Special Feature – Judo Klub Sokel, Solenvia

The SNJU are proud to introduce you to one of our member organisation/clubs, who are the first to be featured in our Special Features section of our website.

This new section of the website is aimed at promoting and highlighting the amazing work that is going on all over the world in the area of inclusive judo.

Welcome to Judo Klub Sokol, Slovenia.

Judo Klub Sokol is a judo club that has been working in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia for over 24 years. They are an enthusiastic small club with a lot of warm-hearted and open-minded people, aiming to contribute to the development of their society.

They started as a section of the Judo Club Golovec in 1987. This section became so numerous that they decided to set up an independent club in 1993, with the main goal of spreading the philosophy of this martial art in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Initially, the club started with a very few members, but with the effort and dedication of everybody, started growing slowly.

In the recent years, the club has experienced a substantial growth, and it has turned into an institution that works for the improvement of society using sports as a tool to achieve this goal. However, it has never lost the atmosphere that characterizes it, being always a family club where everybody is welcome and free to bring new ideas.

As a good example of this, most of the people who are working or volunteering in the club were practising judo with us previously, and some of them are even combining working and participating in classes as judo pupils as well. All trainers are professional judokas with broad experience on teaching. Some of them were very successful competitors in national and international judo competitions.

They are also one of the few sport clubs in Slovenia that welcome judokas with disabilities in our classes, including them in every activity we make, and integrating them into the groups, in order to give them an opportunity to participate as anyone else.

Inclusion is the main topic that concerns us nowadays. They are working very hard to show society that it is possible to include people with disabilities in the same classes as people without disabilities, thus normalizing a situation that they find unfair.

“Many times families with kids with disabilities have to face barriers when they are trying to enrol their kids in sports, just because they are different. That is our reason, to work for a more human world, in which everyone can participate and bring their skills to our activities”.

The club works with people aged from 5 to 75 years old. Currently, with a membership of circ. 300 students.

Here are some great videos about inclusive judo from Judo Klub Sokol:

  1. Festival juda za vse Jožeta Škrabe, Koper 2018 –  2nd Judo Festival for All Jože Škraba 2018
  2. Obisk predsednika RS Boruta Pahorja –  Visit of the President of Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor in inclusive judo training 2019
  3. Svetovne igre SOS in obisk predsednika – World Special Olympic Gold Medal and president on national TV 2019
  4. Adrijan in Benjamin – evropska promotorja združenega športa – Adrian & Benjamin are SOEE young promotors of unified sport

Contact person: Viktorija Pečnikar Oblak

Email: viktorija@judoklubsokol.si

Telephone: 00 386 31 766 880

Address: Pokopališka ulica 35, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

Open hours: Monday till Friday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

SNJU Renewal Invite

Dear SNJU friends & members,

We thank you for your support to date and hope we can rely on your continued support into the future.

Over the past 12 months the SNJU have been working tirelessly on the promotion, development and raising awareness of SN/adapted Judo worldwide.

In this time we have

  • increased our membership to 56 member clubs/organisations/Federations spanning over 26 countries
  • launched an online SN referee training program
  • Hosted a number of high profile SN judo tournaments
  • Been instrumental in the running of the Special Olympic World Games – Judo in Abu Dhabi
  • Run a number of adaptive coaches courses in various countries
  • Identified and assisted in the setting up of new SN programs in various countries

In the coming months we will be

  • Involved in an European Erasmus+ project to research and develop the effects of judo in people with special needs / autism
  • Launching an international online SN coaching program
  • Delivering special needs seminars at the upcoming EJU festival in Croatia
  • Running year 2 of the SN World Games in the Netherlands
  • Assisting in the running of the Swiss SN Championships
  • Running further adaptive coaching courses

This is us just getting warmed up, there will be lots more development of SN judo worldwide as our program grows and more and more people get involved in this amazing part of our sport.

To continue to be part of this wonderful journey we how invite you to renew your annual membership with us. This membership renewal is due the 1st April each year and cost just a nominal fee of  €20. You can renew by following this link http://snju.org/product/webstore-snju-membership/

We thank you in advance for your support and look forward to working with you all in the future.

SNJU Team

Tomas, James Tycho, Cilia, Bob

SNJU will launch coaching and training course

Dear SN/Adaptive judo coaches worldwide,

The SNJU, as part of our on-going international development and promotion of Special Needs/Adaptive judo, will shortly be embarking on an incredible SN/Adaptive coaching training programme and register.
The training programme will comprise of an online training moodle which will have disability awareness modules, inspirational video lessons and practical advice from some of the world’s foremost experts in the field of adaptive coaching.
It will also have a tatami based pre-arranged practical session and certification.
An international SNJU coaching register will also be compiled from all the coaches that successfully complete this course and will be part of the on-going training and development of SN/Adaptive judo worldwide.
To be part of this amazing opportunity pre-register for your online course by clicking here and log in details will be sent to you as soon as the course is ready to be launched.
Initial places will be limited so don’t waste any time – Register Today!
The Online course fee will be just €25 payable on registration and the practical training and assessment will be €20 payable on the day of the assessment and includes certification. To apply for the practical training, click here.

SNJU cooperates with EU in the ERASMUS+ Project


The SNJU board of directors in conjunction with the University of Barcelona are proud to be the driving force in a European Erasmus + project application to study the benefits of the adapted sport of Judo for people with autism.
The study will last for three years and will see six European countries (Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Switzerland) working closely together in research, data collecting, seminars, international training & events and much more.
We are very excited to prove what we already know, that participating in judo is hugely beneficial for people with autism and indeed many other disabilities.
The first meeting of the whole group will take place in Barcelona on Friday 1st February 2019.

Six athletes of Menomonee Judo Club will participate in IBSA Paralympic World Championships in Odilevas, Portugal


This is a text by Brett Wolf of the Menomonee Judo Club which is an SNJU registered club in the USA. The Board of SNJU can only add to Brett’s enthusiasm, and wish the players of Menomonee Judo Club the best of luck in Portugal!

The Menomonee Judo Club is very excited and honored to announce that next week, six of our athletes with visual impairment will be competing at the IBSA Paralympic World Championships in Odilevas, Portugal. The World Judo Championships are the first of six qualifying events for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Paralympic Judo is specifically geared towards athletes with varying levels of visual impairment. In 2012, Menomonee Judo was named the Paralympic Judo National Training Site, the only club with that distinction in the United States.
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Enrollment for the Ben van der Eng Memorial is open!

Dear Judo friends,

It is a great pleasure to be able to invite you for the great Special Needs Judo tournament in Beverwijk.

The 21st Ben van der Eng Memorial Tournament takes place on April 12, 13 and 14, 2019. Due to the large amount of participants and the fact that we do want divisioning, and we do want to show some educational stuff, in 2018 it was already necessary to include the Friday afternoon in our schedule. In 2019, the Friday afternoon is an integral part of the organisation.

Hence, the tournament will be (tentatively) scheduled as follows:

  • Friday april 12 (afternoon): Divisioning and workshops
  • Saturday april 13 (ochtend): Special Needs World Judo Games
  • Saturday april 13 (afternoon): SNWJG Kata
  • Saturday april 13 (evening): Party in Castle Assumburg
  • Sunday april 14: BENG XXI

Another change is a dedicated website for the tournament: http://bengmemorial.com

All information on the tournament can be found at THIS LINK.

Subscription forms can be downloaded HERE.

SNJU Romanian SN Judo Festival, Cluj Napoca, September 2018

The colourful tatami at Cluj Napoca. Click the image for more pictures.

The SNJU were very proud to support last weekend’s second SN Judo Festival in Romania in conjunction with the Down Syndrome Association. This year the event was held in the picturesque city of Culj and was expertly hosted by Antoaneta Vanea and her team from Down Syndrome Association Cluj.
The festival started with the arrival of the international teams on Friday and was followed by entertaining and busy Saturday. Saturday started early with breakfast in the impressive Univers T hotel which was followed by a coach trip to the even more impressive salt mines of Turda.
On Saturday afternoon we delivered our Rules and Regulations seminar to a large group of referees and coaches which was very well received and is a really important part of our education programme which ensures the full safety and enjoyment for all our athletes at these events.
Saturday evening was dinner and party time with music, dancing and delicious food & cake. A great time was had by all.
Sunday morning started with divisioning, with all the athletes, coaches and officials on the mat having a good time while the important job of creating even pools began. We also conducted additional referee development training with the help of the coaches from Sweden.
First block of competition started at 11 and saw the younger competitors take to the mat. The enthusiasm, joy and effort from everyone was amazing. After the medal presentation a short break for lunch before the start of the afternoon block and the older athletes time to shine. Some fantastic and heart-warming judo was on display and we congratulate everyone who took part.
Monday morning a guided tour of the city of Cluj was arranged before the international teams were driven back to the airport to start their trip home.
We would like to thanks and congratulate all the amazing athletes for their strength, ability and character, Alexandru Zelko for organising the event, Antoeneta and her team for hosting the event and the referees and official for a job well done.

The SNJU Team