What is the USJA? by Marc Cohen

What is the USJA?


Like many of our members, I am a veteran of the USJA. Like most people my age, I began my study and association with judo in the early 1960s with the local Black Belt organization of the USJF. Through them I reached Yudanshi level and then moved to the USJA in 1981 along with my Judo club, 37 years ago.


I’ve had time to think about who and what the United States Judo Association is and wanted to share my perspective with all of you.


The USJA is principally a small nonprofit corporation that survives with the support of the members. Above all, we are a credentialing organization whose mission is to serve the membership and to develop and maintain standards. We accomplish this mission in a variety of ways under the agreed upon Bylaws of the organization. In this small snapshot of who and what we are, there are those of differing opinions about how the organization is run, but by keeping the definition in mind, it narrows the scope of what our overall mission should be.


In practical terms, we register members, issue appropriate ranks in Judo and Jujitsu, charter schools and sanction events. In addition, we maintain communication with our members and with the larger Judo community in the United States and throughout the world with emails, phone calls, website presence and social media.


We are a service organization and because of that we resolve issues and maintain a steady stream of correspondence and communications between the members and the professional staff.


In order to continue to function, we need to continuously monitor revenue streams to pay the expenses of the corporation including daily work, professional services and operating overhead. Although the overall governance of the organization is through a volunteer effort, we do maintain a staff of people who work through a vendor to initiate and maintain the data infrastructure of the corporation and offer one on one service to the members. The related expenses are a necessary cost of doing business and we constantly monitor the financial health of the corporation.


Make no mistake in thinking of the USJA as a small group like a Dojo, we are a business and we need to maintain the financial, physical and data integrity of our organization so that we can continue to offer the support and services that our members have come to expect.


When all is said and done, we will be the largest and best Judo organization in this country and arguably in the world. We will offer more services at reasonable costs and innovate the most modern technologies in order to accomplish our short and long term mission. We will, however honor our heritage and the history of Judo for the past 113 years and offer personal service and flexibility where and when needed.


The USJA is a strong and vibrant organization that will continue to grow with the demand of the times and the membership. We will be here for many decades to come doing what we can for the members and for Judo.




Marc Cohen

President, USJA

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