Neil Adams (judoka)

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Neil Adams
8th Dan, MBE
London 2012 - Neil Adams crop.jpg
Neil Adams at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Personal information
Birth name Neil Adrian Adams
Nationality  England
Born (1958-09-27) 27 September 1958 (age 59)
Rugby, Warwickshire
Residence Coventry
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 12 st 3 lb (78 kg)
Country  Great Britain
Sport Judo
Rank hachidan

Neil Adrian Adams, MBE (born 27 September 1958 in Rugby, Warwickshire) is an English judoka who won numerous Olympic and World Championship medals in judo representing Great Britain.

Early life[edit]

Adams was educated at Myton School in Warwick. Adams' brother was the late professional wrestling star Chris Adams, who himself had a successful career in judo before turning to pro wrestling in 1978.

Judo competition career[edit]

Adams was the first British male to win a World title, and the first British male to simultaneously hold a world title and a European title. Other achievements include a gold medal at the 1981 World Judo Championships in Maastricht, the Netherlands, plus silver medals in the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games and the 1983 Judo World Championships. Adams was also five-time European Champion.[1] On 20 September 2008 he was promoted to 8th Dan at the age of 49.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Since retiring, Adams has run a coach education business called Neil Adams Effective Fighting, as well as teaching Judo around the world.

He was national coach of VJF judo in Belgium. He then became head coach of the Welsh Judo Association, a position he took on after being asked to take up the role by close friend and chairman of the association Keven Williams, a position he resigned in March 2009.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Having in the 1980s been engaged to British Olympic swimming star Sharron Davies, Adams has since the 1990s been married to former Canadian Olympic Judoka Niki Jenkins. The couple have two daughters, and the family lives in Coventry.


  • (1986) "Olympic Judo: Throwing Techniques" Pelham (with Cyril Carter)
  • (1986) "Olympic Judo: Variations on Groundwork" Pelham (with Cyril Carter)
  • (1988) "Olympic Judo: Preparation and Training" Pelham (with Cyril Carter)
  • (1991) "Tai-otoshi" Judo Masterclass Techniques Ippon Books
  • (1991) "Arm Locks" Judo Masterclass Techniques Ippon Books
  • (1991) "Grips" Judo Masterclass Techniques Ippon Books
  • (2016) "A Game of Throws - celebrating 50 years in Judo" Fox Spirit Books

Adams in Popular Culture[edit]

Adams was so fondly regarded in Japan that he was given the nickname Happo Bigin (Everyone's friend).[4]

A canine version of Neil Adams made a 'guest appearance' in episode 44 of the online comic series Dog Judo[5]

On 2 December 1983, he was one of the guests on the U.K. children's programme "Crackerjack (TV series)" together with Lynsey de Paul and Kim Wilde.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Judo Legends: Neil Adams Archived 2 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (
  2. ^ "Dan Grade register". British Judo Association. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  3. ^ (6 October 2009), British Judo legend Neil Adams MBE, archived from the original on 13 July 2011, retrieved 3 November 2009 
  4. ^ Judo Heroes – 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games website
  5. ^ Dog Judo site
  6. ^

External links[edit]