“The certainty is that I have spent my time to build something that is worthwhile. The hope is that I have succeeded in a small part”
M.tro GIORGIO SOZZI
Last night in the outdoor area of the dojo in via Corte, many friends, students and former athletes gathered to celebrate a 50-year story that never stops.
Behind Andrea and Ilaria’s usual desire to joke and celebrate (as often happens in the dojo for a birthday or a new black belt) last night there was much more: an emotion that arises even before that phrase with which I open the article that of the unforgettable Giorgio Sozzi (sentence in the book published last year is written by Andrea ‘Something that is worth. Giorgio Sozzi and the adventure in judo’).
In the video there is everything (even the delivery of a gift as exciting as it is unexpected) and there are all the friends who attended, without distinction of name or position, because the Kodokan Cremona is and will always remain a big family where the newcomer will be the first to be helped and where no one is left behind.
Last night all those who attended were honored with the special edition of ‘Kodokan dal 1971 il judo a Cremona’, the periodical founded by Giorgio Sozzi, which has accompanied the life of the dojo since 1984. In Japanese “ju-do” means “way (do) of adaptability (ju)” and “Kodokan” means “school to learn the way”.
And this is exactly what the opening article is about, that virtue that allowed the Kodokan to move forward by adapting to the situation created by the pandemic. The face-to-face courses have become online appointments for agonists and non-athletes, for children and the disabled.
’50 years of heart and judo 1971-2021 ‘ by Andrea Sozzi
‘Fifty years of life, for a sports club, are no joke. Half a century of meetings, dialogues, training, transfers, events, friendships. Thousands of people have passed through the Kodokan. Someone came down from the tatami while still a boy, and came back as an adult, to accompany their children: today there are grandchildren of the first judokas of the Kodokan, on the tatami. Generations cross in the Kodokan Cremona dojo, which has tried to be a constant point of reference, while constantly adapting to a world that has changed a lot since 1971.
However, the desire to make a positive contribution to the community has not changed, to mark a way for common progress, welcoming everyone, without prejudice to those “last” who at Kodokan have never felt like such. A vision, this, inclusive “ante litteram”, which made Giorgio Sozzi – ten years after his death, we can say without fear of denial – a pioneer in judo, in sport, and perhaps also in the way of understanding society .
The special judo for students with intellectual disabilities, proposed by Sozzi in the 1980s, was the anticipation of those instances of inclusiveness and progress that now, rightly, all educational agencies pursue, but which, at the time, were viewed with distrust and suspicion. The Kodokan was, in Giorgio’s mind, little more than an idea, which rests on a few concrete resources: some tatamis to be assembled and disassembled, few students, no headquarters.
The dojo migrated through the most dilapidated and dismal places of Cremona, before the construction of a suitable location. But the spirit was stronger than adversity, and Giorgio Sozzi’s latest magic was to put so much energy into his idea of Kodokan that it continued to live and grow even without him, the Master. I dedicate this short volume to Giorgio Sozzi and the judokas of the Kodokan, with a thought of the friends who have left us, and who always live, always in the great heart of the Kodokan Cremona ‘.
“The birth of the Kodokan Cremona” from ” Giorgio Sozzi, Kodokan Cremona. 20 years of friendship ‘, 1991
‘I was in the safe harbor of a perfectly organized gym, nice carpet, hot showers, winter heating, housekeeping, concierge. I was part of the social council and with some success and a good following I held two courses, for children and young people, which gratified me: in short, I was in the calm sea of tranquility.
But, one evening in April 1971, something strange, an idea suddenly penetrated my mind, like an arrow shot from who knows where, while, sitting, I listened, casually in truth, without feeling too much involved, the discussion that took place between the various councilors summoned to meet. Urged to intervene, I laconically announced that, in the arguments, I was no longer interested, since, starting from that precise moment, I declared myself resigning from the company.
And so I left the safe harbor, crossed the calm sea of tranquility, passed the Pillars of Hercules and sailed into the unknown. So I loaded, in installments because they were too heavy, the 18 carpets of the old wrestling mat on my father’s “bianchina”, license plate “CR4444 ‘and, on a July afternoon, under a rare and violent rain, I took the carpet to the salon ground floor of the former Martini Asylum Wet Kodokan, lucky Kodokan, I thought […] ‘
VIDEO and PHOTO by Daniele Gazzaniga