The JENESYS delegation in a group photo. – FADHIL YUNUS
BY Fadhil Yunus
A GROUP of 18 Japanese students visiting Brunei on Friday asked about the development of Judo in the country.
The 18 university students are in the country for the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS2018) Outbound Programme for Judo Exchange from January 22-30.
The delegation who met representatives from the Brunei Darussalam National Judo Federation (BDNJF) as part of the programme at the Jury Room of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, inquired about efforts to raise the awareness of judo in the country and enhance the activities whereby they heard that there are plans to develop the sport through involvement of clubs and schools.
Answering their queries were the Vice President I (Administration) of the Brunei Darussalam National Judo Federation Chong Chee Kiong and Deputy Secretary of BDNJF Muhammad Ali Rashid bin Haji Mohd Alipah.
The university students from Osaka Kyoiku University and Setsunan University, are accompanied by three escorting staff including one Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) Programme Chief and two coordinators.
The federation is planning to develop the sport in universities while there is also some interest in promoting judo in private gyms whereby they will have their support.
Ninety individuals have registered with the BDNJF. Typically, they can accommodate between 10 to 20 members weekly who are active at one time.
The delegation also asked if they provide grading to the members where they learnt that the federation is creating a curriculum for development grade.
The new federation has not had any Shotan grades given to any members while the development of the curriculum is underway.
Brunei follows the regional concept and the federation is creating their own curriculum which is suitable for their own population.
Should a coach or sensei is introduced, the federation could probably be moving towards that direction but currently the target is to create a programme where they can allow development of judo and make it interesting for the members.
“We are using the coloured belts system so that they have targets to aim for,” explained Muhammad Ali Rashid.
Asked about how many colours for the belts, they heard that there are seven levels and ideally they grade every three months depending on the member’s ability and not just for the duration of training.
Meanwhile, Tomoko Kono, a representative from the delegation conveyed her gratitude for the hospitality provided by the hosts.
“After we arrived in your beautiful country, we were welcomed with a big heart which made us so happy. We visited a school and we practiced judo together,” said Tomoko.
“Hopefully, your country will increase the number of judo practitioners so that you can compete in the Olympics in Tokyo,” she added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan launched Japan’s Friendship Ties Programme which promotes a people-to-people exchange between Japan and the various nations of Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Asia-Pacific regional component of this exchange programme is called JENESYS. Some 1,200 Asian youth will be invited to Japan from the ASEAN member states while some 200 Japanese students will be sent to those countries.
The programme’s objectives are to promote mutual trust and understanding among the peoples of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation as well as to encourage an understanding of Japan’s economics, society, history, diverse culture, politics and diplomatic relations.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin