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Special Needs - IBF Judo Department

We are now proud to announce that the IBF Judo department has a special needs division in the professional hands of

Mr. Terry Riches, who has many years of experience in this area the IBF. 

Disabilities includes, but is not limited to, visual impairment, Aspergers, cerebral palsy, muscular weakness and palsies, autism spectrum disorder, ADD, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, learning and cognition disorders.

Terry Riches IBF.jpg

The IBF Judo Department stance on "judo for all" and inclusivity in its broadest sense is to work actively and continually towards the position where there is no facet of judo that is not available to judoka of any ability level.  This policy stance spans several other existing policies including (but not limited to) grading, training and education, contest rules, kata and its modified forms aimed at those with a disability, any and all forms of membership and member protection, access to resources and facilities, access to coaching and the development of resources for coaches striving to expand their provision of inclusive judo. 


Accordingly the IBF judo Department has adopted the practice of continually auditing its full range of policy statements to ensure they reflect the same or superior standards of inclusivity seen in the community at large and in other judo governance bodies deemed to be at the forefront of inclusive judo.  The IBF Judo Department shall create and maintain a list of judo governance bodies or individuals who:-

1. Specialise in inclusive judo.

2. Have well developed or class leading inclusivity or special needs practices in place.

3. Can act as advisors to coaches and officials striving to provide special needs judo.

4. Can act as advisors to players in search of judo clubs and coaches providing for special needs.


A core tenet of the IBF Judo Departments stance is to be an innovator in special needs, not merely a minimally compliant party.  To this end the IBF Judo Department shall pursue a research initiative charged with developing innovative methods and guidlelines allowing special needs judoka to participate in shiai, kata and training regimes hitherto unavailable to them in their standard form.  Such initiative shall include creation of resources and active liaison with other entities currently engaged in similar initiatives, including but limited to Judo for All (EU), the Kodokan Institute and the Australian Special Olympics Committee and like parties already affiliated with the IBF (e.g. Judo for ADF Veterans & TPI).   It is expected that as special needs judo evolves within the IBF context for events and resources development this position statement shall evolve into a Policy. 


Footnote:- At the time of writing the IBF has included provisions for special needs in its most recent Grading Policy update, and is currently working on an addendum to its contest rules. 


For further information :-

Special Needs Liaison Officer: Terry Riches



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