Visually Impaired Judo

Get involved! Finding your nearest Judo club is easy, Get started here...

Visually Impaired Judo

Keen to get involved with Visually Impaired judo? 

What is a Visual Impairment?

Someone who suffers from a visual impairment (VI) can broadly be defined as someone who has limitations in one or more function to the eye or visual system. Visual impairments cover a broad spectrum and include congenital and those acquired later in life.

There are three classifications of visual impairments which are recognised in VI judo:
B1: This category encompasses no light perception in either eye up to light perception, but there is an inability to recognise shapes at any distance or in any direction.
B2 & B3: Both of these categories involve a low level of usable partial vision, those in the B3 category will be able to see more than those graded as B2.

What is VI Judo?

Judo is currently the only martial art in the Paralympics. Overall the general rules of VI Judo are much the same as able bodied Judo, however unlike able bodied Judo, VI Judokas start gripped up.   Each weight category is ‘open’ with players from B1, B2 and B3 classes competing against each other in the same grouping. If an athlete has a red circle on their kit, it indicates that athlete has a B1 level of visual impairment. If an athlete has a yellow circle on their kit, it indicates that athlete is deaf as well as having a visual impairment.

Photo's courtesy of sportscotland

How can I get involved in VI Judo?

Getting involved in Visually Impaired Judo couldn’t be easier! Simply pop along to your local club or give the JudoScotland office a call to help you find an appropriate session.

JudoScotland fully endorses the Sports Inclusion Model (SIM) and aims to provide opportunities for all Judoka wishing to take part at each level of the inclusion model:
Open- sports participation, training or competition without concession, modification or change.
Modified – sports participation, training or competition with appropriate adaptations to rules, equipment or setting to facilitate the inclusion of athletes of all abilities.
Parallel – sports participation, training or competition where athletes are grouped according to ability and/or experience.
Discrete – sports participation, training or competition that is unique to disability sport, but developmental, meaningful and appropriate to the aspirations of participants.



How can I best support a VI judoka at my club?

The judo club is a Judoka’s first introduction into the exciting world, as such we want to be able to provide the opportunities to make it as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to take part.

In 2011 and in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport, JudoScotland created the Judo Inclusion Group (JIG) to take on the role of Disability Judo and to work together to shape the future. The Judo Inclusion Group (JIG) was established to convert the generic UKDIT (Disability Inclusion Training) course into a sports specific judo workshop aimed at supporting judo coaches to become more confident and competent in working with disabled judo players. The JIG continues to look at areas where they can expand and develop other areas of education and training.

The judo events calendar is growing and currently holds the following events:

- East of Scotland Physical and Intellectual Disability Judo Competition. 
- The East and West of Scotland Annual Regional competition.

If you would like any further information about how you can best support VI Judoka in your club, contact the JudoScotland office on 0131 333 2981.


I Do Judo

JudoScotland in collaboration with Scottish Disability Sport, Awards for All and sportscotland launched Scotland’s first visually impaired judo programme ‘I Do Judo’. The programme which has been developed over four years from insight acquired from pan-disability Judo, engaged visually impaired young people in specialist school units throughout Glasgow.  27 visually impaired children took part in the first round of this exciting project at Rosshall Academy VI Department and Uddingston Grammar School Visually Impaired Unit. With the setup of the new disability hub in Glasgow, children have the opportunity to continue on their Judo journey in a supported environment.