AJJF Statement on COVID-19 (coronavirus)


Dear AJJF Yudansha,

2021 has arrived! The hope of a new year brings with it optimism that we will at some point return to in person activities. While we recognize the beginning of vaccine distribution reinforces that hope, it remains impossible to craft a single policy to accommodate the sanction of events on a national level at this time. Regional impact continues to vary across the country. 

In spite of these challenges, we are as anxious as everyone else to begin sanctioning events again! Therefore, the AJJF COVID Response Team (CRT) would like to reiterate the policy put in place in October 2020, with revised timeframes as outlined below. 

First and foremost, please remember that this is a learning process for all involved and we appreciate your understanding and patience. If you wish to have a live event sanctioned as a test case under this policy, please contact an AJJF professor to express your interest. Based on our experiences to date, such as the successful examinations in the Mid-West in the fall of 2020, your professor/sponsor will work with the CRT and sanctions officer to help you understand what additional protocols will be required to receive a sanction. Our goal is to demonstrate sanctioning of successful, safe events between now and April 1, 2021 with the goal of accelerating event sanctions throughout 2021 in a safe and responsible manner. 

Under this updated sanction policy: 

  • Events may be sanctioned between now and April 1, 2021 based on being able to follow local Covid-19 guidelines.
  • The AJJF will continue to sanction virtual events, under the current interim process. Please contact Kathie Reish, our sanctions officer to discuss sanction of your virtual event.

Because there simply is no way to craft a single policy, the CRT is recommending this as a first step toward the resumption of regularly sanctioned, in-person events. The goal of this policy is to continue to express the utmost of caution in protecting the health of our members, manage liability exposure for the national organization, while preparing us to again sanction and host in-person activities on a regular basis. 

We cannot stress enough that this does not prevent individual dojos from reopening at any time in accordance with local guidelines. We wholeheartedly support your efforts to get back on the mat with your students, while adhering to local regulations. 

We understand there have been questions and concerns about examinations and event attendance or membership requirements. The BOP has recently updated examination requirements as has been communicated by our Exams Committee Chair, Keith Thompson. Please contact Keith or a member of the BOP if you have any questions. 

Please keep in mind the following:

  • AJJF insurance remains in effect for schools that can open, subject to local regulation.
  • AJJF insurance continues to provide additional coverage for jujitsu related injuries and explicitly will not cover COVID-19 related medical claims.
  • You must remain an active dojo for you and your students to be covered by the AJJF insurance during these regularly scheduled classes.
  • Complimentary individual membership extensions are available through April 30, 2021 for those that request one.
  • Central Office will back-date membership renewals to their original expiration date, as long as memberships are renewed within 90 days of expiration.
  • AJJF programs are in place to assist you and your students if you have financial concerns about your individual or dojo renewal. Please contact Central Office if you need assistance.

In the spirit of ‘ohana and kokua, 

The AJJF COVID Response Team

Prof. Geoff Lane, President

Prof. Robert Hudson, Vice President

Prof.  Robert Hodgkin, Internal Relations

Sensei Pete St. Pierre, OPSCOM Chair