Special Needs Committee


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The Special Needs Committee is dedicated to educating, advising, and certifying prospective judo coaches and instructors on training and teaching judo students with Special Needs. The committee focuses on judo players with Developmental Disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disability (ID), Cerebral Palsy, and others.

USJA is leading the way in Special Needs (SN) Judo. No other Judo NGB has any sort of training or SN Program/Certification yet. We believe that this program goes towards the heart of Grassroots Judo!

That being said, USJA has approved the following “promotion points” for the following Special Needs designations. Please note THIS IS NOT a “Coaching” certification like the standard course we already have – the SN Coach is focused on “working with Special Needs students.” A standard (or typical) coaching certification will still be required for judo competitions here and abroad.

We will conduct our 2nd Level 1 class here in California on March 21, 2020. Once we build a good Level 1 SN Coach base, then we’ll offer a Level 2 certification course. Eventually, we want to get out to other parts of the country – but we will need to consider travel expenses (since we require hands-on with Special Needs judo students). We definitely don’t want members “freelancing” this training since we are dealing with some medically fragile players.

The Training and Certification is all in place as follows:

Special Needs Judo Certification Points/year

Level 1 – Basic 8 hour SN coaching course (1/2 classroom & 1/2 practical) 2

Level 2 – Intermediate 8 hour SN coaching course (3/4 classroom & 1/4 practical) + Level 1 certificate 3

Level 3 – Advanced SN Coach (must sign up and take 40 hour RBT Course) + Level 2 certificate 4

SN Coach Instructor – Must be designated by USJA SN Judo Committee for proper qualifications 5


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