Personal profile


Dr Callan is an internationally respected academic in the field of judo. He is Professor of Judo Education, Institute of Sport Strategic Lead for Business and Enterprise and leader of the i-dojo International Judo Research Unit.

He is the President of the International Association of Judo Researchers, Scientific Committee Member of the International Judo Federation, Education Director of the Commonwealth Judo Association and Scientific Commissioner for the European Judo Union. Author of over 30 books and articles, he has lectured in over 20 countries. He founded the Richard Bowen Archive at the University of Bath, which was nominated for the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

A world leader in international judo coach education, he has supported the professional development of around 200 coaches working with national level athletes from over 20 nations. As a coach practitioner, athletes he has worked with have medalled at Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth level.

Founder of the consultancy firm Judospace, Dr Callan has advised a wide range of federations and organisations including the Government of Japan.

Previously he was Sport Collaborator with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organising Committee and the International Federation Services Group Leader for Judo for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Formerly Mike has been a Board Member of the British Bob-Skeleton Association, and the British Judo Association. He competed in the World University Championships, and he holds the judo grade of 7th Dan.

Holder of an International Olympic Committee Diploma, and a life member of the British and Maltese Judo Federations, he was awarded the International Judo Federation Special Achievement Award for global contribution to judo education and research, and the Commonwealth Judo Association Presidents Special Recognition Award for his significant contribution to the development of judo in the Commonwealth.

See below for links to websites, blogs and films showcasing research and public engagement that Dr Callan is involved in:

The beginnings of judo in Europe - part of the Cabinet of Curiosities series of profiles from the University of Bath Archive.

A judo coach educational journey - A project to develop coaches from the NHC British Judo region in collaboration with Tokai University, Matsumae Judo Juku, the Solidarity of Judo Coach Education, and the Kodokan.

The Judospace Blog - a series of articles covering educational aspects of judo.

Research interests

Areas of interest include:

  • Judo
  • Safe Falling
  • Coach Education
  • Sporting performance
  • Talent development
  • Head injuries

Mike has undertaken extensive research and delivered presentations at universities and conferences in Japan, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Iceland, Lithuania, Greece, Croatia, Norway, and the UK. His work looks at coach education and development, judo, safe falling, talent development, predictors of performance, and head injuries in sport.

His recent publications include 'The Science of Judo' (Routledge), 'Women in Judo' (Routledge), a co-authored book (with Andrew Burns) entitled ‘Strength and Conditioning for Judo’; a co-authored book (with Florin Daniel Lascau) in Croatian entitled ‘The judo handbook for coaches’, chapters in 'The Routledge Handbook of Sport in Asia' and a number of papers relating to coaching, safe falling and head injuries in judo.

Commercial and public engagement

Mike’s consultancy experience includes working with clients such as: London 2012, Tokyo 2020, BBC4, IJF Academy, European Judo Union, Judo South Africa, Norwegian Judo Federation, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Essex, Hellenic Judo Federation, Icelandic Judo Federation, Commonwealth Judo Association, Judo Federation of Australia, Pinewood Judo Club, The British Judo Association, and the Croatian Olympic Academy.

Teaching specialisms

Sport Management, Sports Development, Coaching

Education/Academic qualification

Ergonomics, BSc (Hons), Loughborough University

Sport Education, PhD, Elite sport and education support systems, The University of Bath

Management, Diploma in Management, The University of Reading

External positions

Expert Evaluator for Sport, European Commission (EC) - The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)

2021 → …

Scientific Committee Member, International Judo Federation

2021 → …

Education Director, Commonwealth Judo Association

2018 → …

President, International Association of Judo Researchers

Aug 2007 → …


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