Message from Walter Dean, The President of USJA

Your USJA BOD is trying a number of new and revised projects. I would like to report on several of these.

We know the information and recognition does not always flow to our membership, and to be honest, many things show we are on a positive track. Such as increases in both members and clubs.

I have asked board member Sensei Pete Mantel who recently served as the President of USJA BOD if he would serve as the chair of a newly formed Information Committee. He will have many ongoing projects and will select his team. While due to expand the team includes great assets such as Sensei Bonnie Korte who recently was promoted to Kudan, Michael Goldsmith our Chief General Counsel serving the USJA for over 12 years, and Michael Hall who runs the operations and is responsible for all the great things we do every day.

Pete Mantel a retired Coast Guard serviceman with an outstanding service record accepted this challenge. He has great organizational skills and has terrific ideas to flow information to our members

Some of the spotlights will be on a regular basis publishing stories of our members and the notable things they continue to do. We will feature clubs but not always the biggest. We have those that are an inspiration for their work with Judo. We have many outstanding people in our organization that serve Judo. We also are aware of how important the military is to USJA’s great history, so we, in addition, will salute our military Judoka.

We will be publishing an instruction letter on how to submit facts that can help write the article. It will provide the format, but it is important to tell the story in your own words. We do encourage you to consider nominating someone or getting involved. It can be in a club or perhaps a story about your club, your student, or anyone that deserves recognition. Perhaps someone that served, still serves, or one that inspired you.

Scott Main has been installed, as the treasurer and is working with Michael Hall. Michael Hall with his superior knowledge and the work he continues to do for this organization, has great advantages. Scott will track finances and trends. He also has a very detailed analytical mind making him a great choice that your board approved. Keeping track of all matters leading to our stability and creating a cash flow plan is an important way to conduct business. Sensei Main will also be involved with all tax filings and details for the board. This information will flow to our members. Your BOD has put many demands on his time because of the faith they have in him. I was immediately impressed with the prior boards decision to ask Scott to serve. He has a great grasp of what needs to be done.

One of our new committees recognizes the extraordinary success of our Martial Arts Brothers and Sisters in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. They do an amazing service to their members and the sport. Some of us teach Judo at BJJ schools, and we know how we might assist. The thought is to find a number of BJJ academes’ and offer them a way to install a nationally recognized judo association in their programs. By allowing us to help them with this endeavor, once they accept the program, they may receive all the benefits of working with the USJA as members. Your BOD recently approved Sensei Jesse Goldstein as the Chair. For the few who do not know, Jesse is a longtime supporter of USJA. He holds the Judo rank of 8th degree black belt and is a former Olympian. Jesse serves as the Vice President of the USJA BOD. Jesse will be free to pick his committee, which is the new policy by which committees are operated.

He has selected an amazing athlete Sensei Paulo Augusto who is highly respected in the BJJ family, holding the rank of 7th Dan in BJJ and 6th Dan in Judo. He started martial arts in Brazil as a small child, relocated to the USA in 1997, and is a proud US citizen. Paulo operates a very successful BJJ and Judo Academy in San Marcos, Ca. Jesse selected Paulo as his Vice Chair. Jesse said because of his location, he will do a lot on the West Coast. He already made contact with BJJ people.

The program will start small, explaining how we might offer Judo and USJA in their programs. We could offer many of the standards we, as a national Judo program, could provide. Once USJA members, they would be eligible to participate in Judo events gaining the required insurance as part of their JA membership. They could lean on our coach, referee, and promotion certifications as well as certain guides. Depending on the situation, we might be able to offer Judo coach assistance or training for their coaches and athletes so they understand and can benefit from the USJA National system. The idea is to provide a service like any other but does it to help them add a structured National Organization for Judo.

If you have any interest in serving as a coach or know of the BJJ facility we could offer our service, the Committee really could use your info. Even if you already teach Judo in a BJJ school, we would like to discuss your success. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jesse.

We are considering an Advisor Committee made up of club leaders from larger clubs to sit on a panel explaining things you need from the USJA. Many of you are highly successful and talented, and we respect that you should have a voice. We need input from our club leaders to serve you better. The idea is that this committee, made of representatives from the top clubs, gets together and feedback.

All of these committees cannot operate on their own. Your board cannot operate without support. So we ask you, our members, to offer your expertise, guidance, and support. Please get in touch with our committees to volunteer. The BOD and your Association need your help if you want to discuss how you might serve or have a certain skill that would be helpful, we want to hear.

Walter Dean 9th Dan
President USJA

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