Have you thought of a holiday yet for 2016? Your partner is heavily involved in Judo and perhaps on his/her way to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as an athlete or coach? We have it all covered with your next holiday opportunity being in Porec, Croatia, during the upcoming Judo Festival.

As the already hectic schedule becomes extremely overloaded, it starting to be more challenging to plan a holiday. This is exactly the reason why the Judo Festival is a perfect opportunity to bring work and pleasure together. The ever famously said Judo family conclusion multiplies during the period of the Judo Festival. Discover some of the joyful memories of our judo families who have shared the hard work with some quality family time in the past.


What better way to spend your holiday than by doing what you like doing best! Some families are joining the training on the tatami and also judoka who are combining their attendance at the Olympic Training Camp – OTC – Antalya with some relaxing days at the EJU Judo Festival being held at the Maritime Pine Beach Resort together with the family. And this is exactly the aim from the EJU Judo Festival.

ALEKSEI BUDOLIN: "Here I have the chance to combine judo and family responsibilities..." 

Estonian coach, Aleksei Budolin is amongst those who mixes his duties with some quality family time His role is to prepare the Estonian national team, whilst he has taken his family with him to Antalya. “Usually I travel a lot so I don’t see my family very often. Here I have the chance to combine judo and family responsibilities. I am happy that they can be here”, said the Olympic bronze medalist of Sydney 2000. Everyday he spends his time on the mat with his athletes, in between that, he is with the family. The 39 years old Estonian also enjoys games with the coaches – they play beach volleyball and beach soccer together. “It has become a tradition that some of the coaches come together and have some fun”. It’s the second time that Aleskei Budolin has participated at the Judo Festival in Antalya. “Last year I recognized how many projects are in existence”, he said. This year the former world silver and bronze medalist became a member of the EJU coaching commission.

MARTIN THIBLIN: "....it is just the best!"

“We have a top three ranking list”, said Jessica Thiblin, the wife of the Norwegian competitor Martin Thiblin. “The OTC in Sochi, then Castelldefels and the number one is definitely the Judo Festival. We have also been here last year; it is just the best.” Martin takes the opportunity of having his family with him whenever he can, including his two years old daughter, Carolina. “We had an agreement: We arrived a few days earlier and we stay some more days in order that I can spend as much time as possible together. In between, of course, I am very often tired because I have to train”, said the 34 years old judoka. Martin depends on these training camps because in Norway there are not that many partners. “I train every day on my own. I am even travelling many times on my own. I don’t like it. I need somebody around me and with the family it is just perfect.”

MARINA PANINA: “The combination between sun, beach and training is just perfect.”

Russian Marina Panina joins the Judo Festival together with her daughter, Zhanna. The fact that they spend time together on the tatami is not new for them. In their judo club KASCAD - Sergiev Posad, Moscow region, it is common to have training camps for parents and children. They organize such training camps every year. This year it is their first time to join the Judo Festival in Antalya, and it is also the first time that they are visiting the city. “It is so good here. There are so many different teams and we also have the chance to see Olympic heroes”, Marina said happily and continued: “The combination between sun, beach and training is just perfect.” Her little eight years old daughter likes it too. “We do different exercises and I can play with many other kids.”  Four years ago both started with judo and no doubt, they will be also there at the next EJU Judo Festival.