More than 300 judoka from around the country descended on Rotorua this Queen's Birthday Weekend for a regional contest and training camp.

Area director and president Paul Kirk said there would be two days of competition on Saturday and Sunday and two days of training on Sunday and Monday.

"At the national training camp our focus is on developing young seniors to take them to that next level," Kirk said.

The contest includes 330 competitors from 29 clubs around the country while 100 people will attend the training camp.


The competitors were at a range of levels including junior boys and girls, senior boys and girls, cadet men and women, junior men and women, senior men and women and veterans.

Within those are multiple weight classes.

Two competitors at the Waikato Bays open competition.
Two competitors at the Waikato Bays open competition.

Kirk said judo was a popular sport internationally.

"Judo, on the world stage, is the second most practised in the world. In New Zealand it's fledgling but we're keen to continue to grow it.

"It adds a lot of benefits from personal development and health and wellness."

The training camp is all about developing young judoka, including the likes of Whanganui's Keightley Watson who has competed on the world stage and plans to continue to do so.

In the coming months he'll compete in the junior and senior men 100kg+ class in Hungary, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei in the hopes of qualifying for the Junior World Championships in Morocco.

Long-term he's aiming for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2024 Olympics.


"He's totally committed. It's about developing guys and girls like him," Kirk said.

Points in Judo
- The aim of a judo match is to score an ippon (full point), after which the match ends.
- Other points include waza-ari (almost ippon, half point) and yuko (almost waza-ari)
- Ippon are scored by; throwing a contestant down with force or speed using a throwing technique, maintaining a pin for 25 seconds, if one contestant cannot continue and gives up or applying an effective arm bar or an effective stranglehold.
- Two waza-ari (half point) equates to one ippon and are scored through a throwing technique that is not quite an ippon, holding a pin for 20 seconds, or when the opponent violates the rules (shido) three times.