Judo Blog: Judo Tour in California to Promote Sport in Build-up to LA28

Daria Bilodid
©Getty Images

Two-time world champion Daria Bilodid is one of two judoka who will travel to California to promote the sport in the run-up to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

Dan Palmer Editorial Manager for Client Accounts, Special Projects atThe insidethegames.biz Magazine, recently wrote this article which I’m sharing today as my Black Belt Blog for this week.

The 21-year-old Ukrainian will be joined by Brazilian Flávio Canto for the project backed by the International Judo Federation (IJF) project.

Known as IJF Judo Stories Tour and launched by Chuck Jefferson, the initiative will introduce athletes to people in the American state who are unfamiliar with the sport.

Clinics will be held at dojos with Bilodid and Canto, who are both Olympic bronze medalists, the first to take part.

"I want to thank the IJF for helping bring this dream to fruition," said Jefferson.

"For nearly 10 years, my partners in Southern California and I have brought the best, most inspirational judoka from across the world to share their stories and knowledge with the judo community.

"With the LA 2028 Olympics just around the corner, the IJF Judo Stories Tour will inspire the next generation of judoka, not only in our dojos but in our schools.

"We're excited to promote the values of judo, build awareness of our sport and increase the number of judo fans and practitioners in California as we move towards the LA 2028 Olympics."

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Brazilian Flávio Canto will be the first to take part in the scheme.

©Getty Images

Bilodid won the women's under-48 kilograms world title back-to-back, in 2018 and 2019.

Her first triumph came when she was just 17, making her the youngest judo world champion in history.

She added Olympic bronze at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games last year and will visit California between January 18 and 23.

Forty-seven-year-old Canto won bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympics in the men's under-81kg division.

He will be in California between October 23 and 29 and is also an IJF climate ambassador.

Both judoka will visit CJ Judo and Shimeru, as well as local schools.


We'd like to invite you and your students to join us at Shimeru Judo & Jiu Jitsu Club for the upcoming IJF Judo Stories Tour. The tour is a collaboration between the IJF, CJ Judo and Shimeru, which aims to spread judo to a new audience throughout California in the lead-up to the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

As part of that effort, the world's most recognized judo athletes will be visiting local schools to share their stories, and both CJ Judo and Shimeru to share their knowledge with fellow judokas.

The Judo Stories Tour's first guest at Shimeru will be judo icon and newaza master Flavio Canto on October 29th, followed by the youngest world champion ever in judo, superstar Daria Bilodid on January 21.

Schedule & Rates Book now at this link

Kids Sessions: 10am - 11:30am • $50

Adults Sessions: 1pm - 3pm • $75


Photo from 2006 of Ichiro ABE, Yoshimi OSAWA, and Toshiro DAIGO at their Kodokan 10th Dan Promotions. With OSAWA’s recent passing, now all three are in that great Dojo in the sky!

Congratulations Women’s Judo Tournament Riverside, CA for raising $17,500 to fight breast cancer!

Several of my students from Iran asked me to make this quick video aimed at the women over there fighting for their freedom and basic human rights. Thanks goes to Mohsen Orodpour and Cheryl Hari.

Link to Video

October – 2022

  • 29th Saturday – Shoshinkan Tournament, Las Vegas

November – 2022

December – 2022

Winter Nationals Website

Judo celebrities such as Ronda Rousey, Kayla Harrison, Jason Morris Israel Hernandez, Jimmy Pedro, Ugo Legrand, Hayward Nishioka, and many more are often on hand as competitors or coaches to provide insights, sign books, autographs, take selfies, and more. There are many off site weigh-in locations making it very convenient to registered. This year's Grass Roots Judo Winter Nationals Tournament is a two day event scheduled Saturday and Sunday December 3- 4. The venue will once again be the spacious and beautiful Azusa Pacific University – Felix Event Center, 701 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa, California 91702.

Coaches and Referee Clinic Friday December 2nd, 5pm to 8pm

Clinic with Marti Malloy (US Olympian) Saturday December 3rd, 4pm to 6pm

I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to gary@garygoltz.com, thanks.

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