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19990103_Judo promotional tourment

    The Malta Judo Federation (MJF) always places a great importance on its youth sector.
    That on its own must be the greatest contributor to the success of the national team in the Games of the small States of Europe. In the past Telemalta was one of the strongest partners in the preparation of judo's top athletes.
    Telemalta Ltd changed to Maltacom plc and under its new image its concentrated on assisting the future athletes.
    The Judo Federation was one of those organisations who benefited from this investment.
    Maltacom plc this year became the official sponsor of the MJF National Nursery.
    Thanks to Maltacom the MJF could rehabilitate the training centre in Penbroke, which was destroyed in an arson attack, could send its youth coaches to specialised coaching courses in Rome and invest in activities for the Judokas from five to 15 years.
    The MJF has organised another promotion tournament on competitive basis.
    This time, learning from experience, the competition rules and age groups were modified.
    The MJF insists that younger Judokas should be exposed to competition very cautiously and more attention should be given to skill rather than the result. After the age of 12, following the European trend, the judo practised should be clean, simple and direct. Real competition should start at 15.
    Fresh from the European seminar on Judo for Youth in Rome and keeping this concept in mind, the MJF put in action new rules. These rules were:
    Two classes of categories one for beginners (ungraded) and another for graded 
    - No strangles and arm-locks
    - Kumikata before Hajime.
    The two competitors start holding each other, in order not to rush each other
    - Matte on break of Kumikata by both competitors (as soon as they leave each other the referee stops the competition)
    - After first warning penalty 
        Action on knee
        Grips below belt
        Arm around neck
        Makikomi (winding technique) and Sutemi (sacrifice throws)

    These rules were introduced to encourage clean judo techniques and avoid all possibility of injuries. In fact although injuries in judo are rare during these promotion tournament there were no recorded injuries.
    The level of competition was very encouraging and we can already see some great talent and potential champions.
    This event was not only a great promotional tournament for the youngjudokas, but also an opportunity for the new referees and table officials putting into practice what they have been studying these past months.    
    Ray Fava the MJF refereeing director should be proud with their work as we saw the debut of John Zammit, Mario Cardona, Joe Muscat, Eileen Portelli and Pierre Caruana, refereeing and controlling the events very effectively. On the table, officiating the event under the leadership of Mario Giuliano, were Louise Galea, Alexis Milne, John Scicluna, Adrian Dalli and Martin Chetcuti.
    All the young judoaks received the net T-shirt with Censu the dragon. Censu is the mascot of the Dragon Espoir, the dragon in Japanese mythology is a superior being symbolising courage and exemplary behaviour.
     The next promotional tournament will be held on 7 March in conjunction with the XV Maltacom International Tournament.