11 June 2024


European Judo Championships Kata


One day she is wearing a suit with a special badge, the other day she is in her judogi teaching or competing. In-between, she wears a postal uniform or takes care of young children. Who is she? Jenny KOSTER of the Netherlands is a woman with many talents. So, what is it?

Well, I do a lot [she laughs]. I am an international referee and also an adapted judo referee. I have been competing in Kime-no-Kata for many years. It is nice being on the mat doing something, it is fantastic.

Being a referee yourself do you feel additional pressure when competing?

Not anymore, for the first time when I competed in my country everyone looked ‘Oh Jenny is competing in Kata?’ .. that was 8 years ago and back then I thought the pressure was on a bit but now everyone is enjoying watching me compete. In fact at the national championships this year we gave a demonstration and they were all amazed. This allowed referees and judges to see that yes we can also play judo. The public eye changed and now they see we can do more than just waving our arms.

You and your partner, Arian NOORDZIJ narrowly missed out on the final. Despite, did you enjoy your time in Sarajevo?

In the Netherlands there is a selection criteria so it is always fantastic to be selected to these events and perform. But more importantly, we have adapted judo here for the first time and it is close to me as well, I know them all. They all come to me say hello and it is fantastic that we can share an event together. It is so nice, I have no words for that.

Kata vs Shiai?

It is all about the mindset. Each section comes with a different approach, preparation and focus. Shiai is more strict and it is about catching the right moment. Shiai you train with many different people in the world shaping yourself. But in Kata, it is you and your partner that needs to shape the performance you are going to deliver, you must shape every details to perfection. Shiai is catching the right moment, kata is perfection. Refereeing adapted and traditional shiai also has a different approach.

So, she is a referee, a competitor, a judo coach, a postwoman and she also runs a childminder centre. How?

Time planning. I train 3-times a week and do the other jobs around it. Now, we [Arian and Jenny] would like to work towards our 5th Dan too. With us working towards this goal we will also have to see how we have time to prepare for next year’s events nationally and internationally. If we are selected for the Europeans next year we will see how we cope.

You are a judoka in many different roles. What does judo represent in your life?

Everything. It is my life. It is the way of living for me, it makes me happy. A lot of people don’t understand it. After 3 minutes on the tatami when I have a bad day, all troubles disappear. I live for judo.

Author: Szandra Szogedi