It has been longer than the gestation of a shark eel; a period of anxiety, hard, marked by the pandemic, a space in time during which you had to be patient. The wait has been worth it. After three years of biting their nails, the children of Paraguay can now do what they could not do before.

In 2019 the president of the Paraguayan Judo Federation, Sergio Kanonnikoff, met in Budapest with the president of the International Judo Federation, Marius Vizer. Mr Kanonnikov wanted to develop judo in Paraguay, a country that, like any other, does not offer many sports solutions beyond football. This is not a criticism, but a reality. 

Marius Vizer contributed water to the Paraguayan mill, with an idea that Mr Kanonnikoff was in charge of transforming into a project. To attract more people to dojos you have to start from the bottom. It's that simple. 

Thus was born a project to include judo as an optional practice in all schools in the country. The problem is that it is one thing to say it and quite another to carry it out. First, the Paraguayan authorities had to be convinced. Second, the flame of hope had to be maintained throughout the pandemic so that the project would not die out due to lack of patience. Finally, the children and, of course, the parents had to be convinced. 

The International Judo Federation kept its promise and helped by sending 350 tatami and following the original path of the project. The Paraguayan Federation did the rest, that is, a good job. 

Thanks to an excellent advertising campaign, it managed to attract the attention of children and parents, whose interests are not always the same. The president himself, Sergio Konannikoff, explained it to us.

“The children saw that it as a playful, entertaining activity and one they could enjoy without hurting themselves. Parents understood that their children were having fun while being educated.” This is what is called hitting the target. If a large company paid attention to the performance of the project, the Paraguayan Federation would be a millionaire. 

Officially, it all started in May of this year. The contract is for one year, renewable. In less than a month, seven schools and 1,200 children were discovering the secrets of judo twice a week, with smiles on their faces and according to the president, four other schools have already asked to be part of the project. There are more reasons that explain the success of judo in Paraguay. The new judoka are boys and girls and in some cases eighty percent are female. Another key is the quality of teaching, because the coaches are all national coaches with black belts. Nothing has been left to chance and after a month, the fruit is ripe. 

Gestation has taken forever, but when things are done professionally, time can be an ally. As for those children, maybe one day we will meet them in an international competition, a big tournament, or maybe not, but surely judo will always accompany them through their lives.

See also
Judo in Schools
School Judo in Namibia Crosses Borders

01. Jul. 2022 / Each year the South Africa Judo Open attracts judoka ...

I Only Know That I Know Nothing

01. Jul. 2022 / When you want to learn you have to take things seriously ...

Mediterranean Games 2022 - Day One

01. Jul. 2022 / After organising the Continental Seminar for referees ...

GS Ulaanbaatar 2022: Top Ippon!

29. Jun. 2022 / Top Ippons - ashi-waza edition #JudoUlaanbaatar

Arts and Sciences
The New Edition of the Arts and Sciences of Judo Journal Is Online

29. Jun. 2022 / The new edition of the Arts and Sciences of Judo is ...

Anti-doping Webinars in the New Olympic Qualification Cycle

29. Jun. 2022 / With the launch of the new Olympic qualification cycle ...

"See you next year!”

29. Jun. 2022 / The first edition of the French Veterans Championships ...

GS Ulaanbaatar 2022 - Day 3
+78kg Cold Water

26. Jun. 2022 / Raz Hershko had a date with the final.

GS Ulaanbaatar 2022 - Day 3
-78kg Judo Lesson

26. Jun. 2022 / Inbar Lanir was in a hurry, in such a hurry that she ...

GS Ulaanbaatar 2022 - Day 3
-90kg The Uncomfortable Judoka

26. Jun. 2022 / Purists will say that logic is meant to be respected. ...

GS Ulaanbaatar 2022 - Day 3
-100kg Baby Face

26. Jun. 2022 / In the absence of coffee, nothing better than an ippon ...

GS Ulaanbaatar 2022 - Day 3
+100kg Simply The Best

26. Jun. 2022 / With all due respect to others, the only way that Inal ...

Grand Slam Ulaanbaatar: I Was There

26. Jun. 2022 / The world of sport and judo in particular has suffered ...

Shishime Ai (JPN)

08. Jun. 2018 / The next reigning world champion to be invited to answer ...

5 Key Takeaways from judo’s first Tokyo 2020 qualifier

06. Jun. 2018 / Highlights from Hohhot Grand Prix 2018

Judo for the World in Iran

07. Jun. 2018 / In April 2018, the International Judo Federation and ...

JUDO: A Beneficial Cause

07. Jun. 2018 / 'Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause ...