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Building Judo In America

Donate to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund

The Hawaii Bankers Association are coordinating with all local banks to collect for the HBA’s Aloha for Maui program which in turn will be donated to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.  100% of the money they receive will go directly to help the people in Maui.

Edward Hanashiro, USJF 1st Vice President – 50th State Yudanshakai

In the News

Dennis Dee High

We are saddened to inform you that Dennis Dee High passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on October 8, 2023 in Anchorage, Alaska. Please visit High Sensei’s memorial page on the Alaska Judo website. High Sensei’s family requests any...

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Aki Yokoyama

A note from Keith Chu, President Nanka Judo Yudanshakai. It is with sadness that I am letting you know of the passing of Aki Yokoyama (7th Dan). Aki was the Head Instructor of West Covina Judo and one of our Promotion Chairs. Aki passed on Nov 1st....

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Jennifer Badertscher

Jennifer Badertscher

On November 12, 2023
Jennifer Schoo-Badertscher, Chair of the USJF’s National Teachers Institute, will be the guest on the next installment of the USJF Webinar Series, with the second of two presentations, Results Instruction: Assessing and Designing for Success.

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USJF Point Roster Scholarship Program

USJF Point Roster Scholarship Program

Breaking News:
The USJF recently introduced an exciting scholarship initiative—the USJF National Point Roster Scholarship/Grant program. This program aims to annually grant college scholarships to the top three performers (both male and female) in championship categories including Bantam(s) 4-5-6, Intermediate, Juvenile, IJF Jr., USJF Youth Referees, and Jr. Kata, all within the age range of up to 17 years old.

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USJF Fall National Championships

USJF Fall National Championships

The USJF is delighted to announce the upcoming National Championships scheduled for this Fall, taking place at City College of San Francisco on October 28, 2023. This event will coincide with national committee meetings of the USJF Board of Directors, and Board of...

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United States Judo Federation

Koka Kids

SHAPE America

The USJF Development committee has align its Jr Rank Requirements with SHAPE America.  SHAPE America is our national standards framework for K-12 Physical Education that defines what a student should know and be able to do at each stage of developing physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthy physical activity.

White/Yellow Belt

Yellow Belt

Yellow/Orange Belt

Orange Belt

Orange/Green Belt

Green Belt

Green/Blue Belt

Blue/Purple Advance Belt

Presidents Address

Mitchell Palacio

To the USJF Community

March 15, 2023

Regarding the Recent Withdrawal by USA Judo from the American Judo Alliance Development and Cooperation Agreement (AJADCA)

Dear Members;

USA Judo recently announced that it was terminating their participation in the above referenced agreement. USJF leadership are disappointed by this turn of events and the refusal of USA Judo to come to the table to discuss how the agreement could have been improved for the benefit of all organizations and the American judo community. In this announcement, we would like to make clear what has happened until this point and our vision for moving forward.

How did we get Here?

In 2018, despite the obvious inequalities that existed in the agreement concerning tournament participation; the recognition of referee, kata, teacher, and coach certifications; and several other areas, the USJF agreed to enter into the agreement in the spirit of cooperation and for the potential betterment and development of judo in the U.S. Years later, however, the effects of the agreement have clearly been detrimental to the USJF in a number of ways, and the USJF has intended to work with USA Judo (and the other participant in the agreement, the USJA) to find a better solution for all parties involved.

With that intent, the USJF formed a negotiation team to engage with USA Judo to work toward a better solution. We contacted USA Judo, who provided us with a list of benefits that have been accrued through the agreement. Upon noting that none of the benefits were received by the USJF, USA Judo took the unprecedented step of abruptly walking away from the discussions and curtailing any future negotiation, despite our attempts to schedule such meetings and despite our request to extend the 14 March 2023 expiration date on a month-by-month basis for up to six months, to which USA Judo initially signaled agreement. Then, while waiting for a response from USA Judo to our multiple meeting requests, USA Judo simply announced their intentions via their website, without the courtesy of informing us. For full transparency, the negotiation team is happy to share the entire communication exchange with any USJF member upon request.

Also important to note is that, in their recent announcement, USA Judo has also withdrawn from the “open tournament agreement” that has been in place since 1988, in which all American judoists could participate in any event sanctioned by any of the three organizations, and which was a monumental step forward for the development of judo and for cooperation among the organizations. We view their one-sided position on this extremely important agreement to close their events as toxic to the growth of judo in the country.

In sum, we view the way in which this process has unfolded, and the positions USA Judo has recently taken, as disrespectful, disingenuous, and against the intent of the original agreement and the spirit of judo. It is a slap in the face of all USJF members.

Moving Forward

Make no mistake, the USJF is poised now more than ever to have a thriving, successful, vibrant organization that grows regularly every year and provides the best judo instruction and participation avenues in the U.S.

To this end, and given USA Judo’s unfortunate position to close their events and to go back three-and-a-half decades, this is the position the USJF now must adopt, effective as of the date of this announcement, 15 March 2023:

  • The USJF has signed an agreement with USJA that reinstates and confirms our reciprocal agreement with regard to participation in USJF or USJA sanctioned events. This means that:
  • With the exception of rank promotion and examination events, USJF sanctioned events will allow both USJF and USJA members to participate; likewise, USJA sanctioned events will allow both USJF and USJA members to participate.
    1. NB: Any participation by a non-USJF or non-USJA member in a USJF sanctioned event will void the warranty requirements of our insurance policies and void all coverages for everyone involved. Only people with USJF or USJA membership and certification may participate.
  • USJF sanctioned events will recognize only USJF, USJA, and any international (e.g., PJC, IJF) certifications for referee, kata, teacher, and coaches.
    1. NB: Any participation by an individual without USJF or USJA membership and certification will void liability and accident medical coverages.
  • USJF members’ participant accident insurance will notcover any injuries sustained at a non-USJF or non-USJA sanctioned event, nor while participating in any activity at a non-USJF or non-USJA member judo club.

As we move forward, there will undoubtedly be other changes that the USJF will adopt in order to continue to grow judo and to protect all of our members’ interests, in the spirit of the Amateur Sports Act passed by Congress over four decades ago. Throughout, we will be as transparent as possible, and will conduct ourselves with the dignity and honor that the USJF is known for as the oldest and strongest judo organization in the country.


Educational Portal


Education – Certifications

For Judoka’s at Every Level

Our Vision: 

Building strong wellness communities by empowering members to make known the Judo maxim, Jita-kyoei (spirit of mutual prosperity for self and others), through safe and positive experiences.

Our Mission:

Promote and support Judo as a physical, mental, and moral practice.


News and Events

Covid 19 Update

The latest COVID guidelines from the Medical Committee for dojos and events.

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Judo Profiles

Jennifer Badertscher

Jennifer Badertscher

On November 12, 2023
Jennifer Schoo-Badertscher, Chair of the USJF’s National Teachers Institute, will be the guest on the next installment of the USJF Webinar Series, with the second of two presentations, Results Instruction: Assessing and Designing for Success.

read more
James Bregman

James Bregman

When: Sep 11, 2022 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Register for this webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u7U-4_joTUi9U0-UkGhGsQ Arguably the first and best-known American judo icon, Jim Bregman has devoted his life to the sport as a competitor,...

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Interview with Sensei Hector Estevez

Interview with Sensei Hector Estevez

Join us on June 12th at 1PM (Pacific) for an in-depth conversation with Sensei Estevez as the guest in the ongoing USJF Seminar Series of webinars. You won’t want to miss this inspirational story of one of the most dedicated and successful judokas in the history of US judo.

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Grace Talusan

Grace Talusan

USJF STORY~ Grace Talusan I started judo when I was in graduate school so I don’t have any childhood memories of growing up on the mat. My first judo memory was Mr. Ogasawara setting up two bean bags on the mat and having me roll between them for an hour straight, and...

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Obukan Judo Dojo

Obukan Judo Dojo

https://youtu.be/hKHP4FX7_F0   The origin and meaning of our dojo name “Obukan”: the “O” refers to Oregon; Oregon was called “O-shu” or O-state by Japanese immigrants. “Bu” means martial training. “Kan” means building or training hall. Dr. Jigoro Kano, the...

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Road Map back to Safe Practice

Building the Community

pathway to success

Pathways Toward Success

When your son or daughter participates in Judo through a charter club approved by the United States Judo Federation, they will have quality instruction and a positive experience which will enrich their lives as they grow and mature. 

teacher certification


The United States Judo Federation Teachers Institute, with its long standing tradition of technical excellence in teaching and coaching is committed to serving our members with the latest information and procedures.  In addition, certification in Self Defense Instruction, National refereeing and kata judging are offered.

Video Resources

Many dojos have had to adjust to a hybrid-remote model, a combination of in-person and virtual blended instruction.  The USJF videos are available to all sensei’s and coaches. Our hope is that these videos serve as useful learning tools for your practice.

Obukan Judo Club

the Community

The USJF is committed in supporting the dojo/club. 

Judo participation can provide the space for healthy activities and access to areas where people come together, and foster outlets for physical and mental health recovery.

USJF committee meeting

USJF National Committees

Voluntary committee members are dedicated to the continuous improvement of our members and their communities by providing research, experience, education and diversity in the interest of the betterment of man-kind through the practice and study of judo.

YDK tournament pic

Yudanshakai (Regions)

Being the oldest Judo organization in the USA, the USJF was originally called the Judo Black Belt Federation (JBBF). It was organized around regional/local Yudanshakai (black belt associations). The purpose of the Yudanshakai is to promote judo in its own area and run local events.

United States Judo Federation

When you join the USJF not only will you enjoy the benefits it offers, you will have access to resources and a knowledge base that will serve to educate and enhance your enjoyment of this great sport.

Dojo’s Making a Difference in their Community


Obukan Judo Dojo

Portland, Oregon