Invitation and Outlines for the XXIV Ben van der Eng Memorial

Hereby, you are invited for the 24th edition of the Ben van der Eng Memorial, since 1998 the biggest tournament for Special Needs judoka. The Ben van der Eng Memorial welcomes judoka with any physical or mental handicap, guaranteeing safety and fair play using our 5-level FCS divisioning system. The BENG! tournament on the Sunday is a happy judo party, whereas the more “serious” Special Needs World Judo Games for shiai and kata are organised on the Saturday.
Take part in our tournament for an inclusive and exciting experience!

What do we offer?

This is only a preliminary overview. If you decide to take part you will receive a more detailed outlines document mid-March.

  • Friday afternoon April 12 is the divisioning workshop. Very much recommended for first-time participants, so that we can assess their judo ability in the correct way. On that Friday we will also start the weigh-in.
  • Friday afternoon is also the time for various workshops. The exact subject will be shown in the final outlines.
  • Saturday morning April 13 it is time for the Special Needs World Judo Games (SNWJG), a tournament for level 1-3 judoka of 16 years and older. The entourage of this tournament is a bit more formal than the Sunday event: Audience in the stands, electronic score- and timekeeping, etc. Also, judoka unable to do the weigh-in on Friday can do this on Saturday. Also- for the first time, we will invite visually impaired judoka of IBSA classes J1 and J2 to our tournament!
  • Saturday afternoon the second SNWJG tournament takes place: SNWJG kata. We are happy to welcome more and more kata enthusiasts each year and see growth in the Adapted Kata juso sport, supported by EJU end international success.
  • Saturday evening we will shake Beverwijk with a party in Assumburg Castle.
  • And on Sunday we will organise BENG!, the greatest judo party on the planet, for all levels. In a more informal setting, with supporters on the tournament floor. As a note: On Sunday we will also run part of the competition under the “randori” rules.


Sporthal De Walvis
Van Loenenlaan 1
1945 ZH Beverwijk
The Netherlands


First of all: You must arrange your sleeping vanue yourself. SNJF does not help you in booking. The main hotel is StayOkay Slot Assumburg which is also the tournament headquarters. They also take our guests but you need to book early, as Assumburg is often booked full by the end of January.

We do not recommend hotels, but please note that if you wish to make use of our shuttle service, you must book your hotel in one of the following places:

  • IJmuiden
  • Heemskerk
  • Beverwijk
  • Wijk aan Zee
  • Spaarnwoude

Outside these places we do not run the shuttle service and you may need to make taxi costs which can be expensive.

Costs for the shuttle service are € 20,– per person, for the whole weekend. Shuttles run from Thursday 11 until Monday 14th of April. It is extremely important to also note your flight times on the application form, for correct planning.

How do I apply?

First of all, download the form THROUGH THIS LINK.

Fill in the form as thorough as possible. We cannot repeat this enough, we have seen many disappointments and misunderstandings in the past due to incomplete or wrong information. So please take your time. The amount due will be shown on the INVOICE page of the form.

When you are done, send the form onlyto

After your application is received, you will receive a confirmation email and you will be put on the APPLICANTS mailing list, meaning that somewhere mid-March you will receive the final outline information.

Closure date is March 15th

The Ben van der Eng Dojo is officially open!

The Amstelveen City Council was aware for quite some time that both BeterJudo and Special Needs Judo Foundation were looking for a suitable venue for their sport. Spring 2023, this all started to pick up speed through a great offer by the Council, by alderman Frank Berkhout: The old PE hall of the Piet Heijn School was made available to SNJF in the Amstelveen City Center. SNJF received the key in August and through incredibly hard work we managed to open a new dojo at the beginning of the new season.

Generous donation by various Dutch charity organisations allowed us to obtain a new tatami, wall protection and various thick crash mats, so as to modify the new dojo for our Special Needs judoka. And of course, it is entirely possible for mainstream judoka to use our new dojo as well. We plan to use the dojo for national and international training sessions for both mainstream and disabled judoka.

Friday, September 22nd, this all culminated:

The opening act for the new dojo was done by alderman Frank Berkhout, together with trainer Tycho van der Werff. Many prominent figures were present at the opening, amongst which national and international judo champions. The Judo Association (JBN) was present in the person of Hendrik Koppe.

Following the opening act, SNJF chairman Henk de Vries handed de official name plate of the dojo to mrs. Wil van der Eng-Kist, the wido of the late founder of SNJF, Ben van der Eng. The name of the dojo is now:

The Ben van der Eng Dojo

A special honor for BeterJudo trainer Tycho van der Werff was 

A special honor for BeterJudo trainer Tycho van der Werff is when he received the IMAF and Kodokan Nederland pin of honor from Joop Pauel, co-founder of the International Martial Arts Federation and Kodokan Judo Nederland. Also, judo legend Karel Gietelink (8-times champion of the Netherlands, former national coach) presented Tycho with a plaque with kanji symbols stating “Beauty comes from within”. Of course, theis plaque will get a place of honour in the dojo!

After the official bit and some short speeches, Tycho and his colleagues presented a short judo lesson, in which all judoka participated. At 18:00, the normal scheduled lessons resumed- after all, they have to continue too!

Click here for pictures of the proceedings

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We cannot be indifferent – the amazing accomplishments of Bronx

Article taken from the IJF website. All rights reside with the original author.
Remarkable things happen when remarkable people have remarkable ideas! Daniel Zodian is a remarkable person and is the mastermind and drive behind Bronx People, a care-giving organisation based in Bacau, Romania.

Daniel Zodian and his wife Ana were building their own family home in 2017 but during the build the motive changed and Daniel decided to open the house as an orphanage. In 2018 their dream was realised.

Daniel told us, “‘Bronx’ is a name associated with negative connotations aligned with poverty in the USA. This is a contradiction I decided to highlight. I am committed to showing that when people discover our version of the Bronx it will only bring happiness. It was that idea that gave rise to the name ‘Bronx People.’”

The Bronx name is only positive in Bacau

Bronx People is an NGO and registered charity re-homing and caring for children from state-run orphanages in Bacau. Daniel was teaching judo at the orphanages and came up with the idea of creating a special home for judo children. There were 26 in the first group and now, with a lot of work from a few key people, there is a very positive system in place.

When entering the house there is noise, lots of it, but that includes music, some of it being played by the young residents on guitars or other instruments. There is art and photography on the walls and a range of family photos that show happy Christmases, judo successes, days out, just with a much bigger family than most of us will ever experience. There are the joyous smells of home cooking and there is always someone doing homework, somewhere in the house.

Photos and sports memorabilia in the Bronx People house
Alongside Daniel and Ana there is Dana Varga, a friend of Daniel’s who was preparing for her police academy exams. Daniel had been helping Dana with her physical preparation and training but as Dana said to us, “In the end my eyesight let me down and I could not pass, so I decided to stay at the house and support Bronx People.”

Gabi Iftimescu was a student in Bucharest but says she really wasn’t happy there. “I came back home to Bacau and with free time aplenty I looked for things to do. I saw a shoebox campaign online with the idea of creating Christmas presents for delivery to children. I wanted to prepare something for them and I went to the dojo in town to deliver mine. I was told to remove my shoes and go through the dojo on to the mats. I didn’t ask why but I met Daniel and other volunteers in the dojo. I was attracted by the social side of their activities. They were so committed to gathering resources to support children, especially those with emotional issues and other social problems.”

Agriculture at the Bronx People house. A lot of fresh food is grown to be used by the extended family.
Bacau is not a place with broad opportunities but the Bronx People group finds opportunities for everyone. Gabi continued, “I was passionate about writing and photography and also social sciences and so I changed my life completely and went to study in Brasov, social sciences. I finished and graduated and since then I have been living and studying in Bacau.”

During our interviews we hear a shout, “Alex!” It’s really loud. There is no speaker system in the house but a call from Daniel is one responded to by all. He keeps the schedules and programmes and chores in order and everyone works for everyone. Cooking, growing food, painting walls, cleaning the yard, it doesn’t matter eBay needs to be done, there is always someone to do it for the benefit of everyone.

Mealtimes require major organisation
Dana said, “We have to work in other jobs outside the home. I’m working my way up in economics since my studies. We have to work in other jobs in order to support ourselves. We live in the house as the parents of the group we look after but there is no money to pay for that. Some of the older ones have small jobs at the local sport hall but in general they are studying and living and just being children.”

There is some money coming from sponsors. Daniel used to have a construction company, which he doesn’t run any more, but he had built a strong network of contacts. He built the first house and the summer dojo himself, with the help of some of the children. Everything that is built for the purposes of learning, leisure, sport and fun is open to the local community as well as those who live in the Bronx People project. This way the community and even some people from further afield can see the good that is being done here. Spreading the word about the project brings some financial assistance.

There are many opportunities for personal development. Daniel says, “Practising judo brings discipline, motivation, friendship, and having access to this very different set-up from the state system. The staff in the state system are there to work and earn wages. We could even consider the children there are treated like documents or numbers with a need for the correct boxes to be ticked and the signatures to be obtained. It’s not like that here.”

Daniel finished nursing school and also studied architecture. By law there must be a qualified nurse on sight and also a social worker and therefore Daniel and Dana have completed studies which fulfil that brief.

Daniel lets us see a little of his personal motivation, “We cannot be indifferent. We are human and so we must care. I consider what we do as the desired norm’, shouldn’t everyone care this way? For me it’s normal, it’s a lifestyle choice to live with goodness.

Daniel Zodian showing us a traditional brick-built Romanian kitchen in one of the new Bronx People houses.
Actually I think many people would like to do the things we do but they don’t have the courage or the lifestyle or perhaps the innovative thinking to really give the support they believe they should. By accepting sponsorship we can help people to contribute and feel good, to know they are part of a positive change for young people who really need that.”

There is magnetism about the house. Once people visit, they want to return and do more. One idea to make use of all the good feeling and the desire to help came in the form of a new judo tournament. Bronx People wanted to run a big judo competition to attract many people and to publicise our project. Maybe it could even attract more sponsors.

Denisa Deliu is a judoka and coach who has worked with the EJU and IJF in the past and has a lot of experience. She agreed to become the competition manager. In 2022 the event attracted competitors from 6 countries, including a huge, high level team from Turkiye. The event was a great success and will run again later this year.

The 2022 Bronx People ‘Judo Without Barriers’ International Tournament
Information about the tournament information, ways to donate, social inclusion projects, other fundraising activities and the impact Bronx People is having on the community can all be found on their website:

Gabi said, “Seeing what we do, via the website or in person, not just in the house but beyond, is important. We also link with other NGOs to do joint projects which impact the community; long-term sustainable projects, many of which can apply for finance from government or private donors. There are projects in schools with children who have mental disabilities and with a lot of our projects we find there are many opportunities for us to offer access for new children to judo. There is a lot of competition for private funding and demonstrating that Bronx People can have long term impact is tough but we are getting there.“

Daniel told us about what is in pipeline too, “Mr Vizer has supported us to begin building a special house close to our first one, specially for mums who are raising children with difficulties. We are also now building a medical centre and a house designed to cater for the needs of children with disabilities. It’s becoming a small village rather than just our original house but funding all that is really challenging. We won’t stop, though, there’s too much good being done and the benefits for these young people are life-changing.”

The new houses are under construction
Daniel Zodian and his team are living a difficult and unpredictable life, one filled with challenges and sad stories but they are proving that their adherence to judo values and their determination to be part of the solution, is the right way to support young people who need more love and care in their lives. Daniel only sees the positives in his lifestyle.

All donations and support will be gratefully received. If you’re ever in the area, go and say hello and you too will feel inspired!