Steps toward Instructor Trainer, Instructor or Assistant Instructor (last updated 18 August 2020)

Reasons for becoming Certified

When you become Certified in USJF self-defense, you will

  1. Learn well-founded educational concepts for teaching
  2. Leave with the resources you need to teach a USJF Self-Defense course
  3. Qualify for insurance coverage specific to USJF Self Defense
  4. Learn the legal issues common to self-defense courses and how to avoid unnecessary legal exposure
  5. Learn the approved techniques of self-defense
  6. Stay current on self-defense issues and practices
  7. Help participants build a greater sense of safety and security
  8. Be able to offer more levels of certification and ongoing learning for your students
  9. Be an active participant in structuring your Yudanshakai’s self-defense program and committee

Teaching and Training Certification Levels

One Certification Training and two Self Defense Teaching levels will be recognized:

  • Self Defense Trainers are persons holding USJF rank of at least sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt) who have demonstrated the ability to train teachers, programs, and classes in USJF Self Defense Teacher Certification Program. Persons certified as “Trainers” shall also be deemed to certified “Teachers”
  • Self Defense Teachers are persons holding USJF rank of at least shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) who are interested in and exhibit the ability to teach the USJF Self Defense
    Curriculum
  • Assistant Self Defense Teachers are persons holding judo rank of at least nikyu (2nd Degree Brown Belt) who are interested in Teaching Self Defense classes and programs, and who will only perform services under the supervision of a Certified USJF Self Defense Teacher.

Criteria for Certification

Self Defense Teachers

Judoka who wish to attain qualification of Self Defense Teacher shall meet the following standards:

The certification test program must be sanctioned and received prior approval from the Yudanshakai Self Defense Committee Chairperson for conducting a Certification Test

Examiner Requirements for Self Defense Teacher Certification Testing

A minimum of THREE (3) Self Defense Trainers who hold current USJF Certification for Self Defense Training can conduct and exam

Written completion of a Self Defense Trainer, Teacher, Assistant Teacher Application

Oral and written consensus must be achieved by all three examiners before someone is approved as a USJF Self Defense Teacher. Consensus must be reached in the following areas:

Basic knowledge and skill of the USJF Self Defense Philosophy

Basic knowledge and skill of the USJF Self Defense Techniques

The ability to teach the techniques for the area of certification

  • Youth
  • Women
  • General Self Defense
  • Special populations (i.e. Blind, Deaf, Cognitively Impaired, Medically Limited)

The judoka within a 1 year time period has had teach a minimum 3 self defense courses with student feedback forms completed. The feedback must have an average rating of 3 or higher.

The evaluators must conduct a clinic prior to the certification testing. in which the teacher candidates must teach components of the clinic.

Must successfully comply with the USJF Background Screening Procedures

Must have First Aid Training, including CPR

Self Defense Trainers

Judoka who wish to attain qualification of Self Defense Trainer shall meet the following
standards:

The certification test program must be sanctioned and have received prior approval from the Self Defense Committee Chairperson for conducting a Certification Test

Examiner Requirements for Self Defense Trainer Certification Testing

A minimum of THREE (3) Self Defense Trainers who hold current USJF Certification for Self Defense Training can conduct an exam

Written completion of an Self Defense Trainer, Teacher, Assistant Teacher Application

Oral and written consensus must be achieved by all three examiners before someone is approved as a USJF Self Defense Trainer. Consensus must be reached in the following areas:

Knowledge and skill of the USJF Self Defense Philosophy

Knowledge and skill of the USJF Self Defense Techniques

The ability to teach the techniques for the area of certification

  • Youth
  • Women
  • General Self Defense
  • Special populations (i.e. Blind, Deaf, Cognitively Impaired, Medically Limited)

The individual within a 1 year time period has had to have taught a minimum 5 self defense courses with student feedback forms completed. The feedback must have an average rating of 2 or higher.

The evaluators must conduct a clinic prior to the certification testing in which the Trainer Candidates

Must teach components of the clinic.

Must successfully comply with the USJF Background Screening Procedures

Must have First Aid Training, including CPR

Self Defense Assistant Teachers

Judoka who wish to attain qualification of Self Defense Assistant Teacher shall meet the following standards

The certification test program must be sanctioned and have received prior approval from the Yudanshakai Self Defense Committee Chairperson for conducting a Certification Test

Examiner Requirements for Self Defense Assistant Teacher Certification Testing

A minimum of THREE (3) Self Defense Trainers who hold current USJF Certification for Self Defense Training can conduct and exam

Written completion of an Self Defense Trainer, Teacher, Assistant Teacher Application

Oral and written consensus must be achieved by all three examiners before someone is approved as a USJF Self Defense Assistant Teacher. Consensus must be reached in the following areas:

Elementary knowledge and skill of the USJF Self Defense Philosophy

Elementary knowledge and skill of the USJF Self Defense Techniques

The ability to teach the techniques for the area of certification

  • Youth
  • Women
  • General Self Defense
  • Special populations (i.e. Blind, Deaf, Cognitively Impaired, Medically Limited)

The judoka within a 1 year time period has to help teach a Certified Teacher or Trainer teach a minimum 3 self defense courses with student feedback forms completed. The feedback from the course must have an average rating of 3 or higher.

The evaluators must conduct a clinic prior to the certification testing in which the teacher candidates must teach components of the clinic.

Must successfully comply with the USJF Background Screening Procedures

Must have First Aid Training, including CPR

General Requirements – Certification

The certification test program must be sanctioned and have received prior approval from the Yudanshakai Self Defense Committee Chairperson with notification to the Chair of the National Self Defense Committee.

Judoka who wish to be certified shall fill out a Request for Certification application, attend a sanctioned clinic, and present current information listed below

Applicant must be current in

  • USJF Background Check
  • First Aid
  • CPR
  • Safesport
  • CDC Heads up

Specific Certification Requirement

Self Defense Trainer

  • Must hold USJF Sandan rank or higher
  • Attend a sanctioned training clinic for USJF Self Defense
  • After attending, demonstrate to 3 or more certified trainers the ability to train teachers, lead programs and teach classes in the USJF Self Defense Program.

Self Defense Teachers

  • Must hold USJF Shodan rank or higher
  • Attend a sanctioned training clinic for USJF Self Defense
  • After attending, demonstrate ability to teach the techniques and philosophy of USJF Self Defense Program

Self Defense Assistant Teachers

  • Must hold USJF Nikyu Brown or higher
  • Attend a sanctioned Training clinic for USJF Self Defense
  • After attending, demonstrate ability to share that knowledge.

General Requirements – Renewal

All certified Self Defense Trainers, Teachers, or Assistant Teachers must renew their certification as described in detail below:

  • All judoka who wish to be recertified shall fill out a Request for Certification application
    • Applicant must be current in: (note: these items do not count as CEU’s)
    • USJF Background Screening
    • First Aid
    • CPR
    • SafeSport
    • CDC Heads up
  • Earn 4 approved CEU’s over the two years of your certification or renew at a USJF Self Defense Committee or Yudanshakai Clinic as an attendee.
  • A CEU is defined as additional training in physical safety strategies/interventions, situational awareness training, and/or psychological self defense techniques.

    A single CEU is granted for each 2 hours of teaching or additional training.

    Self Defense CEU’s can consist of educational programs/activities such as

    • USJF Self Defense Videos
    • Trainings courses
    • Books, pod casts, etc. on Self Defense
    • Lectures, TED talks
    • USJF Teaching Program (initial certification and renewals)
    • USJF, USJA, or USA Judo Coaching Program (initial certification and renewals)

    Each renewing Self Defense Trainers, Teachers, or Assistant Teachers must achieve a minimum 4 CEU’s per renewal period

    Note: CEU’s will be reported to the Yudanshakai Self Defense Chair. CEU’s are self reported and it is the responsibility of the individual to maintain a record of the CEU’s and time invested in learning.

  • Self Defense Trainers must renew every 2 years. They must have:
    • Taught USJF self defense training/teaching programs or courses of an average of 1 self defense class per year over the 2-year term of their certification. A class at a minimum would constitute direct instruction in the USJF Self Defense philosophy, practical application of said philosophy to presented scenarios, and/or presentation of and practice in applying techniques.
    • Every 2 hours of instruction counts as 1 CEU (Note: this is required for all trainers and will count toward CEU totals).
  • Self Defense Teachers must renew every 2 years.
    • Taught USJF self defense training programs an average of 1 self defense class per year over the 2-year term of their certification. A class at a minimum would constitute direct instruction in the USJF Self Defense philosophy, practical application of said philosophy to presented scenarios, and/or presentation of and practice in applying techniques. Every 2 hours of instruction counts as 1 CEU. [Note: this is required for all teachers and will count toward CEU totals.]
    • Earned 3 approved CEU’s within the previous 2 years
    • Renew at the current level or certify at the trainer level (if they meet the criteria).
  • Self Defense Assistant Teachers must renew every 2 years
    They must have

    • Helped teach self defense programs or courses for an average of 1 or more courses per year over the 2-year term of the certification
    • Earned 3 approved CEUs within the past 2 years
    • Certify at the next level if they meet the criteria or re-certify at the current level.
  • In the event that certified Self Defense Trainers, Teachers, or Assistant Teachers miss their renew deadline:

    • Their certification will be suspended.
    • They have up to 1 year to complete the required checks and CEU’s.
    • If the required checks and CEU’s are not completed they will need to re-certify at the appropriate level.

    USJF Self Defense Committee Certification Criteria and Process

    Renewal Fees

    • Testing Fee (Suggestion: fees are encouraged to be folded into the registration fee)
    • National Registration Fee $10.00 per candidate payable to USJF, (Note: $5.00 from the National Registration Fee goes to the participant’s Yudanshakai)
    • Certification Fee
      • Self Defense Assistant Teacher: $10.00 for the 2-year certification
      • Self Defense Teacher $20.00 for the 2-year certification
      • Self Defense Trainer $30.00 for the 2-year certification
  • Materials for Submission
    • Applicant will submit to their sanctioned host if attending a clinic, or directly to their Yudanshakai Self Defense Chairperson within 30 days from the expiration of their certification or the conclusion of the training workshop the following:
      • Certification of the passed video assessment
      • Self Defense Application Forms
      • Funds
      • Proof of USJF Background Check
      • Proof of First Aid
      • Proof of CPR
      • Proof of Safesport
      • Proof of CDC Heads up
  • If a clinic is held, a summary of certification test results funds, application forms, and other required materials and a list of the clinic participants should be submitted to the Yudanshakai chairperson within 30 days. The Yudanshakai Self Defense Chairperson will check for completeness on all submission whether it be clinic or individual and submit it to USJF Self Defense Committee Chairperson within 30 days of the clinic or the individuals expiration date. National chairperson will check for completeness and submit those candidates that have met all requirements to the National office for their certification to be processed. Certification certificates or letters will be sent to the Yudanshakai chairperson for distribution.