Today, history was made with the signing of the first-ever American Judo Alliance Agreement between the United States Judo Association (USJA), United States Judo Federation (USJF) and United States Judo, Inc. (USA Judo). This new agreement paves the way for the three organizations to work together with the focus of growing the sport of judo in the United States.
“We believe the collaboration our organizations have agreed to pursue is a must to grow and promote the sport of judo in America,” said Mark Hill, President of USA Judo, the National Governing Body for Judo in the US. “We could not be happier to work with our judo brothers and sisters in USJA and USJF and are appreciative of their willingness to break down past barriers to advance our sport.”
In addition to updating past agreements that have been in place over the years, the American Judo Alliance Agreement focuses on the following initiatives:
- Revision of the reciprocal participation agreement so that members of USJA, USJF and USA Judo can continue participating in each other’s local and regional events.
- The agreement of USA Judo to award the USJA/USJF Jr. Grassroots Judo Summer Nationals a national point- sanction increase for 2018 and beyond awarding 7 points for first place, 5 for second and 3 for third. These points will increase with a 3/4 proration if/when USA Judo increases points for its National Events.
- Added safeguards and requirements for aligned insurance coverages to protect members and participants will be mandated and reviewed annually.
- Reciprocal recognition of coach certifications provided insurance, background screens and Safe Sport trainings have been completed so that without regard to any particular membership affiliation, coaches from the three federations will be permitted to coach at all events sanctioned by any of the three organizations.
- The formation of an integrated coaching certification task force with representatives from all three organizations will create a proposal for a comprehensive, integrated coaching certification program.
- The creation of a task force consisting of six coaches or teachers skilled in instruction at all age and skill levels to create a skeleton plan for an “American Judo Development Model” designed to provide improved processes for the advancement and development of athletes.
“Dr. Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo, promoted the concept of Jita Kyoei or “win-win” and together we have seized this opportunity for the good of all organizations,” said USJF President, Kevin Asano. “Working in collaboration we can do more together than working separately to positively impact our communities and grow our sport. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all the individuals who gave much effort and many hours to make this agreement a reality. It is now time for us to work together for the good of judo in America.”
“It was an arduous road to bring this AJA Agreement to fruition. In judo, often the journey is as important as the destination. Working together with our partners, we learned much about each other’s organizations, while build- ing trust and mutual respect,” said USJA President, John Paccione. “I look at this as a beginning of a new era of co- operation between USJA, USJF, and USA Judo.”
“I am thrilled to work together with USJA and USJF to grow the sport of judo and create future generations of Olympians and Paralympians,” said USA Judo CEO, Keith Bryant. “Many Team USA National Governing Bodies have seen success in creating American Development Models for their sports and I anticipate the same will happen with the creation of the first-ever American Judo Development Model.”