The day after the closing of the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam, a team from the IJF and the Mongolian Judo Association travelled outside the capital of Mongolia to carry out a rather special initiative, an initiative which, by repeating itself regularly across the planet, could contribute to preserving our environment.

The news concerning the Earth is not good, unfortunately. Global warming has indeed become a massive problem, from which not only future generations will suffer but also our own generations.

On the five continents, unusual weather phenomena are on the rise. No-one is spared. What can we do about it, we, as judoka? Attached to the values of mutual aid and mutual prosperity enacted by the founder of judo, Jigoro Kano Shihan, we believe that everyone can contribute their small stone to the building of a society that respects itself more and respects the environment better.

This is why, when the grand slam ended, a delegation formed by the IJF and the Mongolian Judo Association travelled about fifty kilometres from the capital to plant a tree, which everyone unanimously named 'Hajime.’

Hajime indeed marks the beginning of a fight, a randori or a judo exercise. This fight for the preservation of our environment begins each time we carry out an action that promotes awareness. A tree is not much, but a tree is the start of a peaceful fight in which everyone can take part.

A few years ago, we launched the 'Plant a Tree' campaign on the occasion of World Judo Day. In a short time, more than 6,000 trees were planted. That’s already 6,000 small actions that make a bigger one. The IJF has also appointed two Climate Ambassadors, Sabrina Filzmoser and Flavio Canto, whose attachment to nature is well known. More recently, World Judo Tour events have adopted a policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

All of this contributes across the judo community to send a message of hope for our children. The house is burning but our community is committed to douse the flames as soon as they can.

Today, Hajime sits proudly in the heart of the Mongolian steppe. May the number of Hajime across the globe continue to grow and then we can say that we have done everything possible to save our environment. The challenge is massive, but we judo people are ready to tackle it.

Don't hesitate to tell us your story about how you want to contribute to saving our environment. Write to us: [email protected]

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