Today JudoInside.com celebrates its 20 years anniversary. It is not a time for celebrations, but it is a good moment of reviewing 20 years in the world of judo.

At 1 March 2002 JudoInside was founded, twenty years ago. Having a database with judo results of national, continental and world championships as well as the A-tournament, the former World Cups in that time. With news, forum, photos and editorial work JudoInside started. A time where there was no twitter, facebook, insta. JudoInside became a medium on its own.

Founder Hans van Essen started a format where Judo profiles were shown in a logical way. The IJF and other international federations had no way of showing judo athletes in a comprehensive way. Books and DVDs were the media in that time and the internet didn’t have the traction and impact yet.

JudoInside as stimulator of media information

Van Essen: “In 2002 I went to the main events, I worked at the Sydney Olympic Games, I worked at the World Championships in Munich writing news, summarizing performances and making previews for the next days. We were trying to make heroes and haven’t stopped until today. Initially I started as a Dutch website, alongside English and German news, but with an international database, which caught the attention of American and Brazilian judo fans outside the European fans. In 2005 when the European Championships were held in 2005 me and my founding partner Hans Osinga who was the main programmer, established an information system with draw overviews. It was already at ippon.org but we had the direct connection to athlete profiles. Since then JudoInside was functioning as a welcome Media Information system. At the World Championships in Cairo, Egypt internet wasn’t working but I was on the press stands to help out with any kind of query. In 2007 in Rio, Marius Vizer was elected IJF President and he had immediate interest in promoting athletes and profiling them as heroes for fans and media. In that time I worked for Infostrada Sports, a sports data provider and we had discussions with the IJF general secretariat in Paris about integration. In the end it was too complex to come to an agreement. Since then also IJF started to develop its Media department, but it took until 2014 until judobase.org was developed with a same kind of structure as JudoInside. First (2011) as a closed registration system, later into a fan base in an open environment.”

Working on the Federation side

Since 2009 Van Essen worked as Media Director for the European Judo Union for five years. “In that time JudoInside had no news on the website, as it would compete with the EJU articles that I wrote as well. EJU had a good traction at that time but the environment of information was very spread between EJU-IJF with various website, never integrated. Slowly that now changes into one integrated system although all URL’s still exist. JudoInside was always the place for one database with all performances, not just those of the IJF or the EJU, it offered everything, just by making more hours, more passion, one brain, one idea and integrated news since I breached with the EJU in 2014.”

Function of JudoInside

“Now is a time to look back what was achieved. Many athletes grew up with JudoInside as main and reliable source with news that couldn’t always be written by federations, which I understand. JudoInside has a function and everybody knows, also in the federations who are not always happy with the news. Still transparency belongs to sport, to decision making although some news you rather want to wipe under the carpet. That function I take on me and sometimes I hope the federations provide their news, also the bad news, earlier than me. Of course they had to scale up their quality, their speed, their transparency. For sure JudoInside had a function in these 20 years. But let’s not forget that not the news is the driving force of the website, it has always been the database with tons of results, photos, news items, links to videos and lots of heroes with breathtaking stories, performances and emotions of our sport. JudoInside has always been promoting judo in all means: transparent, entertaining, newsbreaking and creating heroes with interviews, previews, reviews and we have been overwhelmed with appreciation over years.”

“Top athletes such as Tadahiro Nomura, Ilias Iliadis, Mark Huizinga, Kosei Inoue, Yvonne Boenisch, in fact the current generation coaches, have been fans from the start and used JudoInside in their benefit and pleasure to keep in line with the news and athletes to track. I have been in contact with the main athletes, I didn’t need to introduce JudoInside, I just introduced the man behind it.”

JudoInside in 2022

“Meanwhile time has changed and after the time of the pandemic, a new threat is dominating the news. Also JudoInside cannot hide for what is going on in the world. I need to write about it, but with pain in my heart like many people who commit what has a direct impact on sports, on judo. That element needs to be touched and described, which is a hard process for sports federations and for judo in particular. IJF and EJU were understandably hazardous to react but picked up the duty since this weekend. It is a confusing time. JudoInside delivered performance data to federations as well, for Brazil, for Canada, for Russia. I worked for federations, worked with the people, the Russian people, in the end all people with families and a heart for judo. Now the time has changed and we must stick to our judo values. Stay transparent, take action on what needs to be done, but don’t loose our respect for athletes whether they are Ukraine, Russian or with any kind of background. Judo is indeed a key to world peace… but many doors need to be opened.”

Van Essen: “It is not a day to celebrate, nor we could celebrate last two years, but it is a good time to get to know each others values, to keep our self-control despite all emotions. Show our courage and show transparency. We are all Judo.”

Find those judo heroes at JudoInside.com for many years.

I like to thank all contributors, Barbara, photographers, writers, partners, programmers, athletes, judofans who sent their tips and ommissions and many cooperative federations for all years making judo stronger, creating heroes and enjoy what we like most.

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