23 June 2024


Adapted Judo Training Camp


The 3rd Adapted Judo Training Camp, as part of the Judo Festival, began its course under the direction of Mr Tomas RUNDQVIST, EJU Adapted Judo Expert. His journey into the world of adapted judo began as an assistant coach at his club’s training camp in Sweden, which included judoka with additional needs. That was 30 years ago, and today his experience speaks volumes. Mr Rundqvist spoke after the camp’s opening session.

First impression of the camp?

The first 20 minutes are always very interesting because I am a new teacher from another country and we have a lot of children with autism here. Any change is difficult for people with this condition. I think it went wonderfully and everyone worked really hard. I had a lot of help from the other teachers, everyone joined in and that is also important. The reason is that you learn more by doing than just watching, so it’s good to take part in the session.

Before a session, do you arrive with the ‘what’ and adapt the ‘how’, or else?

Before each session I know what I’m going to do and, depending on what I see, I have to think quickly if I need to adapt or change certain exercises completely. So it is mainly the how, but sometimes the what. I have been doing this for over 30 years, so I understand that in adapted judo everything takes a long time, but when you see the progress, as small as it may seem, it makes a huge difference in one’s life. It is invaluable. I love working with adapted judo.

Thoughts on the development of adapted judo in Europe?

I am so happy that EJU has noticed adapted judo and that this Get Together project is going on. Now adapted judo is not only a competition, we need to train coaches to specialise in adapted judo. It would be interesting to run a coaching seminar for adapted judo alongside such a training camp, because when you work with adapted judo you need a very big toolbox. I am not saying that teaching mainstream is easy, but when you teach adapted judo you have to think of many different ways to teach the same thing. More importantly, you have to understand that in adapted judo everything takes a lot longer to teach. Some things might take half a year to a year to teach. Nevertheless, I think this camp is a wonderful opportunity and I hope we will have visitors from more countries come to this camp in the future. Everyone is having fun and that is the most important thing.

Author: Szandra Szogedi