Communication from the Board

This is used from communications from the Board of SNJU

  • Communication from the Board

    Considerations on the implementation of a separate ruleset for Level-1 Special Needs judoka

    A bit of history

    In 1998, Ben van der Eng, Tomas Rundqvist and Tycho van der Werff developed the Functional Classification system and a complementary set of competition rules. Up to that moment, divisioning (as we will call it in this document) was haphazard, fragmented and unstandardised, as were the rules.
    The new system, focused on safety, was adopted and tested by several organisations. Several national judo federations adopted it, and the first Special Olympics judo competitions in 2003 (Dublin) were successfully executed using the new system. SO, since then, have adopted these rules as their global standard.
    Since then, the system has gone through several iterations and refinements, the last one in 2018 when the JBN, the Dutch Judo Federation, allowed a pilot on the latest version. The main objective of the system is to always, and without compromise, ensure the safety of Special Needs judoka participating in competitions.
    Since a few years, EJU have adopted these same SN judo rules for the below-12 category.

    What is our problem?

    Fact: we see little to no major injuries in the levels 2-5. The larger part of major injuries occur in the level 1 division, where often judoka are severely injured by techniques, forbidden under SN rules but still allowed by referees who are either uneducated or deliberately unwilling to execute these rules. There is a list with numerous examples of preventable injuries.

    As can be seen in the above table, some Level 1 judoka can compete in mainstream judo and indeed a small percentage can even compete on national and international level. This document and our considerations focus on those Level-1 judoka.

    SN judo is all about safety

    SN judo should be safe for all levels. As long as there is a slight chance that the wrong levels are combined (and sadly this happens far too often) we cannot let level 1 players have a different set of rules.
    Level 1 players have an option that the rest of the SN judoka do not have: They are able to compete safely in mainstream judo. Less successful, most likely, since they won’t have the medal guarantee they have when they compete in SN. But at the same time, and this is the main thing, they have this option and it could give them the opportunity to grow into a better judoka.
    So in reality, judoka and trainers of the level 1 players have the best of both worlds. They can compete both mainstream and SN. With all the benefits: for example being able to become World Champion in II1, II2 or II3 in Adapted Judo. Participate in Special Olympic world games whilst, by the way, at the same time preventing others much more in need of the experience from participating.  
    Or you can face the facts and recognise that Special Needs judo is not for you anymore, and find new challenges so you can grow as a judoka, instead of pursuing cheap victories.
    A perfect example of this is a judoka from The Netherlands, who started in SN judo, was the best of the best, decided he wanted to pursue a career in mainstream and is now a real mainstream World Champion. He pursued jita-kioey, a well-known adagium of Kano Shihan, where you learn and grow together for the benefit of all.
    He left SN judo so others could have a winning chance and he himself went on growing in the mainstream realm. His reasoning was: why perform under your ability for easy medals and not show others the respect and allow them to achieve their full potential?

    Exclusion

    Some people say: “By depriving level-1 judoka of the mainstream rules and techniques, we damage the inclusive judo and we discriminate them
    Is this true? That is like saying: judoka under 12 years, competing under a rule set very similar to the SN rules are excluded from judo? Judoka competing under safe rules are excluded?
    Exclusion is defined as: “the act of preventing somebody/something from entering a place or taking part in something“.

    We now have championships only for people with an IQ <75. We have championships only for people with ASD. All these judoka are free to train and compete with others, with or without a disability, yet these championships are only for them.
    Where is the inclusion here?

    Inclusion

    SN judo is created for all judoka. Every participant will have the opportunity to enjoy and compete in judo together, at their own level, in the safest way possible. And this can be done because we made sure that the rules promote safety.
    Does this sound like inclusion or exclusion?
    Where is the “discrimination” here?

    Options

    If judoka also want a different kind of judo then there is no problem. There are other branches of judo-like activities: Of course there is mainstream judo, but also kata, sambo, BJJ, to name a few. And, there are the noninclusive championships for II1, II2 and II3.
    Let’s make a comparison with another martial art: Under general kickboxing rules, elbow punches and clinching are not allowed. If a kickboxer does not agree with that, there is always the option to compete in Muay Thai.
    The same goes for SN-judo. If a level-1 judoka does not agree with the fact that kansetsu- shime- and sutemi-waza are forbidden under SN rules, there are always mainstream competitions to compete in. On the other hand, if that same judoka insists on competing in SN-judo that is fine too, there is no exclusion. But, the judoka will have to abide by the rules.

    Different rules for level-1?

    As discussed earlier, level-1 players have a world of options to compete if they do not like the limits put on them by the SN rules.
    Second, the risk of misdivisioning is too large and an unsuspecting level-2 (or worse, an even lower level judoka) might very well end up in the poule of a superior and therefore dangerous opponent.
    So our view is:
    No, we will not have separate rules for level-1 under SN judo.
    However, we do recognise the work done by the Virtus organisation and their strive to make championships. But in order to agree upon the ruleset for that, we all need to agree on a common ruleset for all levels before we can adjust for any deviations from it.
    That is why we will not, at this point, make any adjustments specific for Level 1 judoka.
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  • Communication from the Board

    SNJU have reformed (update)

    Two of our board members have resigned from SNJU but our enthusiasm and drive to make things better for our audience did not diminish a bit. Nevertheless, we feel it is time to re-build the SNJU and make some changes. Let us make a simple list:

    • SNJU is not a member organisation anymore. We feel that it is unnecessary and indeed counterproductive to make an organisation in-between the country federations and the EJU and IJF. Instead, SNJU will form ad-hoc relationships with other organisations that need our help or advice but we do not require such an organisation to become a member in turn. However we will keep acting as spokespersons for the ideals we represent, using our extensive network in the judo world.
    • SNJU will therefore become a service organisation, providing the SN Judo community with advice, documentation and whatever may be needed to give proper support.
    • SNJU will not ask any financial remuneration for its services, except when we need to use third parties to accomplish what is asked of us, for example to hire a venue, or book a flight. This means our documents, trainings, videos, seminars itself are free. We do however take the liberty to ask for a -voluntary- donation.
    • One thing remains the same: We stand firm behind all judoka of good will who go for safety and fair play, according to the ideals of Kano Shihan.

    Any payment request from moodlecloud.com or SNJU Paypal is invalid and you DO NOT HAVE TO PAY

  • Communication from the Board,  Regular News

    SNJU Board Members receive TWO awards


    This weekend during the EJU European Judo Championships, the EJU Social Inclusion Award was granted to our Technical Director Tycho van der Werff (the 2019 award) and IK Sodra, the judo club of SNJU President Tomas Rundqvist (the 2020 award). SNJU is proud to have this important prize awarded to two of our board members, and it will certainly encourage us to keep up our work in the progression of Special Needs Judo.

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  • Communication from the Board

    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.

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  • Communication from the Board

    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.

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  • Communication from the Board

    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

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  • Communication from the Board

    Site Update


    Dear members,
    It has been quiet for some time now, of course also due to the holidays. But while the SNJU staff are enjoying their holidays, we will also update the layout of this site. We will focus less on blog posts (although they will still be there!) and more on giving information.
    Due to this, your favourite site may experience some outages, or strange effects during the coming weeks. Do not worry, we will get everything in order before the first of September.

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