Competition Pathway

All BJA Competitions must comply to certain standards depending on the level of competition. The BJA has a Tournament Licencing scheme, tournaments range from Levels One to Five. Full details of the standards for each level of event are laid out in the BJA Tournament Handbook.

The British Judo Association allows competitive judo from the age of 8. There are various levels of competitions taking place throughout Great Britiain most weekends.

The Pathway is designed to provide an incremental pathway of appropriate competitions for all levels of competitors. The Pathway consists of different levels of competition which are grouped under the categories of ‘Development’ and ‘Performance’. Each level of competition is designed to cater for players with a specific level of experience. Those with higher aspirations will choose to move through the system while others may reach a level and remain there indefinitely.

The IJF Contest Rules will also be applied throughout all five levels, however different sanctions for some prohibited acts will be enforced, please see Memorandum under the Useful Docs section, within About Us.

Pathway Levels:



Level One:       Beginner

Level Two:       Intermediate

Level Three:    Experienced

Level Four:      Aspiring

Level Five:       Performance


Each competition needs to focus on attracting, and providing a positive experience, for a defined group of players. The level of the event best describes the skill and competitive level of the players that the event is intending to cater for. A competition may have different sections catering for different levels of player, if sections are different, the levels must be clearly displayed on the competition information/entry form.

If a competition organiser wants to have more mat areas for an event catering for lower level players, they will need to satisfy the requirements for the higher level event. For example, if you want to run a Level One event on two mats, you must satisfy the requirements for a Level Two competition. The requirements for each level of tournament is attached to this memo.

Competition pathwayLevel One - Beginner

These events are for players at, or near beginner standard where the emphasis is very much about fun and having a go and not on winning and losing.

Whilst the competitive experience is far more relevant than the player’s grade, these events would be for Mon grades up to yellow belt and Kyu grades up to orange belt.

At under 16 level one events, all players should receive an award, whether it be a medal or commemorative certificate.

Examples of Level One events are “Red Belt Rumbles”, “Inter-Club” and “Mini-Me” events.

Level Two - Intermediate

Events for players who are at an intermediate level where, in the long term the outcome of these events is not important, however results are recognised and only the top four competitors in each category are awarded medals.

These events would be for players who have already competed at Level One who are green belt below.

Examples of Level Two events are “Mini- Mon” and restricted “Kyu Grade” events.

Level Three - Experienced

These events are for more experienced players. These events would be for club level higher grades. Some of these events would be age banded.

These events provide contest opportunities for recreational players but also allow for development of aspiring elite players. They are generally open events, although event organisers may opt to incorporate specific entry requirements.

Examples would be most club and county open events and the National Schools’ Championships.

Level Four - Aspiring

These events are for players aspiring to reach performance level. Club level players can enter these events but should be aware that they will be strong events. Most of these events would be age banded. There would be a minimum entry grade, which may vary according to age.

Examples would be most British National events, and national ranking events.

Level Five - Performance

These events are performance events and would be organised under the auspices of the EJU or IJF. Entry to most of these events would be through selection by National Federations.

Examples would be the British Senior Open, the European Cadet Championships and IJF events.

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