Daria Bilodid

The year end awards around the martial arts world continued Saturday as the International Judo Federation named their award winners for 2019-2020. Among the honorees were Chkhvimiani Lukhumi of Georgia taking home male judoka of the year and Daria Bilodid of Ukraine garnering female judoka of the year.

Other winners included Israel's Sagi Muki earning ippon of the year for his spectacular tournament winning throw against Ivaylo Ivanov at the 2019 Tel Aviv Grand Prix and coach of the year, Kosei Inoue of Japan. Recognized for their work off the mats was Norway's 'Judo for Fred' for their efforts in Afghanistan, the German Judo Federation's Judo for All project, Flavio Canto for his work with children in Brazil and Community Hero Award honoree Paula Pareto of Argentina.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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