I recently went to a National Junior Championship (17, 18 and 19 years) and specifically watched the over 100kg weight division. I thought that judo cutting weight should not at all be an issue for these big fellows. The important is to be over 100kg to be better off. In many cases if they would participate at an “all you can eat contest” they would all win.
However when I saw the range between the lightest, that weighed 104kg and the heaviest weighing 148kg, I started to have some doubts. The weight difference amounted to 44kg! It is almost the same difference between the lightest weight division 55kg existing in this age group and the heaviest 100kg.
Normally in all judo competitions, unless it is an open, when there is the need it can be, that two closest weight divisions are put together. However it is always an issue concerning safety especially when minors are involved. Therefore the 55kg weight division could be merged with the 60kg, or 60kg with 66kg and so on, but the officials would never dream to unify the 55kg with the 100kg. But when it comes to the over division this seems to happen “naturally”.
Of course one can argue, that in judo it is not a matter of weight, but skills, that there are open competitions with no weight distinctions and so on. And to tell you the truth the lightest athlete, that weighed 104kg at this National Championship, won the bronze medal. He was not only very skilled technically, but also had an outstanding physical preparation.
Nevertheless the question among the lightest judo players of the over 100kg division about cutting weight was raised: when weighing 104, 106 or 107kg would it not be wiser to do something in order to enter the 100kg division? Considering the age and the fact, that they are still growing teenagers is it really wise to cut weight? Typical for the young people is to find drastic measures in order to solve the issue: they starve themselves to death in order to make the 100kg division and then they loose right away because they have no energy left to face the opponent.
There certainly is a more constructive approach to this matter by simply following a balanced nutrition plan, learning how to deal with food in a correct way in order to always be at peak performance in order to avoid adding in judo practice the cutting weight issue.