Throwback Thursday

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Throwback Thursday

#Throwback Thursday 08/10/20

With a greater number of clubs now back in some capacity it may be time for members to renew their licences and get practicing for any up and coming gradings.  This weeks Throwback Thursday looks back to 1957 when Jimmy Purves now a 6th Dan, gained his 1st Kyu Brown belt.  It's great to see Jimmy still heavily involved in judo. 

Please take a look at the grading list below and comment if you recognise any fellow Judoka!!



#Throwback Thursday 01/10/20

This week’s Throwback Thursday looks at Sportif's very own John Buchanan.

John left Scotland late in his teenage years to pursue a career as a full time judo athlete at Camberley Judo Centre in Surrey. This successful career culminated in a World medal in 2001 in Germany following his appearance at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as part of Team GB.

John won the Commonwealth tournament in 2006 but surprised many people when he came out of retirement in 2013 with the aim of competing in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games where he went on to win the bronze.

After a glittering career as a player, father of three John went into coaching and along with his wife Claire and his own coach Peter Gardiner, they run the very successful Sportif Judo Club which has clubs all over Scotland. John who is now a 6th Dan is one of a very small group of Scottish players to win a World medal and the members of his club are very lucky to have him on the mat each week.

#Throwback Thursday 24/09/20

Loretta Doyle is one of judo's elite, an 8th Dan, a former World and double European Champion, Loretta is currently a member of the IJF Coaching and Education Commission and a Member of the EJU Live Stream Team.

Loretta has spent the last 20+ years living in Scotland and has held many prestigious positions within GB judo as a coach and now as a BJA board member.

Loretta has written an excellent piece for the IJF detailing the road to the first female world championships which is due to have its 40th anniversary in November, please follow the link below and enjoy the read in this weeks 

Women's Judo -The Pioneers


#Throwback Thursday 17/09/20

Throwback Thursday continues during UK Coaching week with a spotlight on our very own Assistant High Performance Coach and Edinburgh Judo’s Director of Coaching Billy Cusack.

As a player Billy competed at the highest level, an Olympian at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he was also British Senior champion six times and went on to win events such as the US Open.

Dedicated to the craft of coaching, Billy set up the first full time judo training centre in the early 1990’s, seeing a plethora of young Scottish talent coming through the programme. It also started to attract a lot of attention from all over the UK and abroad with athletes joining the programme from as far as America.

Following the World Judo Championships in 1999, where Billy coached Graeme Randall MBE to win GB’s second ever men’s gold medal, Billy collected the Coach of the year award and the Mussabini medal for coaches of athletes who have achieved outstanding success on the world stage.

Since then Billy has gone on to help athletes compete and medal at National & International events, European & World championships and Commonwealth & Olympic Games.

In 2012 London Olympic Games he coached five of the athletes from matside, and in 2014 Billy was a huge part of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games success. Billy helped Sarah Clark become European Champion and more recently has continued to help Sally Conway achieve her potential in becoming one of a small group of elite athletes to medal in every major event in the judo calendar including Commonwealth Games, European, World & Olympic Games.

#ThrowbackThursday and #ukcoachingweek salute Billy Cusack


#Throwback Thursday 10/09/20

This week we take a look back at 2002 when the now Head Coach of both Aberdeen JC and Turriff JC Jason Moore won his first British Police Championships. Jason, a former Scottish medallist and Irish Open Champion went on to win this event a total of 12 times! Jason has also represented GB Police at the European Police Championships, an event which is only held every four years that has seen Jason compete five times and place three of these. The pinnacle of Jason’s competitive career has to be in 2013 when he won the World Police and Fire Judo Games competing against athletes from as far away as Canada and Brazil.

#Throwback Thursday 03/09/20

This week it is a ‘throwback’ to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where Sam Ingram took Silver in the under 90 Kg event, at the London Excel Arena.

This result built on previous international representations at the 2007 International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Championships, Brazil, and (Silver); the 2008 Paralympic Games, China, (Bronze) and the 2011 European Championships, United Kingdom (Gold).

Following his 2012 success, Sam won a Bronze medal at the 2015 IBSA European Judo Championships, Portugal.

A triple Paralympian and eight-time World and European medallist, Sam's final event saw him taking a World Silver medal in 2018 (Portugal), concluding a competitive career that made Sam one of the most successful judoka of his generation.

Now working as a Regional Development Officer for JudoScotland, you may well meet Sam at various events across the country.


#Throwback Thursday 27/08/20

This week we gain inspiration for our #throwbackthursday from the Paralympics.

The Paralympics was originally scheduled to take place between the 25th August and 6th September 2020, now the event is to be held between the 24th of August and the 5th of September 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first time in Paralympic history that the event has been postponed and the event will continue to be marketed as the 2020 Paralympic Games.

The Paralympics gives those with a disability the opportunity to compete on a level playing field with others and this is something JudoScotland support. Whilst the Paralympics is an obvious beacon for disability sport, we would like to look back and give Thanks to those who have been supporting disabled Judoka taking part in Judo at every level for many years.

Due to the fantastic work from clubs we have seen an increase in funding to support projects such as the National Adaptive Sessions and the IDOJUDO project along with the introduction of two JudoScotland Disability Hubs, these Hubs give additional support to those who need it most whilst also creating a space for coach development.

We have also seen an increase in the volume of clubs taking on specific sessions for disability Judo, Inclusion Judo sessions as well as a higher level of confidence in supporting potential new members who have a disability.

#Inclusion #playingourpart


#Throwback Thursday 20/08/20

Today’s throwback comes courtesy of the Junior World Championships. 

This week we would have ‘normally’ witnessed the worlds best Junior Judoka take to the mat in Turkey from the 17th-20th of August in hope of clinching a Junior World Judo Championship title. 

The last Scottish Judoka to claim a medal at this illustrious event was Ashley Fleming from Glasgow back in 2008, and Bangkok was the location for Ashley’s Junior World Championship Silver. 

Ashley had a plethora of highly respectable results to her name including two Junior European Championship Bronze medals in 2007 and 2008, multiple Junior A-Tournament medals as well as a host of national results.

Pictured below is Ashley Fleming with team mate John McFetrich.



#Throwback Thursday 13/08/20

The 2004 Summer Olympics were staged in Athens, Greece. The Games saw 10,625 athletes compete, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. The Athens Games hosted 301 medal events in 28 different sports.

Sixteen years ago to the day saw the Men's -60 kg competition in judo being staged in the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall, Athens.

Representing Team GB on that day was Craig Fallon (-60kg), who had taken silver the previous year at the 2003 World Championships, in Japan.

Also representing Team GB 3 days later at the Games was Scottish judoka Sarah Clark, a member of Edinburgh Judo and a current JudoScotland Board member.

#Throwback Thursday 06/08/20

Four years ago, the 2016 Summer Olympics were staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the Judo competition being staged at the Carioca Arena. Team GB qualified a total of 7 athletes, with 6 of them were ranked among the top 22 (men) and top 14 (women) in the World.

The 2016 Rio Games were the most successful for Team GB since 1908, winning a total of 67 medals, exceeding its London 2012 count of 65 medals. In doing so, Great Britain had become the first country to surpass its medal total at the Olympic Games immediately following one that it hosted. Great Britain also became one of only 2 nations (the other being Azerbaijan) ever to increase the number of medals achieved in five consecutive Games.

Proudly contributing to that Team GB medal tally was Scottish judoka Sally Conway (-70Kg), who defeated Miled (TUN), Emane (FRA), Bolder (ISR), Alvear (COL) and Graf (AUT) on her way to win an Olympic Bronze medal - Scotland's first ever Olympic Judo medal.


#Throwback Thursday 30/07/20

This gives us the opportunity for today’s #ThrowbackThursday to highlight Scottish judoka Michelle Rogers, who competed at both the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (half heavyweight), finishing 9th on both occasions.

Alongside Michelle’s achievements, James Austin competed at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games in the -100 kg event. Since the 2012 Olympic Games James has won the 2012 World Cup in Minsk, the 2013 European Cup and the 2014 Scottish Open, as well as finishing in 3rd place in the 2013 Pan American Open. James was due to represent Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – but was injured in the final period leading into the Games and had to withdraw.



#Throwback Thursday 23/07/20

Glasgow 2014

24 July 2014 – 6 Years to the Day!

On 24 July 2014, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, become the focus for Commonwealth Judo, at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The largest venue ‘precinct’ of Glasgow 2014, the SECC hosted competitions for six sports: Gymnastics; Boxing; Netball; Wrestling; Weightlifting/Powerlifting and Judo.

Day one of the Judo competition (on 24/7/2014) saw five weight categories in action:

Women’s -48KG, -52Kg and -57Kg and;

Men’s: -60Kg and -66Kg.

With five weight categories and six judoka competing that day, there were multiple potential medal opportunities available for Scotland on the first day of competition.

The TeamScotland judoka did not disappoint - with medals won in every single weight category, extending to: 2x Gold (Kimberley Renicks & Louise Renicks); 1x Silver (Stephanie Inglis) and; 3x Bronze (Connie Ramsay; John Buchanan & James Millar).

100% of the judoka competing for Scotland that day stepped onto the podium and contributed to an outstanding start to the TeamScotland campaign at its home Commonwealth Games.

Six years on from that unforgetable evening, all the judoka involved are still engaged in Judo/Sport and either still compete, coach (both domestically and internationally), or work within sport more widely, providing sporting opportunities for another generation.

An enormous thanks to the Team for providing such an amazing start to all Scottish judokas' Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games!


#Throwback Thursday 09/07/20

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday focusses on one of the athletes identified in last week’s #FridayFunTravels, where we reached our most recent travel goal of Manchester – host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

David Somerville started his life in Judo when he was but 7 years old, with that journey encompassing Scottish and British titles, World Cup success (Rome, 2000), a Silver medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games and a current holder of a 6th Dan.

In parallel with his competitive Judo career, David graduated with a BA Management Degree from Heriot-Watt University in 2004, prior to beginning to work with the sportscotland Institute of Sport. Becoming National High Performance Judo Coach, David has worked with Olympians, Paralympians, World medallists, European medallists and managed the Judo programme into the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - where JudoScotland realised 13 judo medals from 14 selected athletes. Following this unprecedented performance, David was subsequently awarded the Scottish Performance Coach of the Year award at the end of 2014.

In 2015 David moved onto a new role as a High Performance Manager with the sportscotland institute of sport, seeing him work across a range of sports, sharing the experiences and expertise that he has obtained whilst leading the JudoScotland performance programme, its athletes, coaches and wider support staff.

This new role has also afforded him the opportunity to engage more fully with his Judo Club – Just Judo – and to help and support another generation of those new to Judo, as well as those with their sights firmly set on a competitive route - just like David previously.

#Throwback Thursday 02/07/20

#ThrowbackThursday 6th July
This week we are not going too far back in history for our #ThrowbackThursday.

Indeed we are only going back one year (almost to the day) when JudoScotland hosted the British National Teams Championships, for the first time in its history, on Saturday 6 July 2019, at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility.
Although a reduced field – in terms of numbers - compared to previous years, this was no reflection on the quality of Judo on display during the day.

During the current challenges affecting the nation, we would hope that all judoka, officials, referees and volunteers - including those competing with us one year ago - are all still safe, healthy and well. We look forward to welcoming you all back to Scotland once again once the current restrictions are lifted.

#ThrowbackThursday 25/06/20

The European Judo Union (EJU) Annual Festival is currently online with a focus today of Kata.

As last week we focused on some of Scotland’s earliest Dan Grade pioneers, it would remiss of us not to reflect this week on some of Scotland’s rich history within Kata, including home grown expertise in the form of: Eddie Cassidy; Paul Laverty; Alex Reid and; Bob Thomas (dec.)

Further information on the EJU Festival is available by following the link:, with previous online sessions now available on their YouTube channel:

#togetherstrong #onlinetraining #PlayingOurPart


#ThrowbackThursday 18/06/20

In this week's #ThrowbackThursday we would like to pay tribute to some of the early pioneers of Judo-in-Scotland.

Going back through our records, the earliest reference to Scottish Dan grade holders on the 'British Register of Black Belts' was way back on 1st July 1953 and comprised the following:

  1. Forbes; W. Hislop; G. McBeth; and T. McDermott (all 1st Dan).

Our belated congratulations to them all


#ThrowbackThursday 11/06/20

This weeks Throwback Thursday features the legendary Kawamura Trophy.

The Kawamura Trophy is the oldest trophy in the JudoScotland office cabinet. The trophy was originally commissioned in honour of Mr Teizo Kawamura, 6th Dan, Kodokan, Japan, who had come to Scotland.

With the first event in 1955, the trophy was awarded to the winning team of the tournament, with the inaugural winners being Koizumikwai Judo Club (P O’Hagan, G McEnroe and J Fraser).

Between 1955 and 1992, the most successful Clubs within the event have been the Edinburgh Club and Hamilton Judo Club, who have both won the trophy on 9 occasions. They are closely followed by Osaka Judo Club with 8 wins to their credit.


#ThrowbackThursday 04/06/20

This week's 'throwback' is to the BJA National Team's Championships - always a hotly contested event.

Please share your favourite picture of the National Teams "through the years" and tag us in. 

Whilst in lockdown a colleague at the BJA has been going through old paperwork and updating records and wondered if any JudoScotland members would have any records, reports or photos of Scotland winning the National Teams in years gone by?

In particular, there are some specific requests around:

Women's results - 1998, 1999 & 2001

Cadet boys - 1985, 1998, 1999 & 2001

Original Boys Trophy (Commenced 1967 in CPNSC) - 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983 & 1984.

If anyone has any information please send it into and we will pass it on.

Thank you


#Throwback Thursday 28/05/20

Last week we threw out the challenge as to which judoka won Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games medal.

The answer to that question also identified that the person was one of only two Scottish judoka (currently) that have won two medals at the Commonwealth Games. So who is the other judoka?

On this very day in 2006, Sarah Clark won the European Judo Championships (U63Kg) in Tampere (Finland), after taking a Bronze at the event in 2004. She completed a ‘podium sweep’ of the European Championships by placing second in 2009.

Sarah is a multiple Olympian who competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Originally from the Kodokwai Judo Club in South Shields, Sarah took more than 10 British and Scottish titles and placed second at the Paris Grand Slam (2004).

At the highly successful Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, she won gold for Scotland, adding to a silver medal in the same event in 2002 (Manchester).

Sarah Clark is therefore the only other judoka (currently) to have won two Commonwealth Games medals for Scotland.


#Throwback Thursday 21/05/20

After the success of Glasgow 2014, Judo makes its return to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022 - but who won Scotland's first Commonwealth Games Judo medal?

Graham Campbell won Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games medal in judo with Bronze in the U95kg event as the sport made its debut in Auckland.

Not content with one medal, Graham actually won two at the same event, also winning Bronze in the men’s Open event.

This success followed his initial foray into Commonwealth Judo (Bronze) at the Judo demonstration event at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

Indeed Graham is one of only two Scottish judoka (currently) that has two medals from the Commonwealth Games. A former member of the British Judo Squad, Graham has been Treasurer of JudoScotland for over 25 years.


#Throwback Thursday 14/05/20

Graeme Randall MBE was the first male from Scotland, and only the second male from Great Britain, to hold a world title in judo. 

Graeme competed at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympic Games and won gold medals (-81kg) at both the 1999 World Judo Championships and 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Graeme also won a bronze medal at the 1999 European Judo Championships. He subsequently fulfilled the role of Team Manager at the highly successful Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

A former High Performance Judo Coach with the sportscotland institute of sport, Graeme is currently a manager at the sportscotland national training centre Inverclyde, Largs.

He was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in March 2010. 


#Throwback Thursday 07/05/20

What about a question this week, attached is the membership card from Ted Routley (courtesy of Eddie Cassidy), a member of Commandokwai JC and the Founder if Cluarankwai. He became a 1st Dan in the 15th of June 1949 by being assessed by Budokwai founder Gunji Koizumi.

The earliest date on the card is August ‘47 and printed on the back of the card is affiliated clubs.

So this weeks question, Who is the founder of Dennistoun Amateur JC? When was it established?
With WW2 I’d imagine ‘45 onwards. Was there anything prior to the war?

#Throwback Thursday 30/04/20

Our next Throwback Thursday takes a look at the start of an amazing career in judo, this week we journey to London 2012 where Dr Lisa Allan started down a career path as the Competition Manager for Judo at the Games. Lisa hails from a judo family, her brother Graeme is a judoka and her father Colin McIver has held many positions in both Scottish Judo and now British Judo, currently as the BJA Sport Director.

Lisa is the first ever female to be a member of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Executive Committee but you can still see Lisa practicing at her local club The Edinburgh Club when she is not jetting around the world in her current role as the IJF Competition Manager where she organises and oversees all of the major international events including World Championships, Grand Prix and Grand Slam events.

For more information on Lisa's journey please visit 


#Throwback Thursday 23/04/20

This week’s throwback focuses on Scotland’s first ever Olympic Judoka, Edward ‘Eddie’ Mullen.

Eddie started Judo aged 10 at the YMCA Easterhouse, Glasgow in 1959, two years later he would move to the Osaka Judo Club, Glasgow. Eddie states “the Osaka Club gave me the opportunity to not only build upon my Judo abilities but it also allowed me to meet many colleagues and build long term friendships.”

The Osaka encouraged Eddie to move to Edinburgh at the age of 18 where he would be coached by George Kerr. From 1968 to 1977 Eddie represented GB at multiple European Championships (junior and senior) claiming a Junior Bronze and two Senior Bronze medals. Eddie also claimed a Silver at the Senior Multi-Nations championships along with a raft of other national and international results.

Eddie represented Team GB at the 1972 Munich Olympics claiming a 5th place (team photo attached). However, Eddie says that his favourite sporting achievement was receiving his 1st Dan after doing a 10 man line up as well as performing the Nage No Kata.

In the photo attached we can see Eddie receiving his 6th Dan award from George Kerr in the presence of Kōsei Inoue and Billy Cusack.

#Throwback Thursday 16/04/20

This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to Scotland's first ever female European medallist Margaret McKenna.

Many of you will know Margaret from running East Kilbride Judo Club along with husband Andy, but prior to her coaching career Margaret travelled the globe as one Great Britain’s top athletes. Margaret fought in the Genoa European test event in 1974 where she won the silver medal and the following year in 1975 she won the Bronze medal at the first ever European Championships in Munich.

Following a recent coaching course at JudoScotland Margaret was cited as one of the prospective coach’s judo hero's which goes to show what an inspiration she still is.

Throwback Thursday gives us a chance to celebrate some of the successes from Scottish Judoka in our short history. We are going to kick our first Throwback Thursday off with a legend of Scottish Judo Dr George Kerr CBE 10th Dan.

George Kerr is one of the most famous judoka in Scotland, he has received a lot of honors over the years including the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) from the Queen in 2011, Order of the Rising Sun from Emperor Akihito’s honor list in 2010 and an honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2010. If this wasn’t impressive enough George also received from the IJF his 10th Dan for his services to Judo.

George is a former National coach for Scotland, Great Britain and as an international coach he reached the highest level as a two time Olympic Gold coach. This wasn’t George’s first Olympic success as he refereed two Olympic finals in Munich ’72 and Montreal in ’76. He is one of the very few non-Japanese judoka to have performed the Kagami Biraki which is the opening ceremony of the Kodokan. As a player George won four European medals and won the European team gold.

Dr George Kerr CBE 10th Dan