Friday, February 28, 2014

Japanese drop morote-seoi specialists: Nomura

If you had to name the greatest drop morote-seoi-nage specialists of all time, Shozo Fujii would top most people's list. But there's another great Japanese champion who would be a strong contender for the top spot: 3-time Olympic Champion Tadahiro Nomura.

Interestingly, Nomura, who has more Olympic judo gold medals than any player in history, has only one world title. You can see in the clip below, him winning that gold medal in the final of the -60kg division in the 1997 Paris World Championships. What's truly amazing is that he was able to execute his favourite throw despite his opponent adopting an extreme ai-yotsu stance (right vs right). In many instances, drop seoi-nage is done when the two players are in a kenka-yotsu stance (right vs left). But Nomura is able to pull it off, even against an extreme right hander.

Right-hander vs right-hander -- but Nomura still pulls it off.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Japanese drop morote-seoi specialists: Hideshima

I had previously posted about how some drop morote-seoi-nage specialists like Shozo Fujii and his student Yoshiyuki Matsuoka like to drop down very low when they do their technique.

And indeed when you look at their incredible techniques, you will marvel at how low they can get but nobody drops down as low and as deep as 1995 World Champion Daisuke Hideshima. Look at how incredible low he drops down to and how far deep in between his opponents' legs he gets when executing his technique. It's unbelievable.

Look at how incredibly low & deep Hideshima is able to go

From this view, you can see how incredibly low & deep he goes

Japanese drop morote-seoi specialists: Yamamoto

For my fourth installment of great Japanese drop morote-seoi-nage specialists, I'm featuring 1987 World Champion Yosuke Yamamoto.

Like Fujii, Katsuki and Matsuoka before him, Yamamoto also drops down onto both his knees. But he really springs upwards to throw his opponent, so much so that they get whirled over. You can see exactly how he does it in the clip below:

He drops to his knees & springs upwards to finish the throw

Monday, February 24, 2014

Japanese drop morote-seoi specialists: Matsuoka

1984 Olympic champion, Yoshiyuki Matsuoka, goes for an extremely low drop on both knees, when executing morote-seoi-nage. If his technique is reminiscent of Shozo Fujii's drop morote-seoi-nage, it's not surprising since her learned this technique from the master himself, Fujii.

Like Kyoto Katsuki, another drop morote-seoi-nage specialist, Matsuoka often opens up his opponents with ashi-waza. But unlike Katsuki, who prefers kouchi-gari, Matsuoka usually uses ouchi-gari to open up his opponents.

Matsuoka also oftens ends up finishing his drop morote-seoi-nage with a juji-gatame, as can be seen in the clip below.

Like his mentor, Fujii, Matsuoka also drops down very low.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, DAY 3

-78kg | +78kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 

The third and final day of the Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, produced some of most enthralling judo of the event on Sunday as the heavyweights matched power with style in Germany.  

The women’s -78kg and +78kg categories took to the tatami along with the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories with a total of 107 judoka competing on day three. Japan started the day top of the medal table with four gold medals as hosts Germany went in search of their first gold medal.   

Mr. Daniel LASCAU, IJF Sports Director, shared his thoughts on the first Grand Prix of the year.

“We are in the process of adaptation and coaches, athletes and referees are adjusting to the new rules,” said the former world champion for Germany.

“We have had a busy start to the year with the ECCO Challenge, Paris Grand Slam, Continental Opens and now the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. Now everyone can go back and assess their performance from recent weeks and prepare to take their level of performance under the new rules to a new level. We feel the rules are more clear and more transparent.

“In difficult economical times, we are fortunate to have very organised national federations who can deliver such competitions. I had particular pleasure in seeing many young judoka on the tatami presenting the flags of the participating countries on Saturday, they had the chance to see their idols compete, and will be Germany’s next generation of judoka.”

IJF Hall of Famer Mr. Neil ADAMS, who recently delivered the international seminars on the new rules, believes the changes are having a positive effect at this early stage of their application.

“I think the timing of the application is a key element, the edge rule is working perfectly, you can’t deny that every judoka is working to stay inside,” said the double Olympic silver medallist.

“It is vital for referees continue to diligently develop their understanding of the concept of gripping strategies as the kumi-kata can potentially cause a number of early shido penalties. Fighters are adjusting after the recent run of events and we are seeing some really positive judo with elements of vintage tachi-waza.”  

Before the final block, judo fans had the opportunity to say farewell to Olympic bronze medallist Andreas TOELZER (GER) who officially retired after the 2013 World Team Championships in Rio. TOELZER thanked the crowd for their support during his highly-successful career which included three senior world medals and four senior European medals. 

German Judo Federation President Mr. Peter FRESE with Andreas TOELZER 

After a breathless start to the year, the IJF World Judo Tour will resume in March with back-to-back Grand Prix In Georgia and Turkey. The first Tbilisi Grand Prix will take place from 21-23 March and one week later the leading protagonists of the sport will travel to Turkey for the second edition of the Samsun Grand Prix from 28-30 March.

The full results can be seen at


-78kg: MALZAHN ends Germany's barren run   

Miami Grand Prix silver medallist Luise MALZAHN (GER) ended Germany’s wait for a gold medal as she defeated world number six Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) in the -78kg final. MALZAHN scored a yuko after two minutes with a ko-soto-gari and that slender advantage was the difference as VELENSEK could not impose herself into the contest which delighted the 3,000-strong crowd.  

VELENSEK booked her place in the final by surging past Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) via a waza-ari and ippon after only two minutes of action. Germany celebrated victory in the second semi-final as MALZAHN defeated Paris Grand Slam runner-up Madeleine MALONGA in 13 seconds by ippon from a forceful otoso-otoshi.

The first bronze medal was won by TCHEUMEO who threw Asian Championships bronze medallist ZHANG Zhehui (CHN) for ippon with a tani-otoshi with 11 seconds left. ZHANG led until that point by a yuko from a 13-second holddown. The second bronze medal contest was won by Rome European Open silver medallist Natalie POWELL (GBR) who denied a French double by throwing MALONGA for a waza-ari and pinning her for 15 seconds to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. The French youngster led by a waza-ari from an ouchi-gari until a quick turnaround in favour of her experienced British foe.         

VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO) vs MALZAHN, Luise (GER)          

Bronze Medal Fights
ZHANG, Zhehui (CHN) vs TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)    
POWELL, Natalie (GBR) v MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)        

Final Results
1. MALZAHN, Luise (GER)                  
2. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)         
3. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)              
3. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)         
5. ZHANG, Zhehui (CHN)           
5. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)              
7. MARANIC, Ivana (CRO)        
7. ZIECH, Maike (GER)       

+78kg: TACHIMOTO denies second German gold 

National champion Franziska KONITZ (GER) was the last surviving German heavyweight as she lost out to three-time world bronze medallist TACHIMOTO Megumi (JPN) in the +78kg final. TACHIMOTO scored a yuko with a harai-makikomi after two minutes and trapped her opponent to the tatami with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for ippon. 

KONITZ (GER) bested 20-year-old teammate Carolin WEISS (GER) in the first semi-final by wazari-awasette-ippon to advance to the final and guarantee one more medal for the hosts. In the second semi-final TACHIMOTO had the measure of Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Jasmin KUELBS (GER) as the Japanese heavyweight threw for waza-ari and held down her opponent with a kami-shiho-gatame for 15 seconds for wazari-awasette-ippon.

The first bronze medal was won by home judoka KUELBS who disposed of Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Lucija POLAVDER (SLO) by ippon from a hane-goshi at the halfway point. The second bronze medal was clinched by World Judo Masters winner YU Song (CHN) who comprehensively ended the medal challenge of WEISS. YU held down her opponent with ease as WEISS had no answer to the mune-gatame pin having already trailed by two yuko scores.   

KONITZ, Franziska (GER) vs TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)      

Bronze Medal Fights
POLAVDER, Lucija (SLO) vs KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)     
YU, Song (CHN) vs WEISS, Carolin (GER)      

Final Results
1. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)                    
2. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)        
3. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)           
3. YU, Song (CHN)           
5. POLAVDER, Lucija (SLO)             
5. WEISS, Carolin (GER)               
7. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)       
7. ANDEOL, Emilie (FRA)      


-90kg: Greek great ILIADIS grabs gold     

World bronze medallist Ilias ILIADIS (GRE) was in devastating form in Germany and ended his successful day by defeating Abu Dhabi Grand Prix silver medallist Noel VAN T END (NED) to win -90kg gold. Throwing phenom ILIADIS, still only 27, exchanged shido penalties with the Dutchman who neutralised every attack until 23 seconds from the end when the Greek ace scored a yuko from an uchi-mata. ILIADIS was in a relaxed mood before starting his day as he warmed up with -81kg gold medallist Travis STEVENS (USA), eventual -78kg bronze medallist Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) and heavyweight KAMIKAWA Daiki (JPN) who took gold.

VAN T END sealed his place in the -90kg final by registering a last-gasp score against Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist NISHIYAMA Daiki (JPN) in their intriguing semi-final. The Dutchman had two shido penalties to his name while the Japanese judoka only had one but VAN T END held his nerve and his patience was rewarded when he caught his opponent with a ko-uchi-gari for ippon. In the second semi-final ILIADIS produced a clinical performance against Romain BUFFET (FRA) who was overpowered in ne-waza before being trapped with osaekomi-waza from which the Frenchman submitted after just one second.

The first bronze medal was won by NISHIYAMA against Rijeka Grand Prix bronze medallist Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI). The Japanese fighter scored a yuko from a harai-goshi and despite a spirited effort his Swiss rival was unable to trouble the scoreboard. The second bronze medal was captured by Oberwart European Open winner Zviad GOGOTCHURI (GEO) as he needed just 35 seconds to dismiss Romain BUFFET (FRA) by ippon from a ura-nage.   
VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)     

Bronze Medal Fights
GROSSKLAUS, Ciril (SUI) vs NISHIYAMA, Daiki (JPN)     
GOGOTCHURI, Zviad (GEO) vs BUFFET, Romain (FRA)             

Final Result
1. ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)               
2. VAN T END, Noel (NED)             
3. NISHIYAMA, Daiki (JPN)             
3. GOGOTCHURI, Zviad (GEO)         
5. GROSSKLAUS, Ciril (SUI)        
5. BUFFET, Romain (FRA)             
7. VOPROSOV, Kirill (RUS)      
7. DONIYOROV, Erkin (UZB)       

-100kg: Former world champion CORREA tops the podium  

Former world champion Luciano CORREA (BRA) topped the -100kg medal podium with a memorable showing in Dusseldorf. A battle of former world kingpins was denied as Maxim RAKOV (KAZ) was unable to compete in the final due to injury. 

CORREA, 31, triumphed over former Olympic champion NAIDAN Tuvshinbayar (MGL) in the first semi-final on shido penalties with two against the latter and only one against the Brazilian. In the second semi-final contest former world champion Maxim RAKOV (KAZ) subdued Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bronze medallist Karl-Richard FREY (GER) by shime-waza after two minutes after some methodical ne-waza but sustained a rib injury which forced him out of the final. 

The first bronze medal was won by Jeju Grand Prix winner NAIDAN who overwhelmed Sergei SAMOILOVICH (RUS) in the last 15 seconds with a kami-shiho-gatame sealing a win by wazari-awasette-ippon after the veteran Mongolian opened the scoring with a waza-ari. The second medal was won by the ever-improving Rafael BUZACARINI (BRA) who battled past German judoka FREY by submitting him with a ude-garami.        

RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ) vs CORREA, Luciano (BRA)   

Bronze Medal Fights
SAMOILOVICH, Sergei (RUS) vs NAIDAN, Tuvshinbayar (MGL)     
BUZACARINI, Rafael (BRA) vs FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)      

Final Result
1. CORREA, Luciano (BRA)            
2. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)        
3. NAIDAN, Tuvshinbayar (MGL)              
3. BUZACARINI, Rafael (BRA)         
5. SAMOILOVICH, Sergei (RUS)             
5. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)                
7. REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE)       
7. PFEIFFER, Dino (GER)     

+100kg: KAMIKAWA wins Japan's sixth gold medal   

Former world champion KAMIKAWA Daiki (JPN) defeated 2013 world bronze medallist Faicel JABALLAH (TUN) to win Japan’s sixth gold medal in the final contest of the Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014. KAMIKAWA succeeded where his teammate HARASAWA had failed as he forced the action and JABALLAH was unwilling to go toe-to-toe which saw him accumulate four shido penalties which was two more than his rival. 

JABALLAH confirmed a place in the heavyweight final by defeating HARASAWA Hisayoshi (JPN) on shido penalties as the former received one for going out of the area while the Japanese fighter picked up three for passivity. In the second semi-final eventual winner KAMIKAWA was too strong for gutsy 20-year-old Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO). KAMIKAWA required 25 seconds to throw the Georgian and then held him with a kesa-gatame for for wazari-awasette-ippon.

The first bronze medal went to world silver medallist Rafael SILVA (BRA) after victory against HARASAWA who, after receiving three shido penalties for passivity, was bundled over with a uchi-mata for a decisive yuko score with 30 seconds left. The second bronze medal was won by World Judo Masters winner Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO) in a bitter-sweet victory over compatriot and Junior World Championships bronze medallist MATIASHVILI who had to withdraw from the contest after sustaining an injury when OKRUASHVILI scored a yuko from a ko-soto-gake. OKRUASHVILI stayed on the tatami to check on the condition of his colleague and helped him up to receive medical treatment. 

JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN) vs KAMIKAWA, Daiki (JPN)     

Bronze Medal Fights
SILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN)    

Final Result
1. KAMIKAWA, Daiki (JPN)                   
2. JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN)         
3. SILVA, Rafael (BRA)           
3. OKRUASHVILI, Adam (GEO)          
5. HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN)               
5. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)              
7. KRAKOVETSKII, Iurii (KGZ)    

Japanese drop morote-seoi specialists: Katsuki

In my last post, I showcased Shozo Fujii's brilliant drop morote-seoi-nage. For today's entry, I will show you his compatriot, fellow 1979 World Champion Kyoto Katsuki's drop morote-seoi-nage.

While Fujii's other favorited technique is the tomoe-nage, Katsuki prefers the kouchi-gari, which he often scores with. Sometimes, he uses it as a threat to set up a perfect entry into drop morote-seoi-nage.

In Katsuki's first bout in the 1979 World Championships, he attacks Algeria's Benbrahim with drop morote-seoi-nage three times. The first time, he does it without a kouchi threat, and he fails to throw Benbrahim. The second time, he opens the Algerian up with a kouchi attack first, and then throws him with a drop morote-seoi. The third time, he does the same thing, attacking him first with kouchi, then coming in with a drop morote-seoi... and it works like a charm.

His morote works best with kouchi. His direct attack fails!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, DAY 2

-63kg | -70kg | -73kg | -81kg 

The Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, continued with the second day of the competition at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle on Saturday.

The German crowd of 2800 judo enthusiasts saw four weight categories take to the tatami in search of Grand Prix honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s-73kg and -81kg categories were all in action. 

World champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) looked to bounce back from an early defeat in Paris by upstaging her  -63kg adversaries. The field included world number five Martyna TRAJDOS (GER), Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA) and world number three ABE Kana (JPN) were among those aiming to deny the Israeli judoka.

World Championships bronze medallist Laura VARGAS-KOCH (GER) was one of Germany’s leading medal hopes and was in a -70kg category which is brimming with talent. Paris Grand Slam gold medallist and world number five Linda BOLDER (NED) was one of the favourites along  with world number six KIM Seongyeon (KOR).

Reigning European champion Rok DRAKSIC (SLO) and Olympic silver medallist Miklos UNGVARI (HUN) featured in -73kg action while world number six Sven MARESCH (GER), Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) and teak-tough Travis STEVENS (USA) fought in the -81kg category. 

Ahead of the final block on day two, young judoka from the region presented the flags of the 55 countries participating in the competition and that impressive figure once again illustrated the international reputation of the event and its value on the World Judo Tour.  

The draw can be seen at:
Live stream on Ippon TV:
Official event hash tag:


-63kg: European silver medallist defeats world champion    

European silver medallist Marta LABAZINA (RUS) upstaged world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) to capture -63kg gold in Dusseldorf. GERBI, who lost in her first contest in Paris, was thrown for waza-ari from a uki-goshi by the Russian and there was no way back for GERBI who had also accumulated three shido with two for passivity and one for gripping over the top and not following with an attack. 

In the semi-final GERBI looked stronger as the contest went on and booked her place in the final by overcoming world number five Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) by ippon with 57 seconds remaining in their previously scoreless contest. LABAZINA (RUS) sealed a place in the final by conquering world number four Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED) by ippon after two minutes of golden score.

The first bronze medal was won in style by VAN EMDEN as she ruthlessly dispatched 21-year-old European u23 champion Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT) by ippon from a sasae-tsurikoni-ashi. The second bronze medal was claimed by Tokyo Grand Slam winner ABE Kana (JPN) who held down TRAJDOS with a kesa-gatame after freeing her left leg from her opponents legs as the German talent failed to neutralise the imminent transition.        

GERBI, Yarden (ISR) vs LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)   

Bronze Medal Fights
UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT) vs VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)     
ABE, Kana (JPN) vs TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)       

Final Results
1. LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)        
2. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)           
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)              
3. ABE, Kana (JPN)     
5. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)           
5. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)                 
7. BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)       
7. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)      

-70kg: African champion NIANG earns gold for Morocco 

African champion Assmaa NIANG (MAR) won the first World Judo Tour medal of her career with a commanding performance against Rome European Open bronze medallist Sally CONWAY (GBR). Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist NIANG who finished seventh in Paris, threw her opponent for a waza-ari score before transitioning into osaekomi-waza to earn the biggest result of her career which is on at the rise at the age of 31. 

CONWAY sealed her spot in the final by submitting world number 13 Iljana MARZOK (GER) with a juji-gatame after two minutes of semi-final action. The German was in fine form in the earlier rounds as she delivered some ippon judo but CONWAY dictated the action to guarantee a medal for Great Britain in Dusseldorf. NIANG secured an expected place in the final by stunning Paris Grand Slam winner Linda BOLDER (NED) by ippon

The first bronze medal was claimed by  world number seven HWANG Ye-Sul (KOR) as losing semi-finalist BOLDER was unable to compete due to injury. The second bronze medal was destined for Japan as Tokyo Grand Slam winner and Junior World Championships bronze medallist ARAI Chizuru (JPN) denied Germany and MARZOK by ippon after three minutes.      

CONWAY, Sally (GBR) vs NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)            

Bronze Medal Fights
HWANG, Ye-Sul (KOR) vs BOLDER, Linda (NED)     
ARAI, Chizuru (JPN) vs MARZOK, Iljana (GER)    

Final Results
1. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)                  
2. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)          
3. HWANG, Ye-Sul (KOR)          
3. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)       
5. BOLDER, Linda (NED)              
5. MARZOK, Iljana (GER)                 
7. GAZIEVA, Irina (RUS)        
7. KIM, Seongyeon (KOR)         


-73kg: Former world champion shines for Japan      

Former world champion AKIMOTO Hiroyuki (JPN) emerged victorious in the biggest category at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. AKIMOTO and his opponent Sagi MUKI (ISR) outlasted the 39 judoka who joined them in -73kg action. AKIMOTO outclassed his rival as MUKI was reluctant to attack as he feared the offensive arsenal of his adversary. The Japanese judoka finally broke the deadlock with just eight seconds left as he sprung to his knees and threw MUKI with a rapid drop seoi-nage which earned the applause of the crowd. 

MUKI won the first semi-final against reigning European champion Rok DRAKSIC (SLO) after two minutes while AKIMOTO bested Dastan YKYBAYEV (KAZ) at the same stage by two yuko to ensure another medal for high-flying Japan.

The first bronze medal was clinched by former world bronze medallist and long-time -66kg standout Musa MOGUSHKOV (RUS) who defeated YKYBAYEV with a yuko from a ko-uchi-gari which was the only score in the hard-fought contest. The second bronze medal was won by DRAKSIC in a highly-entertaining contest with world number 12 Nicholas DELPOPOLO (USA). DRAKSIC exploded in action and set a high tempo which put the American on the back foot from the outset. Pan American champion DELPOPOLO was close to scoring with his fourth uchi-mata attempt before the Slovenian sealed victory from a waza-ari SLO with a drop seoi-nage as 40 seconds remained on the clock. 
MUKI, Sagi (ISR) vs AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN)      

Bronze Medal Fights
MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS) vs YKYBAYEV, Dastan (KAZ)    
DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA) vs DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)               

Final Result
1. AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN)                 
2. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)           
3. MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)        
3. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)              
5. YKYBAYEV, Dastan (KAZ)                
5. DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA)     
7. ALLARDON, Jonathan (FRA)        
7. UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP)      

-81kg: Travis STEVENS dominates for USA   

Tashkent Grand Prix winner Travis STEVENS (USA) dominated the -81kg category on Saturday as he laid siege to his rivals in Dusseldorf. STEVENS flipped world number six over MARESCH over with a sumi-gaeshi but despite the German turning and avoiding landing on his back, STEVENS pursued his opponent as they moved towards the scoreboard in the safety zone. STEVENS pinned MARESCH with a mune-gatame and was not letting go on his bid to return to the top of the World Judo Tour podium. After the 20 seconds elapsed, STEVENS stood up and shook the hand of his coach Jimmy Pedro Sr. who was smiling ear-to-ear. 

STEVENS booked his place in the final by holding down Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Shukhratjon ARSLANOV (UZB) for ippon with a mune-gatame. At the same stage MARESCH blocked the path of teammate Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER) by shading their even contest with a yuko after one minute.            

The first bronze medal was won by ARSLANOV who held on to beat Stanislav SEMENOV (RUS). The Uzbek judoka went ahead with a waza-ari from a harai-goshi before his opponent scored a yuko from a uchi-mata. ARSLANOV received three shido penalties for false attacks as he was physically exhausted after a gruelling day but held on to clinch a place on the podium. The second bronze medal was captured by WIECZERZAK who thrilled the home crowd by defeating Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) by a yuko from an osoto-gari to join his teammate MARESCH on the podium.      

MARESCH, Sven (GER) vs STEVENS, Travis (USA)

Bronze Medal Fights
SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS) vs ARSLANOV, Shukhratjon (UZB)
MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS) vs WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER)       

Final Result
1. STEVENS, Travis (USA)        
2. MARESCH, Sven (GER)       
3. ARSLANOV, Shukhratjon (UZB)       
3. WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER)               
5. SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS           
5. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)             
7. DUMINICA, Valeriu (MDA)       
7. MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)     



11:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one tatami

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Mitsubishi Electric Halle  

Japanese drop morote-seoi specialists: Fujii

The first Japanese drop morote-seoi-nage superstar was Shozo Fujii, winner of the 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1979 World Championships.

Although he also had a very effective tomoe-nage, his principal technique was the drop morote-seoi-nage, which he used to devastating effect in all four world championships.

There's very little footage of Fujii in action because his time was before judo was widely broadcast on TV. However, I managed to get some very old footage of Fujii doing his famous drop down seoi-nage.

Notice how incredibly low his seoi-nage is -- he drops down to his knees and gets right in between his opponent's legs. It's very hard to escape from his seoi-nage once he gets so low and so deep like that. Perhaps that is why he is a 4-times world champion!

Notice how low Fujii gets by dropping down on both knees.
His drop also gets him deep in between his opponent's legs.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, DAY 1

-48kg | -52kg | -57kg | -60kg | -66kg 

The Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, captivated the German crowd at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle on Friday. 

The opening day of the first Grand Prix of the year crowned five gold medallists as the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories were the centre of attention in Dusseldorf.

Dusseldorf has attracted a world-class field of judoka who are already building momentum to be in peak physical condition for the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification in May.  

World champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) was in -48kg action, world silver medallist Erika MIRANDA (BRA) fought in the -52kg category and Olympic champion MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN) made her return to the IJF World Judo Tour in the -57kg category alongside home favourite and world bronze medallist Miryam ROPER (GER).

Paris Grand Slam winner GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) was in action in the -60kg category while world number one DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL) was joined in the -66kg field by world champion EBINUMA Masashi (JPN)  who is part of a 17-strong Japanese team in Germany.

On Saturday, the attention turns to the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories along with the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories. 

The draw can be seen at:
Live stream on Ippon TV:
Official event hash tag:


-48kg: Golden girl WU wins for China   

Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist WU Shugen (CHN) defeated World champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) to win the first gold medal of the Dusseldorf Grand Prix 2014. There was little to separate the finalists and, as MUNKHBAT aimed to win her first gold medal since Rio 2013, she was penalised with a shido for not taking a grip and twice for a false attack while WU only received one shido for a false attack. 

MUNKHBAT booked her place in the final by defeating teenage Tokyo Grand Slam winner KONDO Ami (JPN) in the first semi-final. The Mongolian and her Japanese rival cancelled each other out for the first three minutes with just a shido each on the scoreboard. After a pause in the action for KONDO to receive treatment for a bloody nose, MUNKHBAT struck with a waza-ari and with 30 seconds remaining her rival could only reply with a yuko. WU sealed a place in the gold medal contest by thwarting the progess of 18-year-old Sofia European Open winner Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) on shido penalties. 

The first bronze medal was won by KRASNIQI who earned the first Grand Prix medal of her flourishing career by defeating Minsk European Open silver medallist Sonja WIRTH (GER). As both judoka failed to trouble the scoreboard, WIRTH, who was already guaranteed a career-best result, received three shido penalties for passivity while the Kosovan judoka was only penalised once and that was also for passivity. The second bronze medal was won by losing semi-finalist KONDO as she blasted her way past 2013 Dusseldorf Grand Prix runner-up JEONG Bo Kyeong (KOR) in 26 seconds with a crowd-pleasing hane-goshi earning ippon. 

MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs WU, Shugen (CHN)        

Bronze Medal Fights
WIRTH, Sonja (GER) vs KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)  
JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR) vs KONDO, Ami (JPN)  

Final Results
1. WU, Shugen (CHN)                 
2. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)           
3. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)          
3. KONDO, Ami (JPN)
5. WIRTH, Sonja (GER)         
5. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)      
7. AKKUS, Sumeyye (TUR)   
7. LABORDE, Maria Celia (CUB)     

-52kg: KUZIUTINA reigns for Russia 

Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS) was in top form as she rounded off a high-quality display by grinding out a victory against world bronze medallist HASHIMOTO Yuki (JPN). As the scoreless contest looked set for golden score, HASHIMOTO was penalised with a shido for passivity with 40 seconds left which was all that separated the leading judoka in the -52kg category after a tense final.

In the first semi-final world number six HASHIMOTO conquered world silver medallist Erika MIRANDA (BRA) in a high octane clash with produced some rapid exchanges. After evading a juji-gatame attempt with ease MIRANDA tried her luck with a yoko-tomoe-nage but HASHIMOTO was alert to the imminent threat. Both judoka entered the last 20 seconds with a shido against their name for passivity and the Brazilian was penalised once more for the same offence to miss out on a place in the final. KUZIUTINA secured a final berth by besting European u23 Championships silver medallist Gili COHEN (ISR) with a slick sangaku-gatame after engineering an opening with a determined approach to her ne-waza. 

The first bronze medal was clinched by world number five Mareen KRAEH (GER) who opened the scoring against COHEN with a waza-ari at halfway mark and held her opponent for 15 seconds with osaekomi-waza for wazari-awasette-ippon to win her country’s first medal of the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. The second bronze medal was awarded to MIRANDA who beat world number three Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN) after one minute of golden score. Both judoka had three shido penalties to their name after the regulation four minutes to force the action into golden score and SUNDBERG lost the battle of attrition by receiving a fourth and final shido for passivity and hansoku-make. 

HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN) vs KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)     

Bronze Medal Fights
KRAEH, Mareen (GER) vs COHEN, Gili (ISR)
SUNDBERG, Jaana (FIN) vs MIRANDA, Erika (BRA  

Final Results
1. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)                    
2. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)          
3. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)          
3. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)             
5. COHEN, Gili (ISR)           
5. SUNDBERG, Jaana (FIN)        
7. MUNKHBAATAR, Bundmaa (MGL)   
7. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)     

-57kg: Olympic champion makes successful return in Germany 

Olympic champion MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN) made a successful return as she ominously put down a marker on her claim to -57kg supremacy two years after her London heroics. MATSUMOTO, 26, bested World Judo Masters winner DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) in the last final and contest on the opening day in Germany as she was too quick and too busy for her highly-regarded opponent. DORJSUREN was penalised twice for passivity which separated the finalists after four minutes as the Japanese icon, who wore her gold backpatch for the first time, was as unrelenting as ever in her return to the World Judo Tour.    

MATSUMOTO booked a place in the final by subduing Irina ZABLUDINA (RUS) by ippon after just 90 seconds while at the same stage DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) toppled Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Ketleyn QUADROS (BRA) on shido penalties with three against the Brazilian and only one against the hard-working Mongolian. In the preliminary rounds Olympic champion MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN) defeated Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU) by osaekomi-waza in a repeat of the London 2012 Olympic final.

The first bronze medal was won by QUADROS as world bronze medallist Miryam ROPER (GER) was frustrated on home soil. The Brazilian scored a waza-ari after 45 seconds as she countered an ouchi-gari attempt with a yuko-otoshi and added a yuko with 28 seconds left after ROPER had registered the same score from an osoto-gari. The second bronze medal was won by losing semi-finalist ZABLUDINA who submitted Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Hana CARMICHAEL (USA) with 40 seconds remaining in their previously scoreless contest via an juji-gatame.         

MATSUMOTO, Kaori (JPN) vs DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)     

Bronze Medal Fights
ROPER, Miryam (GER) vs QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA)    
CARMICHAEL, Hana (USA) vs ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS)        

Final Results
1. MATSUMOTO, Kaori (JPN)              
2. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)         
3. QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA)              
3. ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS)           
5. ROPER, Miryam (GER)           
5. CARMICHAEL, Hana (USA)           
7. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)   
7. BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN)      


-60kg: Japan unleashes new generation as SHISHIME defeats OSHIMA     

Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist SHISHIME Toru (JPN) narrowly defeated his teammate and Junior world bronze medallist OSHIMA Yuma (JPN) in the -60kg final. SHISHIME, 21, and OSHIMA, 19, two of Japan’s latest starlets from their unrivalled production line, were well-matched and respected their counterparts ability as they failed to register a score but the former received only one shido for passivity while his opponent picked up two for passivity and a false attack.  

There was double delight for Japan in the semi-finals as they defeated Kazakhstan opposition in both contests. SHISHIME booked his place in the final by humbling Asian Championships bronze medallist Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) on shido penalties after a hard-fought contest. OSHIMA confirmed an all-Japanese final by defeating Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Rustam IBRAYEV (KAZ) by ippon with a minute remaining.

The first bronze medal was claimed by former Junior European Championships silver medallist Vincent LIMARE (FRA) who defeated losing-semi-finalist SMETOV. After receiving a shido for passivity the Frenchman had to be alert to block a bold tai-otoshi attempt before scoring a yuko with ko-uchi-gari only for it to be removed upon removed by the IJF Referee Commission. LIMARE improved as the contest went on and there was no doubting his score when he caught SMETOV with an osoto-gari for a waza-ari to claim the first Grand Prix medal of his career with a workman like display. The second bronze medal went to Olympic champion Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) who ended the medal tilt of IBRAYEV by dispatching him for ippon with a ko-uchi-gari to bounce back from a frustrating morning in Dusseldorf with a much-needed place on the podium.     
OSHIMA, Yuma (JPN) vs SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)  

Bronze Medal FightsLIMARE, Vincent (FRA) vs SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)     
GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS) vs IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ)           

Final Result
1. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)               
2. OSHIMA, Yuma (JPN)
3. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)          
3. GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)        
5. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)               
5. IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ)             
7. GRIGORYAN, Aram (RUS)       
7. MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)    

-66kg: World champion EBINUMA clinches more gold   

World champion EBINUMA Masashi (JPN) won -66kg gold in Dusseldorf as he defeated Oberwart European Open bronze medallist Rene SCHNEIDER (GER) in the final. SCHNEIDER, who was guaranteed the first Grand Prix medal of his career, had won all four of his previous contests by ippon in a breakout display. However, Olympic bronze medallist EBINUMA was in electric form as he threw for waza-ari twice in quick succession with the second coming from a drop seoi-nage. Despite seeing their only finalist of the day defeated in ruthless fashion the crowd showed their appreciation for the sublime skill of the Japanese star with a warm ovation as he won by wazari-awasette-ippon.  

EBINUMA progressed to the final at the expense of Moscow Grand Slam bronze medallist Luiz REVITE (BRA) who fell by ippon to ashi-waza after just 90 seconds. SCHNEIDER denied an all-Japanese final by over coming 21-year-old Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist MIYAZAKI Ren (JPN) by ippon in 73 seconds which earned an emphatic ovation from the home fans.  

The first bronze medal was won by world number one DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL) who saved his best until last as he produced a ko-soto-gake with 30 seconds remaining for ippon to defeat REVITE with the first score in their contest. The second bronze medal contest former European champion Alim GADANOV (RUS) who dominated MIYAZAKI with a waza-ari from an ouchi-gari before sealing the victory in style with a second ouchi-gari which floored the Japanese judoka with a powerful execution of ashi-waza.  

EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN) vs SCHNEIDER, Rene (GER)   

Bronze Medal Fights
DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs REVITE, Luiz (BRA)    

Final Result
1. EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN)          
2. SCHNEIDER, Rene (GER)              
3. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)      
3. GADANOV, Alim (RUS)       
5. REVITE, Luiz (BRA)               
5. MIYAZAKI, Ren (JPN)            
7. FLICKER, Tal (ISR)    
7. ZINGG, Anthony (GER)     



11:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one tatami

Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg


11:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one tatami

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Mitsubishi Electric Halle