Coached by a living legend

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Imagine, if you can, a local football team attending a coaching course held by a legendary player such as Pele, or local boxers being taught by Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson.

In the world of Judo, the name Hidetoshi Nakanishi carries the same elite status.

And coaches and players from Focus Judo Club in Galashiels were very privileged to experience coaching from this famous Judoka, one of the world’s most sought after coaches.

“The Gathering” was held at the Scottish Police training college in Tulliallan, Fife. Judo players from far and wide attended this masterclass, organised by Judo Scotland.

This was a residential two-day course hosted by Hidetoshi Nakanishi, who took a short break from his teaching at Tokai University in Japan to visit Scotland with his daughter and host this event.

Mr Nakanishi, former world champion, is one of Japan’s Judo superstars, so it was a memorable event for everyone involved.

Focus Judo’s coach, Lee Allan said: “Our club has had a very busy year. Early in 2013 we attended a masterclass with Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons then shortly after we visited the Edinburgh club, where Olympians Sarah Clark, Sally Conway, Sarah Adlington and GB coach Billy Cusack were sharing the mat with our players.

“We all took part in another residential weekend in Largs at Camp Alba in June with Eiji Kikuchi (4th Dan) from Japan and Frédéric Dambach (5th Dan) from France.

“Then, to top it all, we met Hidetoshi Nakanishi.

“Some of our kids are competing at the Hibari-kan junior open in Larkhall, and we are also hosting our own junior level competition in December, so it’s been a very healthy year for us.”

If you or your child would like to try Judo in the build up to next year’s Commonwealth Games, you will be met with a very friendly welcome at Focus Judo Club in Galashiels.

All details can be found on www.focusjudo.org