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American Judo Development Model Update

Jan. 02, 2019, 6:12 p.m. (ET)


Dear American Judo Community,

Happy New Year!  We are excited with what 2019 has to introduce to  the American Judo Community after several months of hard work in creating the foundational elements of the American Judo Development Model.

The AJDM idea was launched by the American Judo Alliance Presidents when they launched their historic agreement in March 2018. Shortly thereafter the Presidents of USA Judo, US Judo Association and US Judo Federation selected two representatives from each organization to create the AJDM Task Force who met with the USOC in Colorado Springs in June 2018 to being creating the first-ever formal long-term athlete development model for American Judo. While new to the sport of judo, the creation of an LTADM has been proven successful by more than a dozen different sports.

After our initial three-day meeting, the AJDM task force has been meeting monthly to refine the initial documents (see columns below) which are now ready to be shared and worked on by additional  American Judo experts in their fields of expertise to include coaching and eventually referees. Please be on the lookout for more information in the months ahead and we ask that you strongly consider contributing to this historic initiative to serve American judo for generations to come.

The AJDM pathway to human and Judo excellence is two-fold: age-based and skill-based. The skill-based advancement levels can accommodate entry to the sport at any age. However, the age-based Stage Model represents the core focus of the AJDM framework.

The AJDM represents an opportunity to:

  • Promote the maxims of Judo: strive for perfection as a human being, maximize efficiency of motion and energy, and focus on mutual welfare and benefit.
  • Introduce Judo as a foundational development sport and/or as a cross training activity.
  • Grow judo by making it more accessible, appealing and participant friendly, regardless of age.
  • Contribute to increasing Americans’ physical fitness, mental/emotional resilience and building life skills such as respect, courage, leadership and working with others.
  • Align better with research-based, age-appropriate development recommendations.
  • Support and reinforce a longer-term view of participation, a “Judo for life” philosophy, which in turn can drive recruitment and retention.
  • Collaborate with the American Judo Alliance organizations and local dojos to provide a consistent, positive experience from youth to adult, from beginner to advanced.
  • Clarify expectations and satisfy the question “why Judo?” with a well-articulated, data-supported, and holistic pathway to learn, grow and achieve one’s personal best.
  • Elevate the proficiency and effectiveness of the American Judo Alliance infrastructure and core stakeholders: participants, dojo owners, coaches, tournament directors,   referees, parents, volunteers, and paid staff.
  • Exemplify a deep commitment to excellence in mind, body and spirit.