We are a team of four Judokas from around the globE
Meet our team
Sabrina is an Olympian Judoka and twice European Judo Champion from Austria. Her Judo journey started at the age of eight. Sabrina has run Judo workshops for youth in Nepal and Bhutan and has been a strong supporter of various Judo for Peace Projects in Nepal. Sabrina has also mobilized support within the Austrian Judo community by running Judo gi donation campaigns for Judokas in Bhutan and Nepal.
Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte
Kabir (right) is an international environmental lawyer and has worked extensively in Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and Asia including Bhutan providing legal assistance to communities and advising governments. Kabir's Judo journey started in India and led him to Japan, where he trains in one of the oldest dojos in the country. His vision is to use Judo as a tool for rebuilding communities and heal trauma.
Negar (right) was born in Iran and grew up in Germany. She has a background in development studies, environmental law and psychology with a passion for community empowerment. She has worked extensively in the South Caucus and East Asia assisting rebuilding communities destroyed by war, ethnic and religious conflict. Her Judo journey started in Japan where besides working at the United Nations University, she is also training to become a Judo instructor. Her vision is to use Judo as a means to conflict transformation and peace building.
Yoshihiro's Judo Journey started 23 years ago in Japan. He is a 4th Dan Judoka and currently the Chief Judo Instructor in Bhutan. Following his passion for Judo and his vision to empower youth, Yoshihiro quit his academic job in Japan to teach Judo full-time in Bhutan. He is actively involved in building a solid and long-term Judo infrastructure in Bhutan that will produce high-quality Bhutanese Judokas and Judo instructors.
The private school was established in Tashi Pelkhil Village along the banks of Thimchhu in Thimphu Valley in 2010 and has about 600 students. Since the school was founded in the Year of the Iron Tiger the school's mascot is the tiger. The 8 acre campus is just minutes from the centre of the capital city yet it enjoys the quiet of a rural setting. The school recognises the importance of academic achievement, but also builds on its strong belief that the future of a nation lies in the quality of citizens it produces. Citizens who have self-discipline, integrity and understand the importance of community. The school’s programs and philosophy allow the best of the students’ natural talents to bloom without letting youthful exuberance get in the way. In line with this, the Pelkhil School established Bhutan's first Judo club in 2010. More about Pelkhil School here.
The Bhutan Judo Association
The Bhutan Judo Association was established by Pelkhil School. The Association is dedicated to promoting the spirit of Judo in Bhutan. Its vision is to support the youth of Bhutan by sharing the philosophy of Judo and making the art accessible to them. The BJA envisions a state of the art budokan (martial art center) in Bhutan for the long-term development of Judo in Bhutan. Meet the Bhutanese Judokas here.
The BJA currently hosts the only Judo Dojo in Bhutan and its membership is open to all Bhutanese irrespective of age and gender. Its current membership includes mostly students from at least 15 different schools in Thimphu valley. In line with its vision, the BJA does not charge real fees except a monthly nominal fee of Nu.200 (3 EUR). The majority of the Judoka can neither afford the nominal fee nor possess a Judo gi (uniform). Hence, the BJA provides temporary gi from countries such as Japan and Austria on a returnable basis.
The BJA further serves a unique role as the sole entity in Bhutan responsible for all matters related to Judo in the country. The Bhutan Judo Association is formally affiliated with the Bhutan Olympic Committee. Following its mission to promote Judo amongst the population in Bhutan the BJA is currently seeking membership with the Judo Union of Asia, the South Asia Judo Federation and the International Judo Federation (IJF). Currently, the BJA is survives on the generosity of friends and other supporters. That is why Judo Journey's is dedicated to support the BJA in fulfilling its mission. Follow the BJA
Blind Judo Foundation
The Blind Judo Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance and empower blind and visually impaired children, young adults and individuals achieve maximum independence through the pursuit of a sport called Judo. The Foundation introduces and trains individuals in the practice of Judo which is aligned with the principles it its founder Jigoro Kano dating back to the late 1800. The tenets of Judo taught by the Foundation includes confidence building, character development, how to make commitments, humility, respect and responsibility.
Judo is referred to as the “gentle art” and is an ideal form of physical exercise promoting psychological, emotional and productive benefits through dedication and commitment to consistent practice. The Foundation also creates a level playing field where everyone regardless of social, ethnic, religious or economic background is welcomed and inclusive. Coaches, instructors and trainers associated with the Foundation have a zero tolerance for bullying. Learn more about the Blind Judo Foundation's work here.