Letter of Introduction from BJC President Robin Otani (also shown below)
Introduction letter for the new BJC Grading Syllabus - 27th February 2010
The 2010 New BJC Grading Plan
Whilst the long term objective is for everyone to be competent and properly qualified as Coaches and Assessors, the initial entry level requirement for the new system has been planned to give minimum disruption to existing officers carrying out assessments at Club, Area, Regional and National level grading.
All assessment will be in accordance with FPJ coaching methods.
The documentation to support the introduction of the new syllabus starts with the Syllabus and Grading Cards which will be provided for immediate use and will be available for download from the BJC website at: www.britishjudocouncil.org.
The new syllabus and grading system will develop and improve, over time, with the input and feedback from those who have been using it. Hence to achieve this we need the syllabus to be used as quickly as possible.
Additional publications will be made available for download from the BJC website as they become available, with a comprehensive syllabus including Workbooks and historical information. It is also planned to launch a series of Grading Administrator awards to qualify individuals to assist the grading examiners. These awards, just like the Table Official awards, will be accessible to both judoka and non-judoka so that parents and volunteers can be involved assisting the club examiners to run smooth and efficient gradings.
Guidelines for Coaches and Assessors will be issued shortly to allow Club Instructors and Officials to use the syllabus immediately.
The minimum requirement for Assessors will be an up-to-date FPJ level 1 coaching award. However the HQC and NTC will consider any written application for easement, where this condition cannot be met.
There is no plan to introduce any mandatory central grading fees.
It is essential Coaches and Assessors regularly revalidate FPJ coaching awards by attending update training courses or by undertaking other means of CPD (Continual Personal Development) details of which will be announced soon.
Club Grading Assessment:
It is planned that, with the minimum amount of disruption, all existing club instructors should be able to continue to carry out grading assessments at their clubs to the same level already permitted.
However Club Assessors will first need to register as a ‘Provisional Club Assessor’ by completing a simple questionnaire and sending this form to BJC HQ, which will be responded by issuing a letter confirming ‘Provisional Club Assessor - Grading Authority’.
Areas and Regions will adopt the Grading Syllabus and Procedures as soon as possible. The previous obsolete BJC Syllabus will be officially withdrawn from use at three months notice from a date to be announced later.
In future there will be training and other requirements for the Assessors Qualifications at Area, Regional and National level. However until these are established, Area and Regional Grading should continue as previous, using those who have obtained the ‘Provisional Club Assessor - Grading Authority’.
The addition grading steps required for seniors and the extended time between white and green belt has been decided upon, because of the following reasons given here, by the President:
1) In the past a BJC major failing has been to allow beginners to move too early in to competitive randori and contest.
This has meant that they develop their own ‘knack’ of throwing or winning before they have proper basic skills in place. Once this way of fighting finds limited success it becomes entrenched in a student’s subconscious as their competitive fighting mode. This is almost impossible to alter later on.
This is exactly what FPJ is trying to change so as to achieve the BJC Judo aims and the longer term goal of producing World class judoka.
2) The first three beginner years are more important to the future of students than any experiences they gain afterwards.
3) We all know that under the present system the big, strong and powerful can progress very quickly without technique and then it is too late to put technique back into the individual. In future the strong and weak must both be restrained from premature competitive fighting.
4) The tradition BJC Senior grading system has entrenched a feeling that senior beginners should still be able to get to Green belt in nine months. However it is felt that senior progress should not be any quicker than junior, since juniors have the capacity to pick up the syllabus requirements much faster than adults.
The three year period to Green belt is considered, ideal, to gain complete practical ability in the BJC Fundamental Principles of Judo.
Therefore, senior beginner to green belt will take three years unless assessed otherwise at, Area, Regional and National, level grading.
5) With more time being required it is important to encourage beginners with three monthly grade steps in place. We do not believe people beginning judo will not have a problem with these steps and it is more likely to be the Coaches and senior grades that do.
It is the President opinion that we do have a wealth of potentially good instructors, who are capable to learn to coach and assess beginners on basic things that many cannot do themselves in randori or contest.
The BJC has excellent organisation ability and the undoubted belief in good judo and we are best placed in the UK to change judo for the better.
All constructive suggestions for improvement to the syllabus and its operation are invited to be submitted to the BJC Head Office:
“For the attention of the BJC Technical Centre – Grading Group”.
Issued by: A. Hosaka – Principal of the BJC Technical Centre.
It is recommended that the Syllabus is printed on 100g/m² paper and Grading Cards on 100 to 160g/m² paper/card.
Whilst all documentation will be available ‘on-line’ for individuals, if Clubs and Areas print and collate documents, it is recommended that they cover their costs with a nominal charge of £0.50 for Grading Cards and £3.00 for each Section of the Syllabus or £6.00 for the full syllabus – this figure is subject to HQC revision.
Summary of issues raised to date 27th February 2010 and RO responses.
Whilst myself, the National Technical Committee and members of the BTC are happy with the overall Syllabus content, you will realise the New Syllabus is trying to make some radical changes that will require time ‘in the field’ to identify and resolve any issues that arise.
We look to the membership for constructive comment on any matters to be addressed and suggestions on how to improve and make the syllabus more workable and less cumbersome.
I feel it is better to issue the syllabus immediately in this ‘imperfect’ form, rather than delay it further and not benefit from having a syllabus that reflects our FPJ coaching aims.
The main areas of contentions received to date are:
1) The new period from senior beginner to green belt of 3 years. This has been reviewed by RO and AH and stands at this time. The ability to ‘jump’ grades does exist within the system and it is hoped the majority of Coaches will at least try to operate the new period. Those who still have strong feelings about this point are initially allowed to exercise some leeway at their discretion.
2) The facility to jump grades is available, but not at Club level. Jumping’ can only be carried out by a qualified Grading Assessor at; Area, Regional or National level grading (details of Assessor Qualifications will be available soon). Jumping of grades will normally apply to students who practice more than once a week and who show exception skill in fulfilling the requirements of the syllabus at a qualified assessment that meets FPJ standards. I envisage that if Clubs hold their own grading 2 times a year, the students who have sufficient attendances and time periods may be able to qualify for 2 tabs at a club grading – this will not be considered ‘jumping’. If Club grading are held 3 times a year any student missing the last grading could likewise be promoted by 2 tabs, providing all requirements have been met. This will also not be considered ‘jumping’ providing the time period, attendances and Syllabus requirements are all correctly met. Those exceptional students who have the ability to go further will have to attend an Area, Regional or National level grading. I appreciate this requirement may have practical problems in implementation but let’s face those problems as they arise.
3) The ‘bulkiness’ of the number of Grading Cards required. We will look at all suggestions to reduce this paperwork, however initially the cards will be used because they do provide a workable system.
4) Primary starting age:
There is only one Primary Syllabus to cover 5-9 year olds. Mr. Hosaka’s recommendation of 7 years of age is the age at which he feels students can best undertake meaningful judo instruction. BJC members can and do start at 5 years of age, and providing Club & Coaches have adequate safety awareness in place, there is not an age issue.
5) The Techniques in Order of Learning on page 5 of the full syllabus is a complete list of techniques covered in FPJ 1 & 2. At this time not all the techniques are being used in the Syllabus.
6) ‘How to submit’ is an important first step for all beginners and this is covered in the FPJ level one Coaches course, which is a minimum requirement for all BJC registered club coaches. Therefore it is assumed all coaches will teach this as a priority.
7) The transition of grades from Primary to Junior and Junior to Senior will remain as previously in practice i.e.
a) Primaries on reaching 10 years of age will be assessed as either Junior 6th kyu 1,2,3 yellow tabs or yellow belt.
b) Juniors on reaching 16 years of age will retain the basic colour of their belt. Any tabs up to orange belt will convert to senior Red Tabs.
c) Green belts will automatically become senior 3rd Kyu green belt. Where possible this will be confirmed at an Area, Regional or National grading.
8) Stick-in licence pages for new Senior Grading and Grading Assessor Awards will be made available from HQ in the near future.
Robin Otani - President