GB: I and Brada have the same opinion and passion about judo fundamentals, so he was the perfect candidate to explain the idea behind the first kids kata festival in Iceland.

SB: George is a big fan and supporter of the Porec festival and explained to me that his motivation was to develop the technical standards of the coaches and players in Iceland through kata, starting from an early age. As he explained to me by Icelandic government rules kids under 11 years old should only partake in friendly events, hence the perfect combination of us doing kata demonstrations.

GB: I was asking Brada if he has time to supervise this project because I know his heavy plan with IJF Academy. We start working crazy times, sometimes in airports and between training or seminar breaks. The proposal plan was designed and sent to both EJU and JSI presidents. Mr Johann Masson loved the idea of the first kids kata festival and the benefits this project can offer to the technical part of Icelandic judo.This time, Mr Masson was still at the office with us working for judo nonstop. Nowadays, Mr Ari Sigfusson has replaced him due to a difficult illness, but we are working as before and we expect him back soon.  

The phone call from the president(s)… 

GB: A few days later, early morning, the phone rang and a voice unknown to me until then, said “Good morning Mr CEO, I am Laszlo the EJU President and it is time for Iceland, this sleeping beauty to wake up”. I was surprised by the phone call, on the one hand from kindness and the other hand by the passion of the president. Never had this experience before, “the man is something else”. 

The President of the National Judo Federation of Iceland, Mr Johan MASSON was thrilled of the news;

JM: “Dear Laszlo, we will welcome the Kata Festival for kids in Iceland.  This year, it will be a pilot event with your support and supervision of EJU and I hope that in future we will host an International kata kids festival every year.  Also, with the opportunity Iceland would like to be a candidate country for the 2024 EJU kata tour event. One more time would like to thank you Dear President Dr László Tóth for the effort, time and support to Iceland and officially invite you to visit Iceland during the kata event.”

Final dialogues took place during the EJU Congress in Belgrade end of last year and from that moment the Children Kata festival & Kata seminar in cooperation with European Judo Union in Iceland became a plan to be brought into action. The official date of the event is set for 2-3 March 2024. 

Author: Szandra Szogedi