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Rule book/child protection policy

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          British Zen Judo Family Association

 Rule Book


All members are deemed to have accepted the objectives of the British Zen Judo Family ,which are ;

1.      To develop the sprit and practice Zen Judo along traditional lines.

2.      To demonstrate that Zen Judo is beneficial both mentally and physically.

3.      To promote the skills and abilities of Zen Judo without the application of unnecessary force

Standards of Dress


1.    All Grades are to wear clean white Judogi.

2.    Belts will be tied correctly and the knot positioned forward centre.

3.    The Zen Judo Family badge will be the only badge worn. Dan grades may also wear the Japanese flag above the Zen Badge. Badges will be worn on the left lower portion of the jacket below the belt.

4.     No Jewellery, watches, rings bracelets or neck chains are to be worn on the mat. Where a flat wedding ring is difficult to remove, it must be covered with a plaster.



1.      Hands, feet, nails, hair, body and Judogi must be clean and neat.

2.      Sandals must be worn when off the mat.

3.      There will be no smoking in the DOJO, nor will food or drink be permitted.

4.        Whilst in the Dojo, and on the mat, all players will be SILENT.




1.      Whenever a member of the BZJFA, or any Zen 4th Dan or higher visits a club and steps onto the mat, the players will be brought to  a stop and will all Rei to the visitor (providing the visitor is of a higher grade than the highest grade currently on the mat).

2.      Visiting Senior Grades must not interfere with the running of  individual clubs.

3.      Members will always Rei on the following occasions

        On entering or leaving the Dojo.

        Stepping onto or leaving the mat.

        To your partner at the start and finish of Randori or Shiai.

        Before addressing a Senior Dan Grade

        When adjusting Judogi members will always sink onto one knee.



1.      During Randori, movement should be relaxed, and techniques applied without strength

2.      One must not move against blocks applied during Randori

3.      During Randori, the senior grade should permit the junior grade reasonable opportunity to apply techniques and must exercise care and control when throwing. 

4.      No Half sacrifices to be applied to white belts 

5.      No full sacrifices to be applied to any grade below green belt.

6.      Green belts and above may be thrown over the body, providing this is mutually acceptable.

7.      White belts must not be lifted during Randori, they should be thrown by the application of blocks only.

8.      Armlocks and strangleholds are only taught from 2nd Kyu upwards, and may be used only if permission has been given prior to Randori/Shiai.




1.      Copies of the official syllabus for the British Zen Judo Family will be provided for all instructors.

2.      The Syllabus has been carefully structured to give members a gradual introduction to Judo.

3. The BZJFA syllabus will be the  Core syllabus , additional techniques will be at the discretion of the clubs chief instructor. 




1.      An annual membership fee is payable, Fees stay with each individual club. This fee is also payable on being graded to Yellow Belt. (White belts do not pay any formal fees.)

2.      Membership runs from 1st September until 31st August. Players joining in June, July or August may pay a reduced fee.

3.      Junior members are aged up to 16 years

Affiliated Clubs


  1.      The BZJFA may at their discretion, permit clubs other than Zen clubs to affiliate to the BZFA .





1.      Grading to Yellow and Orange belt may be conducted at any time within the members club (a senior 1st Kyu or above may conduct these gradings).

2.      Gradings for belts up to blue will be held at club level with the knowledge of the President who may send a representative 

3.      Gradings Blue - Brown and Brown - Black will depend on the individual having a satisfactory instructional record.

4.      Gradings to 1st Kyu and 1st Dan will  be under the supervision of Shihan Gordon Lawson or any member of the BZJFA that he may appoint.

5.      Members may be invited to take part in gradings when they meet the grading criteria. This criteria may be varied by the BZJFA in exceptional cases. It should be noted that this is a guide and not a rule.

6.      Gradings to 2nd Dan will include the Nage & Gatame No Kata, and will be a formal grading.

7.      Gradings to 3rd Dan and above will be by  invitation only and include the Juno-no- Kata

8.   Part of the criteria to 4th Dan will be that they run a BZJFA club


Promotional time Scales






5 Kyu






4 months

6 months



6 months

8 months



8 months

12 months

1 Kyu


12 months

18 months

1st Dan


12 months

2 years



2 year

3 years



3 years

5 years



4 years

7  years



5 years

9 years


Red and White

7 years

12 years


Red and White

9 years

15 years







The above grid should only act as  Guide not a rule

Dan Grades                                                                

Minimum age to 1st Dan  16 years

Minimum age to 2nd Dan  18 years                                       



Any member accepting the grade of Brown and above will do so on the understanding  that they are accepting an obligation to help their chief instructor in passing on their knowledge ,in particular to junior members  

  Gordon Lawson. FIMAS 

Shihan  20-12-2002


Child Protection Policy



All sporting organisations which make provision for children and young people must ensure that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount
  • all children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
  • all suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
  • all those working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

BZJFA officials are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.

Policy statement/aims

The British Zen Judo Association (BZJFA) has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in BZJFA from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account .BZJFA will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in BZJFA through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by BZJFA.

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).

Policy aims

The aim of the BZJFA Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:

  • providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of BZJFA
  • allow all BZJFA officials to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.


Promoting good practice

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.

Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.

When a child enters the club activity having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances the club activity organiser must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.

Good practice guidelines

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote childrens welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Good practice means:

  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
  • Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity.
  • Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with players (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them).
  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process.
  • Making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the Coach Education Programme. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young people and their parents should always be consulted and their agreement gained.
  • Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport.
  • Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents, teachers, coaches or officials work in pairs.
  • Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be accompanied by a male and female member of staff. However, remember that same gender abuse can also occur.
  • Ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms.
  • Being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults - avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
  • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
  • Requesting written parental consent if club officials are required to transport young people in their cars.

Practices to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:

  • avoid spending time alone with children away from others
  • avoid taking or dropping off a child to an event or activity.

Practices never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
  • share a room with a child
  • allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • reduce a child to tears as a form of control
  • fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child
  • do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they can do for themselves
  • invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.

N.B. It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the players involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:

  • if you accidentally hurt a player
  • if he/she seems distressed in any manner
  • if a player appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
  • if a player misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events

There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should to be reported to the Club Child Protection Officer.

Video as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent club coaches and teachers using video equipment as a legitimate teaching/coaching aid. However, performers and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of the coaching programme and their consent obtained, and such films should be stored safely.

Selection and training of officials

BZJFA  recognizes that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.

Preselection checks must included the following:

  • All candidates will complete the BZJFA self disclosure about any criminal record.
  • Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau.
  • The candidates role and responsibilities should be clarified
  • Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are identified.
  • Candidates should sign up to the association’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and Child Protection policy.


In addition to preselection checks, the safeguarding process includes training to help those within the programme analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is not likely to result in allegations being made.

  • Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
  • Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
  • Work safely effectively with children.

Responding to allegations or suspicions

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in BZJFA in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities.

BZJFA will assure all officails that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:

  • a criminal investigation
  • a child protection investigation
  • a disciplinary or misconduct investigation.

Reporting concerns about poor practice


If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice the designated/Club Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue

Reporting concerns about suspected abuse

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by a BZJFA official or volunteer should be reported to the BZJFA Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:

  • theBZJFA Child Protection Officer
  • the parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused
  • the person making the allegation
  • social services/police

Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).

Enquiries and further action


Internal enquiries and possible suspension

The BZJA Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries. The BZJA Child Protection Officer will immediately contact the external Child Protection Officer.

Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the BZJA, with guidance from the external Child Protection Officer,  will assess all individual cases to decide whether a BZJFA member or official can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled.

This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the BZJFA must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.


Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse

Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process.

The British Association for Counselling Directory is available from The British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PJ, Tel: 01788 550899 E-mail:, Internet: .

Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.

Allegations of previous abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).

Where such an allegation is made, the BZJFA should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.


Every child has the right to experience sport in a safe environment free from abuse and bullying.

Sports organisations play an important role in creating a positive club ethos that challenges bullying by empowering young people to understand the impact of bullying, how best to deal with it and agree standards of behaviour.


Reporting concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or carer)

Report your concerns to the Club Child Protection Officer, who should contact social services or the police as soon as possible.

If the Club Child Protection Officer is not available, the person being told of or discovering the abuse should contact social services or the police immediately.

Social Services and the Club Child Protection Officer will decide how to involve the parents/carers.

Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only.

Providing information to police or social services


Information about suspected abuse must be accurate and a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern.  It should include the following:

  • The child's name, age and date of birth of the child.
  • The child's home address and telephone number.
  • Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
  • The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
  • Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
  • A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
  • Details of witnesses to the incidents.
  • The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
  • Have the parents been contacted?
  • If so what has been said?
  • Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.
  • If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child been spoken to? If so what was said?
  • Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
  • Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.

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If you have any concerns about a young person call :

BZJA Child Protection Officer: Gordon Lawson 

07976 759531

Or NSPCC: 0808 800 5000

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