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American Judo Alliance Presidents' COVID-19 Resource Letter to Members

April 04, 2020, 8:09 p.m. (ET)

RE: Update from the American Judo Alliance & American Judo Development Model Leadership

Dear American Judokas, Coaches, and Club/Dojo Owners,

As we deal with the unprecedented circumstances brought on by the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus, it’s important for all of us to know that we are here for one another and that we stand united in helping each other, working together in the best interest of our sport. As many of you know, the American Judo Alliance made up of USA Judo, USJA and USJF, has been working together for some time in exploring and implementing collaboration opportunities for the greater good of judo in the United States. In that regard, we are pleased to provide American Judo Alliance members and organizations information that will hopefully be helpful in navigating these difficult times. Our thanks to the American Judo Development Model’s Coaches Task Force for initiating the idea of this joint communication.

We also thank those individuals who have continued paying membership fees to their local dojos and clubs. It is that kind of support that will help club and dojo owners to keep their doors open for when the pandemic has ended, and we can all get back on the mat. Similarly, all three of the American Judo Alliance Organizations rely on membership dues and event revenues to cover their costs. Events have been postponed and memberships continue to lapse and not be renewed at alarming rates. Each organization has had to revert to austerity budgets and are considering applying, or have already applied, for federal stimulus funding. USA Judo even had to create staff furloughs this past week to save expenses during these uncertain times. If you are able, please consider renewing your memberships with USA Judo, USJA or USJF.

The following summaries and links are intended to serve as helpful resources. They should not be construed as legal or financial advice and you will want to consult your tax or employment attorneys, state unemployment offices, local and federal SBA lenders and any local assistance for official advise, assistance and answers to your questions.

Dojo, Club & Small Business Resources

As a result of the US Federal Government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided three funding programs for small businesses in financial crisis due to Covid-19 which may be helpful to consider for judo clubs and dojos:

  1. SBA Payroll Protection Program:
    • Loans of up to $10M for small businesses with less than 500 employees who have been impacted by COVID-19.

    • Allows use for payroll, rent, utilities - payroll formula determines loan amount - maximum loan is equal to 250% of the average monthly payroll for the one-year period before the loan is made.

    • Up to 4% interest and up to 10-year term that may include some loan forgiveness provisions.

    • These loans must be applied for through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. In most cases, these lenders can be found in your local community. Start by contacting your day-to-day bank.

  2. U.S. SBA Disaster Business Loan:
    • Loans of up to $2M for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with “Substantial economic injury” and located in declared disaster area.

    • 3.7% interest for small business, 2.75% for non-profits and a 30-year term.

    • This loan can be applied for via the above URL and takes about 2-2.5 hours depending on how organized your financial records are from the last three years.

  3. Streamlined Advance on SBA Disaster Business Loan:
    • Advance of up to $10,000

    • More streamlined application, taking less time to apply, especially if done after completing SBA Disaster Business Loan Application

Individual Member Resources

Many Americans have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs. While unfortunate, there are many resources available for those individuals:

  • Go to your state’s unemployment website to see if you’re eligible and if so, apply ASAP due to the volume of claims. Most unemployment compensation is approximately 45% of your salary or wages.

  • Additional federal unemployment benefits may vary from state to state, but initial estimates are that employees may receive up to $600/week in addition to state unemployment benefits for four months, again depending on the state and the income being received by the individual.

  • In most cases, duration of unemployment has been expanded from 26 weeks to 39 weeks.

  • It is estimated that individuals may receive up to $1,200 from the Federal Government in approximately three weeks, per Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin.

American Judo Development Model

You may have heard about the creation of the American Judo Development Model over the last couple of years. This is a program to modernize and synthesize American judo coaching methodologies to increase retention, grow membership, create consistency of instruction and teaching judo FUNdamentals. We are grateful to the volunteer members of the task forces who have built the foundations of this program which will soon launch a website with resources and an on-line course. Be on the lookout for more information and resources soon that will help American judokas through this pandemic and beyond.


With the extra time many of us have while staying at home, we encourage any members who are 18 years old or older to go through the US Center for SafeSport Training. Both USA Judo Members and non-members alike can access the on-line course here:  : Soon, adult members who are 18 years of age and older, who have regular contact with minors, will be required to become SafeSport Education Certified, so please take advantage of this time to get ahead of the game. The initial course takes approximately 1.5 hours, but after that only a 15-minute annual refresher will be required.

Please look for additional resources coming from our respective organizations to its members in the near future. In the meantime, please stay healthy, stay home, stay safe and be kind and helpful to one another. It is the American and judo way to overcome adversity through mutual benefit and welfare.

Together Stronger,

Mark Hill
USA Judo

 /s/ Mark Muranaka

Mark Muranaka
United States Judo Federation

 /s/ Bob Rush

Bob Rush
United States Judo Association