In an exciting development, Azerbaijani judoka participated in the European Kata Championship for the first time. The championship, which took place in Podčetrtek, Slovenia, 12th to 13th June, showcased the skills of judo experts from across Europe.

Azerbaijan was represented by a team of six talented athletes, joining approximately 300 participants from 21 countries. The Azeri judoka demonstrated their expertise in the intricate techniques of nage-no-kata and katame-no-kata during the competition.

To ensure they were well-prepared, the participants had taken part in intensive training camps organised in Turkiye and Croatia. These training sessions honed their skills and boosted their confidence ahead of the major event.

The preliminaries of the kata championship started on 12th June with the highly anticipated finals held on 13th June.

Additionally, a Kodokan seminar was conducted on 14th June in Podčetrtek, further enriching the experience for those present. Notably, Azerbaijan’s judoka also participated in the seminar, which was led by distinguished Japanese Kodokan experts Haruki Uemura (9th dan), Kariya Chikara (6th dan), Dobya Yoshihisa (8th dan) and Yuki Arikawa (6th dan). As part of their training, the athletes underwent a rigorous examination at a rapid pace and were honoured with certificates presented by Kodokan President, MR Uemura.

The Kodokan kata workshop provided a unique opportunity to delve deeply into kata, allowing participants to enhance their skills, contributing to the overall growth and proficiency of the judoka.

In an interview with EJU Head Kata Commissioner, Mr Slaviša Bradić shared his initial thoughts on Azerbaijan's participation, expressing his happiness for the inclusion of new countries such as Azerbaijan and Turkiye. He emphasised the positive relationships and the growing interest among judoka from these countries, which was further encouraged through seminars with the IJF Academy. He also acknowledged the support of the federation in realising the idea of competing in kata events and expressed the desire to foster growth in every part of Europe.

These important milestones marked a significant advancement for Azerbaijani judo on the international stage, paving the way for further accomplishments in the field.

Source: Azerbaijan Judo Federation

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