For more than ten years, 28th October, the birthday of the founder of judo, Jigoro Kano Shihan, has become an essential date on the international calendar. In 2023 we asked our judoka to 'Bring a Friend' in order to share what makes judo a special activity, one which has the capacity to transcend differences and make them a strength.
Mr Marius Vizer, the IJF President declared, "This year more than ever, we need courtesy, courage, honesty, honour, modesty, respect, self-control and friendship, as the moral code of judo teaches us. The world is going through difficult times, through conflicts that affect the most vulnerable and through a climate crisis that concerns us all.
Friendship, which is at the heart of World Judo Day in 2023, is a fundamental value of understanding between people. Beyond all our differences, we must do everything so that our children live in a better world. This is what our judo community works towards every day."
In Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua or the USA, India, Nepal, Lebanon or Jordan, Somalia, South Africa or Ethiopia, across Europe and Oceania, there have been numerous initiatives and countless numbers of participants.
Sensei Ahmad Dehghani, coach and founder of the Judo Centre Kano, located in Varna, Bulgaria, applied this year's theme, "Seven months ago, one of my friends asked me to help a totally blind woman, Kerime, who practised judo a long time ago and who wanted to practise again. It was a serious and responsible job for me but I accepted and today she is totally part of my club."
Laurentiu Jurca from Romania, said, "We, at the ACS Judo Phoenix, in Timișoara, Romania, celebrated WJD 2023 together with the parents because we think they are the best friends for our judoka. They support us in all our actions and activities."
Xu Wen of China explained, "Judo is more than just a sport. It's a way of life. It teaches us invaluable lessons about respect, discipline and friendship. In the spirit of 'Bring a Friend,' we emphasised the importance of inclusivity and sharing the joy of judo with others. It's about embracing new challenges, forging new friendships and nurturing a deep love for this beautiful martial art."
The President of the Pakistan Judo Federation, Mr Junaid Alam declared, "On World Judo Day 2023, we believe that friendship is a fundamental value of understanding between people. Beyond all our differences we must do everything so that our children live in a better world. This is what our judo community works towards every day."
Soon a video of all the activities recorded will be prepared and shared on all our social networks. Thank you to all participants, your commitment is a source of daily inspiration for our sports community and well beyond. World Judo Day is every day, having friends is for life.