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British Judo’s most celebrated judoka, two-time Olympic silver medalist Neil Adams, has played a pivotal role in the presentation of the IJF’s new testing rules.
The five-time senior European champion was on hand to demonstrate the new rules at the first IJF refereeing seminar of the year in January with Russia head coach and former rival Ezio Gamba.
161 participants (65 coaches and 96 referees) from 49 countries attended the seminar in Malaga with three more scheduled for 2013 and to be held in Marrakech, Morocco, Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Mexico City, Mexico.
The seminar attracted a large group of internationally renowned coaches who for three days studied, filmed, discussed and asked questions regarding interpretation and implementation.
Neil Adams said: "It was the best thing that could happen that we, the coaches, were present.
“We gave our point of view and worked with the referees and officials of the International Judo Federation. The coaches are present every day on the mat with their athletes; they live through judo and are therefore able to provide practical points of view.”
IJF Head Sports Director, Vladimir Barta, said: “It was a real pleasure to work with the best representatives of our sport. I particularly want to mention Ezio Gamba and Neil Adams, but also all the referees, coaches and federation representatives.
“I also want to acknowledge the active participation of the Japanese delegation and especially Hirotaka Okada, head of the IJF Athletes' Commission, whose participation was greatly appreciated. We still have to tune little things; this is what we will do in the weeks and months to come."
The rules were implemented at an IJF event for the first time on weekend as the traditional season opener, the Paris Grand Slam, was an intriguing spectacle for the crowd, the athletes, the IJF and everyone watching around the world.
Neil Adams said: “The Paris Grand Slam was a feast of brilliant Judo. I thought that the new rules worked brilliantly and made for some exciting matches.
“The fighters and the referee's still have to make certain adjustments to how they interpret the play but I think that it will certainly lend itself towards more positive attacking Judo from a more upright traditional style of judo.
“As far as the UK and the rest of the world is concerned I feel that we have to look at these changes as a positive step forward and make sure that we coach the positive aspects of the new rules and not to dwell on the negatives.”
On the domestic front the new rules will be further discussed at the next British Judo board meeting on 26th February with any further decisions to be communicated after this date.
Click here to watch the IJF video presentation of the new rules.