14 May 2024


Training Camp and Coaching Seminar for Adapted Judo


The French Federation of Adapted Sport (FFSA) has been organising, developing, coordinating and controlling the practice of physical and sports activities for people with mental or psychological disabilities since 1977. The FFSA is the leading multi-sport federation for people with mental and/or psychological disabilities. It is the largest federation of athletes with disabilities in France, with over 65,000 licenses. They are an independent entity from France Judo, has 21 registered sports including judo. 

The FFSA organises annual regional and national championships every April. This year, they had over 400 judoka competing, firmly under their own classification rules. Mr Simon Soulard, FFSA Para Judo Adapted Manager was happy to share his insights on the seminar and plans around the EJU adapted judo project;

I think it is a very nice, very big project and we [Para Judo Adapted] need it to develop. We agree with that, but for FFSA we are not aligned with the classification. In FFSA we make a general classification for the individual as a person, not for their abilities in certain sports. It is the opposite in judo classification, they look at the person as a judoka first and based on their abilities in judo divisions are created.

To me, when you do this process, you have taken hard training out of the equation and for instance if one of the judoka trains harder than the other, they will have the advantage, yet they have been placed in the same division.

The EJU is a bigger organisation than let’s say Virtus and the EJU has a lot of tools to make this project have a worldwide impact and we fully support this project. We have to think about the next 10-15 years, in which case the dynamic is to grow adapted judo to make it to the Paralympics at least in one division. Maybe it is not the goal now but I believe there is the potential to achieve this and it would open up incredible opportunities for these athletes as Paralympic sports are well supported financially in certain countries so imagine it can be life changing.

I believe we can do it and grow this project with the EJU once we have established common ground on the classification. Especially in Level 1. The next Virtus Global Games will be in 2027, but until then we have no other major events for adapted judo, so I hope that by then we can make an evolution of this project and raise the judo event globally as well as at the Virtus Global Games, which is currently at a low level.

For now, FFSA will continue their routine while staying in close contact with both France Judo and the EJU to create a framework that everyone can agree on. All parties are excited to see adapted judo champions on the rise in France, adding to their already incredible pool of judoka in the country.

Author: Szandra Szogedi