Training: A two-day friendship judo tournament between Bhutan and Nepal concluded with a joint training camp at the Pelkhil School in Thimphu yesterday.

The event was the fourth friendship tournament organised by Bhutan Judo Association (BJA) to provide participants tournament exposure.

During the joint training camp yesterday, coaches from both the countries shared their expertise. A total of nine under-18 participants from Bhutan and Nepal took part in the tournament.

BJA’s president Karma L Dorji said that judo is picking up popularity among youth in Bhutan. “Judo is the least violent among the martial arts where individuals can practise it not only for physical fitness but also for self-defence,” said the president. “It’s a sport that helps you built confidence along with self discipline.”

Karma L Dorji said that initiatives such as this will be an asset in grooming young talents in the country. He added that since judo is an individual sport, there is bright future for practitioners.

Representing the Nepal Judo Association, Dharma Kumar Shrestha of the Child Watbaram Centre said that the tournament was a big success for both the teams. Participants were able to exchange techniques from each other.

“The Bhutanese team have gotten better since we met last time in Nepal. I see many talents in them,” said Dharma Kumar Shrestha. “I’m looking forward to many future collaborations like this for the betterment of both the teams.”

Judo, which means gentle way, is a form of martial arts where individuals try to immobilise their opponents either by throwing, taking or pinning them down without hurting them.

Bhutan Judo Association started as a club from Pelkhil School in 2010. With the increasing popularity of the sport, the association got official affiliation with the Bhutan Olympic Committee in 2015.

Currently there are around about 80 regular and 200 irregular members with the association.

Younten Tshedup