President’s Letter – 08/30/21

President’s Message
Celita Schutz

As a 3X Olympian, I know the hard work and support as well as the challenges one has to overcome to succeed. Running a national non-profit organization as large as the USJA is no different. To this end I would like to acknowledge the dedicated service of our outgoing Kosen Judo committee Chair Rhadi Ferguson who helped to establish the Kosen Judo Committee for the USJA and our outgoing Standards & Ethics Chair, David Lavelle (TN) and to welcome our new Standards & Ethics Committee Chair Rob Matrisciani (NY) as the committee’s new chair, along with new committee members Vicki L. Mahan (PA) and Bruce Bender (IN). Please also welcome Philippe Morotti (CA) as the new chair of the Election Committee and Michelman and Robinson, LLP as our new council. They have agreed to represent us pro bono.

As for the challenges, some may be aware that there has been a concerted effort by some, which has included misinformation and a smear campaign to undermine the integrity of USJA elections, as well the stability of the organization and to discredit hard working volunteers. I am glad to announce that while they may have succeeded in slowing us down, the elections will be happening in September, and their attacks on the organization have not stopped us from hosting a coach clinic, a couple of NTC open workouts, moving forward with nationals, and successfully negotiating a new insurance policies. (Our old insurer is getting out of the business of insuring combat sports.)


USJA is looking for a Chair for the Kosen Judo Committee. Please reach out to Celita Schutz or another Board member if interested.


With our website and election integrity issues solved, below is the timeframe for elections.

September 15, 2021 at Midnight – Online voting begins
September 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm – Members (17 years old or older) must be registered lifetime or annual members with a current, unique primary email listed on your USJA Member Profile.


September 15, 2021 – Association Elections will send an email containing an unique, single-use link to the USJA ballot (not reusable, not transferable or shareable).
September 30, 2021 at 11:59 pm – Online voting ends
Monday, October 4, 2021 – Results will be announced by the Election Committee


If you wish to donate to USJA, make sure you are donating directly to USJA. Unfortunately, some have been using our logo to fundraise for purposes other than the goals of our organization and without the consent of the organization. Beware because it is unclear where your funds will go.


Thank you for reaching out with your ideas, support, concerns, and questions. We will reply; however, please keep in mind Board members are volunteers with their own family and professional commitments, so our replies may not be instantaneous. Also, because of threats of litigation by those seeking to undermine the organization and its leadership, there are certain things which cannot be discussed.

As an alternate source of information in case there are issues with our website, we are launching a USJA NetNews landing page at Visitors will find up-to-date information and links to upcoming events and tournaments, USJA President’s letters, important club information, and voting instructions.

Thank-you to Doug Bedsaul (MS), Regional Coordinator Chair and Donna Turk (FL), Promotion Committee Chair for your help to forward information and communication during the period of time our website was down.

USJA/USJF Nationals – September 4-5, 2021 – Cape Coral Florida
• Saturday, September 4th: Kata, Seniors, Veterans, IJF Juniors, Juvenile, & Bantam 3
• Sunday, September 5th: Cadet, Intermediate, Bantam 1, Bantam 2 and Kosen Judo

Find Registration and Tournament details HERE

Supporting our Fellow Judoka and Martial Artists

With dojos open and competition in full swing, one effective way to support our fellow judoka and martial artists is to donate to USJA. Your donations will help us to continue to offer and provide the programs and resources to our membership, such as additional clinics, professional development for coaches, national training center sessions and support for athletes all over the country.

To make a donation directly to the USJA go to:

Summer National Training Sessions – Success!

This summer two national training center (NTC) sessions were held. They were attended by a total of 52 judoka from 6 dojos. Players from five different states gathered. Everyone enjoyed great workouts and made some new friends as well. Watch for the next date TBD.

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