In recent years, in order to enhance the opportunities to win medals in international competitions, the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) proposed “Elite Sports” to support athletes to reach an elite level. However, only 16 sports events receive "Tier A" support from the Elite Training Program operated by the HKSI with effect from April 2013. The Elite Sports Committee rejected some popular sports, for instance, Judo, soccer and basketball. The issue of whether Judo should be included in Hong Kong Elite Sports (Tier A) has been discussed for several years among scholars and universities in Hong Kong. Despite strong objection from HKSI, however, Judo should be included in the Hong Kong Elite Sports (Tier A), for it brings advantages to the spreading of Judo spirit, intensifies support for elite Judo athletes and the HKSI, and promotes Hong Kong’s economic growth.
“Judo for all” has been a slogan when actively promoting sports events, marketing the idea, or providing an ornate pretext for increasing funding for the sport. Some conservative Judo specialists argued that most of the bureaucratic organizations misunderstood the real interpretation of “Judo for all” which arises from the fundamental spirit of Judo itself. According to Ito's (2011) proposal (P. 5), “the main purpose of Judo is the cultivation of the mind and moral education as well as physical education.” In addition, though Judo has been included into one of the events of the Olympics, Professor Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo and representatives of the board of Japanese Olympic Committee, rejected the introduction of Judo in 1960. As a consequence, the conservatives have strong faith in opposing the introduction of Judo into the Hong Kong Elite Sports (Tier A) on the grounds of original concept of Judo.
Nevertheless, the inclusion of Judo into Tier A does not imply the rejection of popularization of Judo, which is, indeed, a steppingstone of promoting Judo in Hong Kong. According to the 2013 Policy Address (paragraph 187), the strategy for sports development in Hong Kong is to promote sport in the community, support elite sport and maintain Hong Kong as a centre for major international sports events. It clearly validates that elitism is not contradictory to popularization and windsurfing is a favourable demonstration of the above. After the victory of Lee Lai-Shan at the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympics, Hong Kong government invested a considerable amount of resources in windsurfing. Judo can absolutely follow the track of windsurfing since some marvellous Judo players are performing outstandingly in the international competitions; for example, YU Kin Ting captured a gold medal in Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games. Promoting judo to Tier A, therefore, helps the promotion of Judo in the community in fact, which simultaneously indicates that the elevation of Judo is an essential and compulsory element in the process of popularization and the road of “Judo for all”.
Judo, in alternative...