Akil Gjakova: The dojo is like my home

Akil Gjakova from Kosovo gave special interview to Judo Inside. He’s under quarantine but still able to do some judo training, which is a rarity these days.

Up to date he has won three IJF World Tour gold medals.

JIC: How’s the Covid-19 situation in Kosovo?

As of now, looking the numbers, the situation is still under control. There are just under 100 people who have tested positive with Covid-19, but I think in these next two weeks it’s really important for us to take care and respect the rules. Otherwise the numbers could rise exponentially and, as a country, we don’t have the capability to deal with that.

What’s the lock-down like right now?

People can go out only at specific times, from 06:00 to 10:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00.

I understand the judo team is able to still train. How is this possible?

We are actually in a quarantine and training within the quarantine. The dojo is located on the private property of the Kuka Family. Two other guys and I stay on the upper floor of the dojo where there are some rooms. The girls stay in another house near the dojo. We don’t go anywhere except to the dojo, so there is no chance of infection.

Is it just the elite players training? How often do you guys train under quarantine?

Yes, the elite players and their training partners. Altogether, there are 11 of us. We train two to three times per day.

How does it feel to live in the same dojo that you train in? What do you do for food?

This dojo is like my home. I have trained here since I was six years old. My real home is just 10 minutes away. Of course, the big difference between now and normal times is that we are now under quarantine but I just tell myself I’m at a training camp. The girls do the cooking for all of us but we try to help them.

The whole interview you can read here.

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