Interview with Peter Paltchik

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JUDO TRAINING have had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Paltchik, 28 years old israeli judoka, number 4 in the international ranking IJF under 100 kg.

1. Why did you choose Judo as your sport?

Well, there are athletes that tried a few kinds of sports during there childhood and then needed to choose the one to keep going with. For me, it was love at first sight since I was 4 years old and my grandfather took me to the nearest Judo Club to my family house. I was born in a very complicated birth process in 1992 in USSR with a weight of 5.1Kg (weight of 3-4 month boy). I had a lot of fractions and problems that only one doctor agreed to try and fix. My grandfather took me every day for treatments and after a few months the doctor said to him that he must take me to do sport at the moment it is possible. When I was 9 months old I and my mom I immigrated to Israel and started a new chapter in our lives here. Later on, my grandfather that I called by his name – Peter – and my grandmother came to Israel as well. From the moment I felt the tatami, I loved it. My grandfather pushed me a lot through the first years but when I was a bit older I decided that Judo is my life. I think Judo chose me as I chose Judo.

2. What is your training week like?

How many sessions do you do per day and what type? My training schedule is very intense and tight. Start my day usually at 06:30 driving to the national training center. My morning session is the Movement training and then the Gym. After lunch usually, the time goes to treatments like physiotherapy, etc, And afternoon randori of course. At the end of the day, after physics trainings are over, I invest in mental training. Of course in the last few months, we didn’t have a regular routine in Israel as to Covid-19 quarantine. So I build a Crossfit club in my back yard and had a different training routine built by our coaches and team.

3. What type of training is your favorite (both in Judo and conditioning)?

As I deal with Judo, randori is my favorite part of the day. This is the time to try new moves and strategies and improve old ones. I usually come with new ideas that I have in mind and need to develop them with my team.

4. What is your least favorite training?

I believe that all parts are super important. if you have a holistic training plan and a clear vision you know exactly what you need to do. so, of course, I don’t like all parts the same, but I come with full motivation to all of them because I know how important they are to the process and to achieve my goals.

5. What do you think is your secret as Judoka?

Well, I don’t think that I have a secret that I want to share here with everyone 🙂 But seriously, after I injured a year before Rio Olympic games in my shoulder i had a 9 months rehabilitation process. I decided that if I want to stand on the podium I need to be fully committed to the process. Judo is the most important thing in my life right now, and I take it very seriously. (I even postponed my honeymoon because I didn’t want to miss my training after the surgery in the shoulder). So this is my secret.

6. What is your Tokui Waza in Tachi Waza?

One of my favorite Tachi Waza is Osoto Otoshi, Seonage for both sides and Sode.

7. How is the organization of Judo in Israel? Do you train in Clubs or do you always train together with the entire national team? How can you get to the national team? Who are your trainers?

In Israel, the organization works in the system of the national team and of course, there are still the local clubs, but all the athletes that want to be competitive, they are coming to the national team and train together at the national team center. We train together as an Olympic team and we have big stuff supporting us leading by the head Israel coach Oren Smadga that he is the first Olympic medalist in Israel; Guy Fogel and Gil Ofer. Psychologist – Elad, Physiotherapist – Nimrod & Ido, Movement trainer – Ori Zamir, Gym – Vova and Massagers Mark and Alexei. We have a lot of trainers but I like to train most and do randori with Lee Kochman our 90 kg and Ori Sasson +100. 7. Who is or has been your toughest rival? I have a lot of toughest rivals (-100 is one of the toughest categories) But, today I think that I am my own rival, in every competition I go I need to be fully focused and motivated and of course to be in my best shape, and when everything is ok – usually good things happen (:

8. What are your short term (until Tokyo 2021) and long term goals (after Tokyo)?

I think that the main goal, for now, is to go back to the judo training and to the pre-COVID-19 routine. I believe it would take time to go back for competitions from the world tour but we need to be ready. I am focusing on Tokyo and to do my best over there aiming for the gold medal in my category. After that? you will need to talk with me again.

David Fernández

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