Annual Report 2012


Dear members of JFAUK and all our friends in judo

Please take time to read our annual 2012 report as a source of information and a guide.

With the arrival of the New Year and the end of 2012, we at JFAUK are completing the second year of our mutual journey to rebuild a platform for the development and advance of traditional Kodokan Judo, in Britain. We take this opportunity to provide an assessment of our collective work and achievements so far, to thank all those who have contributed to our project during the past two years and also to re-evaluate and chart our path for future.

We would like, first of all, to thank all JFAUK members, officers and friends who have joined and participated in our projects and further, to express our appreciation and gratitude to all those who have actively contributed to the successes of our organisation and each of our events. None of our work and achievements would be possible without this continued active support.

JFAUK was formally established in January 2011. The new organisation was not setup to “invent and follow a new path” in Judo but in order to provide an opportunity for everyone to benefit from all that judo has to offer, to walk along the path charted by the founder of Judo, Professor Jigoro Kano, to carry on and maintain the high values of traditional Kodokan Judo and to deploy modern ways to advance and develop the teaching and the practice of judo, in Britain. We all recognise that these are the very values and objectives that had been missing and absent from the world of judo for many years. We all recognise that without these values what has come to be recognised through the years as judo is in fact, something else that is it’s anti-thesis, alien to it and is a departure from the very purpose of judo.

Thus, our mission and purpose was set to find ways to advance judo for all and to uphold the very values of Traditional Kodokan Judo. How have we faired in fulfilling these objectives?

During the past two years, we are most proud of the relationships that we have built between students, masters, the families and the community that have joined and supported us. We have found an immense number of like-minded friends, nationally as well as internationally that are no less determined to bring back to life and reinvigorate the traditional Kodokan values to our everyday judo and lives.

Two years ago, the first objective we set for ourselves was, to bring forth the concept of the “trust in the sensei” and to reinstate the authority of the sensei over their clubs and students without any interference or hindrance in the running of their dojo. We continue to believe that this is one the most significant issue that has affected judo standards and is a corner stone of our thinking in unfolding the values of Traditional Kodokan Judo. The raising of standards in Judo education demands the initiative and participation of sensei, in raising their own knowledge and skills in teaching. In this respect JFAUK while acknowledging the tireless work, contribution and the authority of the all judo sensei is committed to provide better and more accessible insights in teaching of judo.

Currently all JFAUK masters, our sensei, enjoy the full support and trust of JFAUK as well as that of their students and associated clubs. This is achieved through better and more insightful judo education, less emphasis on competition, allowing the sensei to grade their students up to brown belt, and providing support for each club to enjoy wider access to judo training.

We specially thank Dave Hammond (4th Dan) our outreach officer and Samuel Betu recently promoted to 4th Dan, our clubs’ liaison officer and International Referee, for their outstanding work and assistance in delivering this objective. We wish to specially thank Farid Namouchi (4th Dan), our national squad leader for his creative training and exemplary leadership. We wish to express our appreciation of Sensei Tynos Sangola (4th Dan), head of national refereeing of JFAUK for all his hard work. Each one of the above sensei have risen to the leadership of JFAUK as trusted sensei in a member club or are engaged in leading main sessions at these clubs. They have not only taught but continue to learn by deepening their understanding of Traditional Kodokan Judo, the applications of these values to judo today and the underlying principles that drive the JFAUK.

We warmly welcome all those who joined us in 2012 and wish to extend our full support and encouragement to those sensei that have setup new clubs. In this context we wish to specially extend our appreciation for all the hard work of James Bond (3 Dan), F. Mnanbooapula (2 Dan) and M. Difolongeni (4 Dan) and Ali Ghaniem (1st Dan). We are certain that together we will continue to bring success and growth supported by each community.

During the past two years at each venue, no matter what grade the sensei, their authority was held high and enhanced by the presence of officials and technical director from the JFAUK.

Two years ago, another main objective that we set before us was that JFAUK from its very outset will distance itself from and remove all bureaucratic influence on judo. This was and continues to be a central and essential objective that needs to be met in order to put back the fundamental teaching and principals of judo into practice. We recognised that the bureaucratic approach, driven by the politics of numbers, plays a degenerative role that affects and dictates the direction of judo and impose methods that are not conducive to the growth of clubs. Although, JFAUK recognises that some bureaucracy is necessary for running of an organisation nevertheless it is imperative that these considerations are not allowed to dictate the direction of judo, its teaching and the projects we undertake. Such influences had to be removed, simplified and were possible standardised in order to free the sensei from the burden of bureaucracy and allow for easier management of the clubs.

While our numbers continue to grow steadily, during the past two years, the projects that we have adopted and the direction that we have taken have been squarely based on the interests of judo and the people that practice it. The JFAUK has acted as an agile and proactive organisation responding to the needs of its members and judoka at large.

Another main objective that we set for ourselves was to bring judo back into the community and allow wider sections of the population to enjoy judo education rather than focus and serve an elitist approach to judo as a sport. Quite beside the obvious pedagogic benefits and positive influences of judo for all sections of community irrespective of gender, origin, belief and ability it is important in this context, for all of us to see that today there are many talented and high ranking judo practitioners coming from different origins living in the UK, each bringing with them different experiences and belonging to different communities. The JFAUK, raising awareness and putting into practice, the concept of mutual respect and mutual benefit within communities and under the concept of Judo for all, aims to create a space for learning and facilitate the convergence of these experiences in order to unleash the growth of judo in the community. This is only possible through advancing the traditional values of judo and making concerted efforts to improve judo education in communities to bring positive change and enjoyment of all that judo has to offer. This is only possible by removing bureaucratic barriers and difficulties to setting up new clubs and the running of clubs and empowering the sensei.

We are delighted with the enthusiastic response of all our sensei and club leaders coming from different origins. Although we are still in the beginning of this journey and there is much that needs to be done, currently we enjoy the participation of judoka coming from all continents including Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America and receive the support of these communities around us in the UK.

We are further grateful for the support we have received from our communities and their organisations appreciating our efforts. We have received some timely funds from the Cripplegate Foundation and contributions from our own community as well as receiving access to resources from Islington council and other authorities and institutions such as Sobell Leisure Centre. We specially wish to thank Mr Damien Swan of Aquaterra Leisure for his forward thinking and support for our initiatives.

We decided early on to invest and deploy a significant portion of our resources in the new media as a more efficient way to spread our message and to provide educational tools for our judo on the mat. Our website was launched on March 2012 that provides for all the social links and facilities. Although, we have had professional support for this task, the majority of the work is carried out by our media team composed of younger members and officers of JFAUK.

In this respect, we specially wish to thank and appreciate the professional work of Craig Bushnell our talented graphic designer, and our bright young team supporting our media work with photography, social media, videography and editing. These include Sam Sampson, Nima and Arman Akbari who will be leading our collective work in this regard and are as always on the lookout for friends across UK and abroad to link up to and share their work.

We specially wish to thank the directors and the staff of Face Creative Services in Islington for all their enthusiastic support for our marketing and printing needs.

During 2012, quite beside the various training courses and workshops covering refereeing, coaching, Kata, first aid and special squad training sessions, we also took on some major undertakings. Here are some of the main events and projects that JFAUK accomplished, this year.

Dundee Kangeiko 2012 – On 10-13 February 2012, a well attended three day intensive winter training camp was hosted by Dundee Judo club in conjunction with Dundee University Judo club on behalf of JFAUK. This was the second annual winter training camp that was lead by sensei Sampson Sampson the technical director of JFAUK. Building on the successes of the 2011 and 2012 Kangeiko this will be regular annual training camp that will be held in Scotland.

JFAUK Joins WJF – The JFAUK was invited to join the World Judo Federation, as a full member and the national governing body of Judo in Britain representing the WJF, based on recommendations to its general secretariat. In February 2012, the JFAUK, credential and application to join the International body was accepted by the WJF based on joint commitment to advancing traditional Kodokan Judo and the concept of Judo For All.

Further in April, following an invitation by the WJF president for Europe Dr Paul Hugland, JFAUK Technical Director Sampson Sampson joined the WJF European refereeing and technical committee. The initial task of this committee was to develop and draft new contest rules based on Traditional Kodokan Judo.  

SHOCHUGEIKO 2012 – On 3-5 June 2012, JFAUK hosted the first ever Shochugeiko, judo summer camp in London promoting traditional Kodokan judo under the auspices of WJF. The 3 day event for adults and juniors was led by JFAUK Technical Director, sensei Sampson Sampson and other JFAUK instructors. It was held at the main hall of Sobell Sports Centre and was hosted by Sobell Judo club. The three day event was supported and partially funded by Sobell Judo Club Friends and Family Association. The well attended event was addressed by WJF president for Europe Mr Paul Hugland and the WJF general secretary, Mr Bruce Bethers. To the delight of the participants and JFAUK officials and instructors we were specially honoured with the presence and the teaching of hanshi Alfredo Vismara (9 dan) and Livio Bretta (7 dan) from Amici Del Judo from Italy and other honoured guests that join us. Following the success of the London Shochugeiko 2012, and the feedback from participants and guests and other requests from abroad this event will continue to be held as an international training camp every year.

Mini Olympics – In July 2012, the JFAUK was invited by Access to Sports to provide facilities to demonstrate Judo in an open day event in Highbury Park in North London as part of a mini Olympics event to promote sports. JFAUK chairman Bob Bushnell (4 Dan) and members of Sobell judo club junior squad provided a full days judo demonstration and introduction to judo to thousands of parents and children participating in this event. The event was an overwhelming success with over 250 children joining us on the mat to try it out for themselves.

Borders National Summer School – In 10 - 12 August 2012, the 11 annual Borders Summer School was held in Innerleithen, in Scotland supported and led by JFAUK. It was a well attended event with a lot of social activities. While this event has always been organised as an open event to all associations this year it offered an opportunity for JFAUK grading of judoka with higher ranks in the region.

The First JFAUK National Tournament – JFAUK’s first national tournament was held on Oct 7, 2012. The tournament was structured around the new JFAUK traditional Kodokan judo contest rules. All the 130 contestants embraced the traditional rules with no difficulty achieving Wazari and Ippon scores only. The JFAUK nationals were very successful in laying a strong foundation for the promotion of upright, cleaner and skilful judo. Seeing contestants taking hold of each other within three seconds and immediately engaging in judo was well rewarded with some outstanding Ippon throwing.

130th anniversary of the founding of the Kodokan - The Celebration of the 130th anniversary of the Kodokan was held in Jesi, Ancona, in Italy at an event that was co-organised by the Italian Federation of Traditional Judo (FIJT) and JFAUK. In this unprecedented and successful event, the European representatives of the World Judo Federation gathered in Jesi, Ancona, in Italy on the weekend of 27/28th October to breathe new life into the old traditions of Kodokan Judo. This was a major attempt to reclaim the original values of Judo, with the participation of nineteen senior dan grades from Italy and the UK, led by Alfredo Vismara (9 Dan), Giuseppe Vismara (9 Dan) and Sampson Sampson (6 Dan), a new set of contest rules were developed that will be published in early 2013. The JFAUK sent a delegation of 20 adult, junior judoka and officers to participate in this event.

Judo for all Campaign – The Judo For All campaign was launched in Jesi, Ancona in Italy with the conclusion of the three day event in celebration of the 130th anniversary of the founding of the Kodokan. It is as an international project to bring likeminded judo practitioners together to provide networking and resources to raise the profile of Traditional Kodokan Judo internationally. It is an independent campaign that is open to all judoka and judo organisations who wish to join hands and advance traditional Kodokan judo and help increase participation in Judo. The judo campaign is an ongoing initiative and is supported by the World judo Federation WJF. The website will be used as a voice of this campaign.

Sutemi Waza – Held in Edinburgh on 10-12 November 2012, this course provided advanced Judo techniques, emphasising Sutemi Waza (All sacrifice techniques). It was led JFAUK Technical Director, Sampson Sampson 6th Dan, National Coach, Ferid Namouchi 4th Dan and Dave Hammond, 4th Dan. This was an exceptional course that set new standards never seen before.

Sussex area tournament November – The Sussex area staged its first JFAUK junior and senior tournament which was very well received; with many judoka taking part enjoying a fabulous day of good Ippon judo. James Bond is now looking forward to this event being held on an annual basis.

During 2013, the JFAUK aims to repeat all of the above events, as well as to provide the following:

  • Introduce new online coaching
  • Grading video coverage online for all grades
  • Junior National Championships
  • Senior National championships
  • First Southern Borders Summer School
  • Introduce a level two coaching programme for qualification
  • Instructors Seminars
  • Groundwork tournament

Please note that all relevant dates and information will be sent directly to all instructors and will be readily available on JFAUK web site and our Facebook pages.

Some dates to remember

  • Kangeiko – 8-10th February
  • US Traditional Kodokan Judo Open International join 12-13 April
  • Shochugeiko International – 25-27 May WJF and invites to Greece, Berlin, Italy and Spain
  • Greece international Thessaloniki 30th June
  • Great Borders summer school Scotland 3-5th August
  • Sussex Judo Summer August Bank holiday School 24-26th
  • Ground work tournament to be announced
  • Senior Nationals 6th October 2013

In conclusion, it is fair to say that in the two years since the founding of JFAUK, we have by far surpassed the initial targets and expectations in serving our aims and objectives. In 2012, laying down the basis of our education, organisation and grassroots support, we extended our organisation’s reach on national, European and international levels. We found new partners that have opened new doors for mutual exchange and support with likeminded judoka and masters across the globe. During this time we have received a great deal encouragement and positive feedback from judoka far and wide, for our overall initiative, for the quality of teaching and the strategies that we are following to bring back to life the spirit of judo. We deeply appreciate all the good will and encouragement that has come our way and once again extend our appreciation for all those who have joined us and participated in our activities to fulfil and bring success to our projects.

In 2013, we will continue to make every effort to continue along this path and with your support and active participation to venture into areas to fulfil our aims and objective. Our aim is to continue to grow and develop as traditional judoka. We extend our open hand to work and collaborate with anybody or any organisation who shares our vision, drive and commitment for a better judo.


With our deepest friendship and best wishes to you all.

President: Mike Akbari
Technical Director: Sampson Sampson
Chairman: Robert Bushnell

Events this Month

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