SAMBO in Japan- Interview with Masa Yoshizawa


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Hello,

My name is Masa Yoshizawa.

I am representative of Academy Az, SK Kids Academy class coach and president of Japan Junior Sambo Federation.

I started with sambo after I graduated university. At that time I was practicing judo and wanted to learn some new technics for my judo dan grading test. It was the first time I entered SK Absolute (one of the most famous sambo gyms in Japan) in Sports Kaikan. Eventually, I ended up quiting judo for sambo.

At the moment I am mainly a referee and help developing the new breed of young sambists, under 15 years old.

I am also involved with the managment and organizing the Sambo World Championship in Tokyo this year.

Recently we are witnessing many more sambo players in Japan, compared to 10 years ago. My hope is that we will have a lot more pure sambists from now on.

Originaly, there were mainly judo players, cross training and competing in sambo tournaments. Now a days though, the participation of university students in those events is increased and we are really happy with having sambo in the Summer Universiade.

The idea about hosting the World Championship in Japan originated last year, on a meeting of the president of the Japanese Sambo Federation and FIAS representatives. We are very excited! Last time Japan hosted the event, it was about 18 years ago and Japan scored only one gold medal. I am sure, this year we will have much better results.

I really like sambo the way it is. I do not think any signifficant rules changes will be applied in the future and I am happy to hear about sambo, extending its reach and hosting beach sambo events. Personally I would like to see more no- kurtka events, though.

Thank you very much and I hope to see you all at the Worlds!

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