Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Kosei Inoue never stopped pushing for the ippon
30 Oct 2017 16:20
In Japan, where judo is more than just a sport, Kosei Inoue is no ordinary athlete. He is one of the stars from the past and the current head coach of Japan’s Olympic team. Essentially unbeatable between 1999 and 2003, the half-heavyweight judoka won three world titles and Olympic gold, placing him among the greatest of all time.
Now head coach of the Japanese team, the 39-year-old is passing on his secrets to the next generation, proving just as successful off the tatami as he was on it during a stellar 10-year career at the top.
"We look at judo not only as a sport but as a 'budo,' or martial way," Inoue tells CNN.
"There is the competition, we come to a World Championships and aim to win a gold medal, but there is something far bigger behind this.
"By practicing judo every day, it really helps you win in life in general. In judo, you always get thrown and you always have to stand up. It's very similar to life itself."
No judoka has more world championships titles than Teddy Riner. The Frenchman has won eight gold medals, predominantly in the heavyweight category, and will be hoping to add to his tally having secured gold at the Rio Olympics last year.
Inoue, like so many others in Japan, took up the sport at a young age, working under the tutelage of his father.
The youngster would train relentlessly every day, only stopping when forced by his teachers.
"I was extremely motivated to do my best throughout my career," he says. "The meaning of judo is not just to win or lose, but to contribute to the betterment of society and always give back.
In judo, you always get thrown and you always have to stand up. It's very similar to life itself.
Inoue's next challenge is to sustain Japanese judo's success in the years running up to Tokyo 2020, when the sport returns to its homeland.
He could hardly have taken to the job better, but he isn't one to take anything for granted.
"I believe that the more you win, the more you have to lose," says Inoue. "Japan has many good practitioners, but their journeys are just beginning. It is one thing to win just once, and quite another to continue winning.
"As for the 'golden generation' of Japanese judo, we will do everything in our power to make sure they are ready to perform at Tokyo 2020, but the process doesn't end there.
"Coaches, athletes and the All Japan Judo Federation will work together to win all competitions.
Last week Kosei Inoue won 8 gold medals in the individual World Junior Championships and the mixed team title with the new generation stars for Tokyo 2020.
French Mizuno athlete Cyrille Maret won the Grand Slam of Abu Dhabi last week in his new category +100kg
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
There was never any doubt from the moment that Kosei Inoue stepped off the mat at 21 September 2000 in Sydney, 18 seconds after his first contest had begun, that Kosei Inoue of Japan would dominate the limelight on this special day of the 2000 Sydney Judo competition. JudoInside was with Inoue in a closed area just in advance of the press conference to share some magic moments of that day. In my imagination Inoue launched one of the most beautiful ippons ever. We look back to 21 September 2000, drawn up by Barnaby Chesterman on behalf of The World of Judo Magazine, 20 years ago. Read more
The Sankei Shimbun and JAPAN Forward took the opportunity of the one-year delay in the 2020 Games to catch up with Japan’s national judo team men’s coach, Kosei Inoue, to talk about the satisfaction of coming back as an athlete after serious injury and rehabilitation, and the competitions and events that shaped the timing of his decision to retire. Read more
In 2003 Japan had three World Champions with Yasuyuki Muneta(+100), Keiji Suzuki (Open) and Kosei Inoue (U100). The pre Olympic year is important for the qualification of the 204 Olympic Games in Athens, but the main event was the 2004 All Japan Judo Championship in the open weight category, which was the final selection event for the 2004 Olympics. Read more
As head coach, Kosei Inoue, now 42, led the Japan men’s national judo team to win medals in all weight divisions at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in 2016. The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were supposed to be a world wide sports party but it was rudely spoiled by the corona virus. Read more
Maja Lenhard (GER)