USA Judo


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What is the AJDM?

The AJDM helps American Judokas realize their full athletic potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle. The AJDM uses a Long-term Athlete Development concepts to promote sustained physical activity, sport participation, and Olympic and Paralympic success. These concepts have been tailored to create a framework for developing American youth through sport. The AJDM is a method by which your dojo members can rebuild the sport around modern teaching methods, modern physical development, and more outlined expectations for participants, so a development pathway exists for all in American Judo. It is also a great way to market and recruit students by building resources and game-based training for dojos. The AJDM is not a “once and done training’”, but rather an ongoing “real living and growing” judo program for development.

What are the benefits of adopting the AJDM?

The benefits of adopting the AJDM are multi-faceted:

It gets American Youth active in both the dojo and by participating in multiple sports. It allows an individual to fulfill their full athletic potential through fundamental skills that transfer between sports for improved health and performance benefits and an overall improved society.

It allows dojos across the United States to follow a basic collaborative philosophy and developmental format among the American Judo Alliance Organizations that creates a basic level of consistent training. This approach has never before existed in American Judo.

It emphasizes developmentally appropriate motor and foundational skill development and activities. Using modernized training concepts and the AJDM puts the FUN back into Fundamentals. Other sports who have ADMs, found that this approach attracts and retains more members, especially youth members, thereby growing their sport. We expect the same to happen with judo and their individual and nationwide communities.

If children are happy, engaged, and challenged parents are happy which results in greater club retention and support for both short and long term development of the athlete, the club, and judo as a whole.

By growing the sport of judo in the United States club owners will grow and achieve higher levels of success leading to national and international performance success by increasing the number of judo players overall. For those who wish to excel in judo, this pool can be developed to represent the United States in elite international competition as well as create a succession plan for American judo infrastructure from generation to generation.

How will the AJDM help grow Judo in America and in my dojo?

The growth of judo in American will be accomplished one person at a time, one class at a time, one dojo at a time, and one team at a time. As dojos and organizations succeed through increased growth and retention so will the organizations and national teams.

Through applying the AJDM philosophy and recommended teaching methods coaching will become more uniform and structured, creating and developing stronger judo coaching in the United States. With better teachers and coaches comes development of better judo students and competitors. Creating an improved overall product should result in more satisfied customers which will grow clubs’ business.

By utilizing modern teaching methods that create more engagement and fundamentally sound American judo athletes, coaches, referees and dojo owners we will create the next generation of individuals who appreciate and love judo as an activity and lifestyle that can be passed on to future generations.

How do I apply the AJDM to my dojo’s existing structure?

By incorporating the AJDM philosophy and key tenets of development, dojos will develop improved coaching skills and student engagement. Many clubs already have some of the philosophical and technical training to develop students. We suggest initially taking select aspects of the ADJM and experiment integrating it into your programs and philosophy. Once benefits are achieved, you can continue the incorporation of additional aspects of the program.

The application starts with the on-line and in-person courses. The take-away from the course are the AJDM concepts and structure recommendations. It is likely that some of the AJDM teachings are what you are already doing in your dojo, since they are best practices. That’s great! We are introducing a methodology that helps clubs increase and retain membership. These are proven methods and structures that have been successful in other American sports as well as several different countries. The methods and structure can be applied where appropriate in your dojo. Use what works for you and disregard what doesn’t.

Part of the AJDM concept is to expand individual coach mindsets and broaden support networks that encourage sharing knowledge and best practices that improve American judo players, coaches, referees and club owners at every level. Together we are stronger! Several sports have incorporated this approach and experienced significant growth and retention of their players. This concept helps evolve students in the sport of judo to become a better person, lean and experience mutual welfare and benefit, and learnings that can apply to all aspects of life.

What do we “get” from the AJDM?

Like anything in life, you’ll get out of the AJDM what you put into it! The AJDM offers core principles, coaching and athlete development philosophies and structure along with resources to help you evolve your students while simultaneously creating better American judo elite, competitor, and recreational athletes.

How does this program protect our players?

Safety is always at the core of American Judo athlete and coaching development.

Providing age-based development best practices allows youth to learn judo at their level, focusing on having FUN through teaching and learning fundamentals. For senior and veteran players this methodology creates a safer environment that helps to also fulfill their goals and development.

Focus on play and development rather than competition and winning creates better developed players who learn fundamentals early on that prevent future bad habits and potential injury.

By promoting multi-sport participation youth athletes have less “over-use injuries” through specification what does this mean and less mental burnout which can often lead to boredom, lack of concentration and consequently more injuries.

How do parents get involved in the program?

Parents need to understand that judo is a great sport and can be safe for their athletes with proper instruction. They need to know that judo is not the ONLY sport and that their children should participate in multiple sports during their development. Allowing multi-sport participation will help to prevent burnout and will help retain students.

Parents need to know that judo is a great cross-training sport for ANY other sport due to the core strength development, agility, hand-eye coordination, footwork and working with others.

By teaching parents that judo is a lifestyle rather than just a sport they can help with keeping their children interested, support the dojo and help grow the sport by becoming an ambassador to espouse the holistic benefits of judo.

How will I know the AJDM will be more successful than what I am doing?

The American Judo Alliance Organizations are starting to see growth in judo participation through the collaboration of the leaders, coaches and judo players. Many other sports and sport organizations who have adopted Athlete Development Models have shown that, by creating and implementing an ADM, positive results include: growth, retention, quality of instruction, improved performances of athletes and coaches, and greater national and international competitiveness and results. You won’t know unless you try it!

How much will this cost me as a coach and dojo?

Other than on-line course registration fees and the in-person course, costs should be minimal. Addition potential costs depend on how you handle your individual dojo branding and marketing; it should be no greater than what you may already be doing to promote your dojo. If judo experiences what other sport organizations have experienced once the Athlete Development Model released, adopted and grows, the outcome is priceless.

Are the coach/clubs certified by the AJDM?

TBD by the FTF, CTF and AJA Organizations