Malta Judo higher Belts get together on the tatami

In the build-up for World Judo Day, which was celebrated around the world, the Malta Judo Federation organised a Get together for all senior Belts in Malta.

This was a great success and will definitely be repeated shortly.

Amongst the Judoka on the tatami, one could see Joe Caruana, the father of Judo in Malta and founding member of the Malta Judo Federation (6 Dan); Envic Galea, and current President of the Malta Judo Federation, holder of several other posts in International Judo and founding member of the Federation (7 Dan); Alex Bezzina current Sport Director and National Coach, also ex National Team Member (6 Dan); Current National Team Members Isaac Bezzina, Rodney Zammit, Jeremy Saywell, Murman Korchilava and Marcon Bezzina (Olympian and double Gold Medallist at the GSSE); Ex National Team Members Laurie Pace (bronze Medallist at the Commonwealth Games and double Gold Medallist at the GSSE), John Zammit (Gold Medallist at the GSSE and current International Referee), Silvio Cacciattolo and Tonio Schembri; Ex and current coaches Abdul Rahman Lativ, Joe Castillo, Joe Abela, Joe Bonello, Joe Muscat, Mario Cardona, Lloyd Caruana, Chris Busuttil, John Gera, Richard Galea Debono, Vito Aufieri, Antonio Greco and Serge Dintimille.

In the words of Envic Galea, unity, which was the theme for this year’s World Judo Day, is what kept Judo as a top sport in Malta for the past 46 years since the Federation was established.

He asked the senior members of the Federation for their greater involvement, as he was informed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Hon Chris Agius that the Malta Judo Foundation will receive a grant to finish the International Judo Centre and the Andrew Bertie Sport science institute.

He thanked also Hon Joe Mizzi Minister for Transport and Infrastructure for the assistance to prepare the base for this centre.

He said that next year when the federation will be celebrating the 45th year membership of the International Judo Federation and European Judo Union, many new projects will be launched and the help of all Judoka and their friends will be required to bring them to fruition. He said in Unity there is strength.

The veterans of Maltese Judo were also addressed by Alex Bezzina, Silver Medallist at the GSSE, MJF Sport Director and who was of great help in the preparation of the plans to obtain MEPA permits for the centre. Bezzina also made reference to the importance of Unity especially on the mat. He said that it takes many years to prepare a judo coach and the experienced Judoka are our assets, what makes the Federation.

Joe Caruana the father and teacher of nearly all who were there, referred to the principles of Judo, and that when our founder of Judo Jigoro Kano founded judo 133 years ago he did so to develop a comprehensive method of physical education. He said that Judo is more than an Olympic Sport or a Martial Art, it is a way of life. Joe Caruana, who will be 80 years next year, thanked all those present and those who kept the principles of Judo going on in Malta.

One of the clubs held a training camp to prepare the young Judoka for their next grading. Over the weekend, the young ones not only trained Judo but also practiced different sports and had fun activities together.

Apart from being a sport that helps builds physical strength as well as agility and stamina, Judo also helps to develop a strong character and a disciplined mind. It promotes lightening reactions, teaches creative strategy development and independent thought. More important, Judo is based on the Moral code that includes Courtesy, Courage, Honesty, Honour, Modesty, Respect, Self-Control and Friendship.

The Malta Judo Federation is currently preparing an activity for the young ones embracing all these morals. Anyone wishing to take up Judo can contact the federation on 21319944 or email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>. Judo is a sport for all.. there are no limitations as to who can do it!

Written by...
Rodney Vassallo
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