Judo Organisations


Judo is generally viewed through the club, but each Judo club is (generally) a member of a larger body. In this article we shall cover the Judo organisations and how they relate. We will also discuss why it matters to parents.


Judo was  founded/invented in 1882, by professor Jigoro Kano in Tokyo, Japan. An intelligent and well educated man, Kano developed Judo out of the existing martial arts traditional in Japan.


Judo quickly grew and Kano and his students  travelled overseas promoting Judo all around the world.  Unlike traditional martial arts, Judo soon took on a democratic model as opposed to the master-student model of most martial arts. Kano allowed Judo to expand beyond himself and as such national, continental and International organisations were formed to promote the Martial art and Sport.


Fortunately for Judo, the democratic nature mixed with deep respect for Kano has meant that Judo now has one single strong international organisation; The International Judo Federations or IJF. Each continent has a single “Judo Union” which affiliates to the IJF and each nation has a single national governing body that registers with the continental Union.


This is important as it means that there is only one Judo. Unlike our peers in other arts, all Judo clubs do the same thing, all grades are the same. There are style differences, cultural differences, but across the board. In most countries there are regional organisations, which in turn are members of the national body. Some countries (for example the USA & UK) have multiple national bodies, but they affiliate to a single body, that is a member of the IJF.


So why does this matter?


When you are looking at a Judo club for your child, we would recommend that you check that the club is a member of the national body for your country. This can be important when your child visits other clubs or changes clubs for example.


Membership of national bodies by the clubs also assures some level of quality. Obviously there are  Judo clubs that are not members of a national body and this does not automatically mean anything bad; but as a general rule of thumb we would recommend you send your child to a club that is a member of a national body.


National bodies provide coaching qualifications and teach courses. They provide insurance cover and arrange tournaments, seminars, etc etc.


Also, though probably later when your child grows older, national bodies will generally accept the grades(belts) of other national bodies who are members of the IJF. This means that yellow belt or Black Belt is likely to be accepted wherever you may travel.


Travel is another good reason to send your child to a affiliated club. Judo in the IJF and it’s members is universal. The techniques vary from country to country, place to place; but the rules and culture and most things are the same. So if you move from your child to a club in another town or city, the Judo club will be roughly the same.


This is not the case in many other arts, where the traditional master-student structures are in place and there are many many different styles that share little as in Karate or Ju Jitsu.


In summary, ensuring your child is a member of a club that is affiliated to the IJF through the appropriate national body helps to ensure that your child learns Judo in a quality club, with the maximum of opportunities in the long run.






www.ijf.org  –  The International Judo Federation.


This entry was posted by lancew on Friday, May 11th, 2007 at 11:37 pm and is filed under Judo . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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