Divisioning of Special Needs judokas as per 1/1/2016

ATTENTION: This is a temporary page. Its contents will soon be absorbed into a larger document that will describe all rules and regulations for Special Needs Judo.

The JBN method of judoka divisioning is unique in the world. It is a cheap but powerful way of divisioning where everybody can compete, provided there is a medical and/or social indication that classifies the judoka for SN Judo.

Up to now, trainer, coach or teacher was responsible for the divisioning of the judoka. This is successful for at least 99% of the cases, because classifying a judoka is not difficult; It is not about the amount of judo skills that a particular judoka has, but about the execution of those skills. Also, the IQ is not really meaningful in divisioning.

What we do look at is:

  • Power with speed/acceleration
  • Action/Reaction capability
  • Mentality/Fighting spirit (i.e. the will to win)
  • Judo feeling

Modifications as per January 1st, 2016

  • Modifications in the level-1 definition
  • Define the meaning of the term “recreative judoka”
  • Sharpening of the other definitions

Definition of a recreative judoka

A recreative judoka is a regular judoka who trains once or twice a week for fun, but does not compete.


Level 1 is a judoka that can certainly make shiai with a regular competition-level judoka. This judoka is fast and powerful and has an instinctive, good and fast reaction. This judoka has an excellent sense of judo, and a clear strategy. These judokas have a minimal disability and sometimes attand normal education. In general, this class is for socially or slightly physical disabled judokas, VI and deaf judokas and the stray level-2 judoka who has risen above his class.

Level 2 is a judoka that can make randori with a regular recreative judoka. This judoka is reasonably fast and powerful and has a normal reaction speed, but usually appears too late to respond to situations. This judoka has a proper judo feel, but usually no strategy.

Level 3 is someone who can make playful randori with a regular recreative judoka. This judoka is reasonably powerful and also has reasonable reaction speed but is always too late responding in situational judo, as if he must think before responding. This judoka often have a strategy that entails the repetition of the same throw. Judo feeling is weak at best.

Level 4 is someone who can romp playfully with another judoka of the same level. This judoka may be very strong physically, but utlilises this power mainly in a manipulative way. He has a weak reaction. Often with this type of judoka the most powerful wins a match without utilising judo techniques. The sole judo feeling this judoka displays is bringing the opponent to the ground, and executing a lock.

Level 5 is someone that can romp playfully with another judoka of the same level, but must be supervised. This type of judoka is usually very passive and/or responds very slowly. In a competition environment it often happens that these judokas lie down immediately if their opponent appears stronger. These judokas must have constant encouragement to take action. When they are caught in a lock, the move to release themselves usually takes some time. This judoka has no judo feeling.