Neil Adams (judoka)

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For other people named Neil Adams, see Neil Adams (disambiguation).
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 57)
Rugby, Warwickshire
Residence Coventry
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 78 kg (172 lb; 12.3 st)
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.

Judo Milestones[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]

Recent career[edit]

Adams runs a coach education business called Neil Adams Effective Fighting as well as teaching Judo around the world. In March 2009 he resigned as 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. Adams was previously the national coach VJF judo in Belgium.[3]

Private Life[edit]

As a teenager, Adams went to Myton School in Warwick. He is married to Niki Adams (née Jenkins) a former Canadian Olympian in judo, having been previously engaged, in the 1980s, to British Olympic swimming star Sharron Davies. 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.


  • (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

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]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Judo Legends: Neil Adams (
  2. ^ "Dan Grade register". British Judo Association. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  3. ^ (2009-10-06), British Judo legend Neil Adams MBE, retrieved 2009-11-03 
  4. ^ Judo Heroes – 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games website
  5. ^ Dog Judo site

External links[edit]