Japanese Judo Coach Resigns Over Alleged Abuse
Ryuji Sonoda (pictured above), coach of the powerhouse Japanese judo team, has resigned after allegations surfaced that he physically abused female members of the squad during Olympic training. According to the Japanese Judo Confederation, 15 female judoka submitted a formal complaint that they had been the subject of “harassment and physical violence” from Sonoda in the months leading up to the 2012 London Games.
IJF President Marius Vizer wasted no time in releasing an official statement on the matter. “Judo is a method to develop the physical and mental capacities, whose primary concern is to maintain the health and integrity (physical and mental) of the participants,” said Vizer. “Any action that goes against these principles are banned.”
The use of physical violence in Japanese sports has come under scrutiny recently. This development comes only a month after a Japanese high school student committed suicide after enduring ongoing beatings from his basketball coach.
Nova Scotia Recognizes New Governing Body For TKD
The long and tumultuous search for a new provincial organization for taekwondo in Nova Scotia is finally complete. Sport Nova Scotia has officially recognized the Provincial Taekwondo Society of Nova Scotia (PTSNS) as the new, and only, governing body of the sport in the province. Taekwondo Canada was forced to find a new Nova Scotian branch after a controversial dispute with the Nova Scotia Taekwondo Association ended in arbitration last fall.
Jamaican TKD Competitor Suffers Spinal Injury
Oshane Murray, one of Jamaica’s most accomplished young taekwondo fighters, suffered a severe spinal injury during training this week and is in dire need of a blood transfusion. Jamaican sports minister Natalie Headley is asking for help in an attempt to save the young man’s life, publicly issuing an urgent plea for blood donors. Murray was on his way to a promising career in taekwondo, having taken home a gold medal in the 2012 international Sport Karate Association World Championships last November as a member of Jamaica’s combined martial arts team.
GLORY Announces Japanese “Road To Glory” Series
Fresh on the heels of the announcement of their brand new “Road to Glory” USA series, GLORY World Series has announced a similar promotion focused on the Japanese market. The first event, an eight-man, single-elimination featherweight tournament will award the winner a $20,000 grand prize, along with a one-year GLORY contract and a spot in the GLORY 8 tourney in May, where $180,000 will be up for grabs for the winner. The announcement illustrates the exponential growth of the promotion as they attempt to further cement themselves as the world superpower in kickboxing.
Penn State Faces Iowa in Battle of NCAA Superpowers
Big 10 powerhouses Penn State and Iowa square off tonight in a massive dual for supremacy in the nation’s toughest conference, and the matchup should start off with a bang. Iowa (No. 3 in the nation, No. 2 in the Big 10) will put up the country’s top-ranked wrestler, Matt McDonagh, against second-ranked Nico Megaludis in one of the most anticipated matches of the year. With Penn State (No. 1 in the nation) only ten points clear of Iowa in the national rankings, an upset win by Iowa could shake up the rankings in a big way.
February 2-3 – Judo – Women’s World Cup, Continental Open – Sofia, Bulgaria
February 2-3 – Judo – Men’s World Cup, Continental Open – Tbilisi, Georgia
February 8-10 – Karate – EKF Junior & Cadet Championships & -21 Cup – Konya, Turkey
February 9 – Kickboxing – Road to Glory USA Middleweight Tournament – Los Angeles, CA, USA
February 9-10 – Judo – Paris Grand Slam – Paris, France
February 10-12 – Sambo – World Cup Stage – Minsk, Belarus
February 13 – Grappling – ADCC Irish Open Championship – Maynooth, Ireland
February 16-17 – Judo – Women’s World Cup, Continental Open – Oberwart, Austria
February 16-17 – Judo – Men’s World Cup, Continental Open – Budapest, Hungary
February 16-17 – BJJ – IBJJF Houston International Open – Houston, TX, USA
February 19-23 – Taekwondo – US Open TKD Championships – Las Vegas, NV, USA
February 20-24 – Taekwondo – 5th Alexandria International Open – Alexandria, Egypt
February 23 – Grappling – ADCC Slovakia Open/Team Competition – Bratislava, Slovakia
February 23-24 – Judo – Dusseldorf Grand Prix – Dusseldorf, Germany
February 24 – BJJ – IBJJF San Francisco International Open – San Francisco, CA, USA
March 1-3 – Taekwondo – Fujairah Open TKD Championships – Fujairah, UAE
March 2-3 – Judo – IJF Women’s World Cup, Continental Open – Prague, Czech Republic
March 2-3 – Judo – IJF Men’s World Cup, Continental Open – Warsaw, Poland
March 10 – Kickboxing – Road to Glory Japan Featherweight Tournament – Tokyo, Japan
March 16-17 – Judo – IJF Men’s & Women’s World Cup, Continental Open – Montevideo, Uruguay
March 23-24 – Judo – IJF Men’s & Women’s World Cup, Continental Open – Buenos Aires, Argentina