13:36 27 mai

"Japan, at the edge of explosion"

Haruki Uemura "Sonoda was a good trainer"

 In L'Esprit du Judo n°43, we look at, in depth, the crisis that has engulfed Japanese judo, here are the main articles translated in English.   


The all-powerful President of Japanese judo, at the Federation and at the Kodokan, Haruki Uemura, is at the heart of the whole affair. In February, he gave us his views on the "Sonoda case" and what the Federation has done to resolve the affair.

"Sonoda was a good trainer"

"We regret what happened. In our system, the national trainers are almost volunters, they sacrifice themselves for the national team. What they did was without doubt bad, but it was linked to their desire to have good results. They didn't mean to be cruel. The team accepted them and the bonds were strong. If they had achieved their goal, it is likely that there would never have been ascandal. 15 girls pressed charges, all anonymously. We don't really understand why,because a girl complained before the OG. There had been blows, 3 in 5 years, two trainers were concerned in one case, maybe two girls victims of the abuse. We investigated and the head coach confirme dit tobe the case. The trainers apologized. For us, the case was closed. The general complaint surprises us because because Sonoda had been thanked by some of the girls on Twitter. Great trainers had helped the team to the best, without any cruelty. Despite everything, they agreed to resign.
From April we will have a new structure, we already have 4 female trainers, and another two to come, Tsukada and Anno. We will probably need a female personnality to supervise them. We will try to rethink the judo culture to avoid any future incidents. We always won medals for Japan. Sport and education have always been our main concern. We follow Jigoro Kano's spirit. Thanks to judo, many people have imbued the civil society in education, politics and the economy with a real spirit of judo. We give children a physical basis, sportsmanship, also with respect for the rules and the salute. We work hard for our champions to win by ippon and to develop a strong character.
Injuries problems with the children ? Judo starts with ukemi, the break-fall, which is used to avoid injuries. In judo you start by looing, by falling. You have to learn to protect yourself. Some teachers got it wrong, they forgot to show how to deal with defeat. We’re putting in place a training system for coaches were we insist on the learning process of the basics and the ways to avoid accidents. We don’t give a teaching licence to those who haven’t  taken this training. Remodelling judo must be through the basics and the principles.

If you want to read more about this case, follow this link

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