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Judo brand Fighting Films celebrates 30 Years
24 Jan 2018 10:25
2018 marks the 30th Anniversary of Fighting Films and it’s a proud milestone. Fighting Films is a renowned name throughout the world of Judo, it may surprise you to know that this leading producer and supplier of Judo videos are in fact a small family run company. Based in Bristol, UK, they were founded by Simon Hicks, a black belt and second-generation judoka and a legend in his work.
The seeds for the company were sown back in 1981, when Simon, then an enthusiastic young filmmaker and judoka produced a record of his friend Neil Adams’ victory in the 1981 British Open and 1981 World Championships “IPPON – Championship Judo”.
In 1988 Simon united a group of friends and colleagues to film the 1988 British Open, from which they produced a 90 minute highlight video. They went on to repeat the process in 1989 which lead to Fighting Films producing the official highlights program of 1989 World Championships for the International Judo Federation.Sadly, Simon died of a brain tumour in 2007 at the premature age of 51. On Simon’s diagnosis, his son Danny stepped into the breach, working closely with his father throughout his illness and driving production for the next 10 years.
They have continued working very closely with the IJF over the years, producing the official highlights program of every Worlds Championships, and since 2010, helping produce live broadcasts and highlight programmes of the IJF's World Tour. This work has helped greatly in developing Judo’s media appeal.
Alongside this work, Fighting Films have always strived to produce their own content. This has included the ever popular “101 Ippons” series and coaching productions working with World and Olympic champions to produce an in-depth record of their techniques and victories. These productions serve as both valuable coaching aids to future generations and preserve the legacies of the fighters. As a result, over the past three decades, many of today’s champions have grown up to the sound of the Fighting Films theme tune.
Fighting Films developed the innovative ‘Superstar Judo’ in 2015, an online streaming platform. Superstar Judo hosts the full archive of productions from the last 30 years and has new content going live every week. Fighting Films have built a permanent, 8x8m dojo-studio solely dedicated to filming Judo, the only facility like this in the world!
Film was the catalyst of the company who were named with the intention that from Judo they would progress onto other martial arts. However, 30 years on and they are Judo - Just Judo.
Away from production, 1999 saw them launch their first Judogi. Nowadays business includes a range of Gi’s and belts (including the popular Superstar 750, worn by many of the worlds’ leading fighters), the clothing brand ‘This is Judo’, and a huge catalogue of books, DVDs and accessories.
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