Watch: Olympic Judo Coach Under Fire For ‘Brutally’ Slapping Female Athlete In Warm-Up Ritual
Judo is obviously among the more intense contact sports at the Olympic games, being among the few martial arts competitions offered, so it should come as no surprise that warming up for the competition might also be physical.
But a short video of one such warm-up is now going viral and the subject of international headlines and “outrage” – landing the coach in hot water. The Telegraph describes “A German judoka has defended her coach after the man brutally shook and slapped her in a pre-competition ritual during the Tokyo Olympics. German Olympian Martyna Trajdos, 32, was filmed marching out to her Judo fight with coach Claudiu Pusa on Tuesday.”
A czo tu się odpoliczkowało w ogóle?! pic.twitter.com/mX2r9rMMTA
— Mischa Von Jadczak (@michaljadczak) July 27, 2021
The athlete is seen pausing to face her coach just before entering the arena, which suggests she clearly knows what’s coming. Coach Pusa grabs the front of her Judo gi and quickly shakes her before landing a couple forceful open-handed slaps, one to each cheek. Olympic viewers were widely reported as “shocked” according to multiple headlines.
Trajdos later came to the defense of her coach when the clip was met with widespread criticism for “abuse” of an athlete: “This is what I asked my coach to do so please don’t blame him. I need this before my fights to be awake,” she told media outlets.
“Looks like this was not hard enough,” she wrote on Instagram. Trajdos then added in reference to what ended up being a lost match: “I wish I could have made a different headline today. As I already said, that’s the ritual which I chose pre-competition! My coach is just doing what I want him to do to fire me up.” Trajdos is a veteran of the sport, having been European champion in 2015 and a world bronze medalist in 2019.
The International Judo Federation (IJF) on #Wednesday issued a “serious official warning” to a #German judo coach after he was seen slapping and shaking judoka #MartynaTrajdos ahead of her Round of 32 match in the women’s 63kg category on #Tuesday.
— Ahmedabad Mirror (@ahmedabadmirror) July 28, 2021
The video clearly shows the pre-competition ritual did indeed get her pumped up and motivated – precisely what it was intended to do. Yet still, those most outraged at the spectacle are likely those who have no athletic competition experience (especially in the context of intense or extreme contact sports).
A number of social media commentators, however, noted that anyone who’s participated in martial arts competitions should easily recognize such warm-ups as the norm and nothing threatening or abusive.
What the hell is going on at the Olympics!? https://t.co/KJUR3esktW
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) July 27, 2021
“Judokas understand this,” one commenter was cited in The Telegraph as saying.
However, the International Judo Federation still issued “a serious official warning” for the Germany team coach, calling it “bad behavior” according to the Associated Press. Judo “is an educational sport and as such cannot tolerate such behavior,” the governing body added.
Wed, 07/28/2021 – 20:20