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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Some comments on Divisioning

Hello judokas,

Recently we received questions from quite a number of judo coaches, teachers and other people dealing with A-Judo, asking us about the correct way to run a divisioning session: What should be in there? What is the actual purpose?

Remember that all our judoka are amateurs. The Monday after the tournament, they all go back to work, school or whatever else they do, and they should be able to do so without any injury. They rely on us, the experts, to have them put in the correct pool for maximal safety and fun.

In this article, we will try to put together some good practices and maybe some guidelines for divisioning.

First of all- what is the purposes of divisioning?

The purpose of divisioning is to put a judoka in one of the 5 FCS-classes, so that the competition can take place in a safe and fair manner, and that preventable injuries are exactly that: preventable. No more, no less.

Divisioning is done on what criteria?

  • Power – How powerful is the judoka and how does he/she utilise that power?
  • Responsiveness – How responsive is the judoka to sudden changes in situation?
  • Balance – How well-balanced is the judoka and if not, is he/she able to utilise his/her imbalance?
  • Will to win – Never mind how skilled a judoka is: If he/she doesn’t have a proper will to win, nothing will happen
  • Tactics – Does the judoka have a preferred tactic?

Divisioning is NOT done on:

  • Handicap
  • IQ
  • Experience
  • Country
  • The necessity to end up in a certain pool

..and nor is a higher evel a “promotion” from a lower level.

Let’s watch some video

SNJF have put together a number of instructional videos for EJU, to show examples of simple divisioning games. Please note: These games are just examples. Numerous other games can be figured out using the enormous toolkit that judo provides but remember: Judo is what the athletes are coming for and it is judo they should be tested on.

This video shows how to test ukemi-waza skills, and to see how fast and agile a judoka moves around on the tatami. The second part shows a test of the will to win.

Again, another test of the will to win, and how to turn over the other judoka.

A test of the judoka’s agility

A test of coordination and procedural insight

“The worst backpack in the world” tests power and the will to win.

In this game, one judoka lies on the ground and the other sits behind him in za-zen. Judoka one rolls away, judoka two tries to stop him. This game tests power and persistence.

Simple game: One judoka lies down and tries to stand up, the other tries to prevent this. Another test of power and persistence.

Two variations of a simple game: Both judoka turn their obi around so the knot is on their back. They will then try to grab each other’s knot. This game tests agility and movement speed and, if it is left to go on for a while, physical condition.

An escape game, where insight, tactics and agility is tested.

Non-judo games

As can be seen, all these games have judo aspects. Testing judoka with ball games or by having them balance on a string is less relevant. Judo has an enormous toolkit of techniques and methods from which to choose and there is no reason to use alternative tools.

More reading

..can be downloaded here.

Guidelines for divisioning of Special Needs judo tournaments v01 02EN


SNJF and the BENG committee wish you a Happy New Year!

We hope the new year bring you all sorts of good things, and we wish you a safe and wonderful judo year!

This is an invitation for the twenty-third edition of our great tournament in Beverwijk. We are honoured and proud to be able to invite you, our guests, for this tournament that since its inception in 1998 has become the greatest in the world for judoka with a disability.
The Ben van der Eng Memorial does not select: We accept any handicap whether it is physical, mental or sensory. Our 5-grade divisioning system FCS is capable of handling anything from the most accomplished judoka to the most severely disabled ones in the safest way possible.
Indeed our Sunday’s BENG! tournament is, we can proudly say, the greatest Judo party in the world whereas the more “serious” Saturday hosts the Special Needs World Judo Games for Shiai and Kata.
Do you wish to participate? Then click HERE to download our outlines.

The AUTJUDO handbook is now available!

The AUTJUDO handbook, produced through cooperation of several EU partners (SNJF one of them!), is finally here! The Erasmus+ AUTJUDO project have worked for three years on this and we are very proud of our product. See below for the available languages, and click to download for FREE!