JudoInside – News – Kosei Inoue: All Japan Judo Championships stand at the pinnacle of the sport

In 1948, the All-Japan Judo Championships were held for the first time without a weight class. The All-Japan Judo Championships can be said to showcase the original form of judo. As such, it has a special charm that makes all Japanese judo players eager to try it at least once. Today, most top judo competitions, including the Olympics and World Judo Championships, are subdivided into heavyweight divisions. However, the original judo competition had no weight distinction.

Kosei Inoue: I admit to being one of the judo players who were fascinated by this tournament.

In fact, I competed a dozen times, starting in 1996 while I was still in high school and continuing until 2008, when I retired. I got first place in three of them.

I feel completely different about this special event than I feel about the Olympics or the World Championships. For me, the All Japan Judo Championships are the pinnacle of the sport and unless he wins Judo, he cannot claim to be the best.

Of course, many Japanese judo athletes who are active today feel the same way.

A total of 47 men competed this year, each determined to prove that they were the best judo players in Japan. The ultimate champion turned out to be Tatsuya Saito who won his first title.

Saito is still only 20 years old, and this is actually his second appearance. At this time, he seems to be really determined to take back the title of the All-Japan Championship.

Despite his size – Saito is 190cm tall and weighs 160kg – he exhibits a rare ability to control his body movements with dexterity. His skills in kumite grip and waza (judo technique) are excellent. This makes oversized judo the best type.

Since Saito is still developing, there is no doubt that he is destined to be a leading figure in leading Japanese judo into the future.

Please remember this name: Saito Tatsuya.

The 2022 All-Japan Judo Championships champion Saito Tatsuya smiled and took a group photo with his family and related people. On his left is his brother Ichiro, and on his right is his mother Mieko. April 29, 2022 at Nippon Budokan.

Athletes of all shapes and sizes

Members of the Japanese national judo team competing at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics have been recommended for this year’s All Japan Judo Championships. The presence of two gold medalists, Naohisa Takato and Shhei Ono (U73kg) in the U60kg class, heightened the excitement level of the tournament.

For those relatively underweight competitors, beating other competitors over 90kg was an extremely difficult task. Nonetheless, they bravely accepted the challenge. Why?

It must be because they are eager to see how much their judo skills work against bigger opponents. Like true judo athletes, they respond to a natural desire to test themselves.

Unfortunately, both lost their first game. But the sight of each of them boldly going up against a bigger opponent speaks volumes about the game’s appeal.

In fact, the unique appeal and value of this event is that it has no weight classes, but instead brings together judo athletes of all shapes and sizes. The competition during the competition allows judo to freely use its strengths and personal characteristics. Glamour is nothing like other tournaments.

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