Candidate for USA Judo President??

I just got an email containing Jimmy Pedros speech fot the president of USA Judo. I was hopping some of you guys could give your views of the 2 candidates that are running. The guy from the Florida_Judo group did not forward Dr. Ron Tripp's speech so I couldn't agree or disagree with what he said. My main worry with Jimmy Pedro is that I have herd some of you on here critisize the fact that when he went to the last Olympics he didn't have to go thru a trial. I see he mentions in his speech "Lack of organization that results in last minute
changes (e.g. Olympic Trials) and additional expenses
(e.g. expensive last minute plane tickets) ." This sounds like he dosn'r like the system inplace now.

So dose anyone have any points they could share with me on the 2 people running for president?

Post the text. It should be fun to read.

I think Jimmy would bring more visibility to US Judo. He also knows what needs to be done to win at an international level.

What we don't know about Jimmy is how well he would run an organization. What's his experience? Other than working in marketing for; I don't know what business experience he has. He does have an Ivy League education, so that is a big plus.

The other thing I would question, is what is he going to do about the players that he is currently coaching? Would he give up coaching? I could see a definite conflict of interest if he was President of USJI and coaching a roster of ranked players.

I think anyone who is voting should ask themselves the question, "Has American Judo progressed or regressed since the last administration was voted in?" If you think they've regressed, well I guess it makes Jimmy's candidacy more compelling.

I don't know enough about what they've accomplished in terms of funding, training, increased membership etc. since they were voted in, so I don't have much of an opinion on it.

As far as platforms or missions, here is what you can probably count on, no matter who wins. They will overpromise and underdeliver. The best intentions in promoting the sport, always crash into the wall of reality.

Here is Pedros speech:

To: USA Judo athletes
From: Jimmy Pedro, candidate for USA Judo President
Re: Athlete Support


  • Background In the past 4-8 years, we have seen a steady decline in the direction and amount of support that USA Judo has provided its athletes. Our performance as a country in international competition has been inconsistent and well below our potential. Athletes don't have available to them the training and coaching resources necessary to compete successfully on the international level.

If you look at the last four years, you have probably
experienced the following:

  • Little or no communication from the Organization or the Development Committee responsible for connecting with athletes
  • No written plan outlining the athlete development process
  • Lack of organization that results in last minute changes (e.g. Olympic Trials) and additional expenses (e.g. expensive last minute plane tickets)
  • No support from the administration or coaching staff to help with training and competition planning
  • Significant financial resources spent sending large delegations of staff members to events while continually complaining about the lack of funds.
  • Athletes expected to fund their own training, coach themselves, arrange their own competition and travel schedules, and try to compete with professionals in almost every other country in the world.

Under my administration, one of the primary objectives
of USA Judo will be to prepare our athletes to succeed
in international competition. We will do so in such a
way that EVERY athlete will be provided the
opportunity and resources to become world class. I
intend to build a program where you can reach your
true athletic potential.

  • We Must Do Better One of the primary reasons I am seeking the Presidency of USA Judo is to improve how this Organization treats and supports its athletes. I believe that we have many talented athletes in this country who can succeed at all levels of international competition. I believe that the decline in our international performance is less a result of "athletes who can't win and don't train" and more a result of a disorganized system that doesn't adequately prepare, support, nor help athletes succeed.

As an athlete, you have a limited time in your career
to train, learn necessary skills, and gain the
experience you need to be world class. If you don't
have an organization that supports your efforts and
has the know-how to help you, you will struggle, it
will be expensive, and you may not reach your true

Most of the individuals running for USA Judo
leadership positions in September at the US Open have
been leading this Organization for the last four years
and even longer. If you are satisfied with the results
they have produced and the programs they have
implemented, I encourage you to vote for them.

If you are not satisfied with our results and not
satisfied with the programs that are available to you,
I ask for your support.

Because you have a limited amount of time to be a
world class athlete, it's critical that USA Judo have
a competent plan that helps you. You don't have years
and years for this Organization to get it right.

I understand what it takes to develop world class
athletes. If you are an athlete who is willing to
commit to training diligently and are dedicated to
becoming world class, you will thrive in the
Organization that we will build together.

Here is what my administration will do to make sure
you have an opportunity to achieve your goals in Judo.

  • Focus On Athletes Supporting our athletes will be a top priority for my administration. We will provide the guidance and resources necessary for you to develop into a world class athlete who has the skills and the training to compete successfully overseas.

Every athlete counts and each person is important. We
will NOT put all of our money into the junior program
and “throw away” all our senior athletes as some have
suggested. We will continue to focus on ALL athletes
who are willing to commit to the program and are
striving to win. My administration will be directly
responsible to athletes.

  • USA National Judo Team We will start a true USA Judo National Team for junior and senior athletes. We will define and communicate the criteria for qualifying for these Teams and the steps an athlete must take to receive financial assistance for competition and training activities, in advance.

I will personally work with the US Olympic Committee
(USOC) to ensure that we are maximizing the amount of
financial resources available to Judo athletes. As our
international performances improve, we will be
eligible for more USOC funding.

National Teams will be selected at the beginning of
each year. As a member, athletes will receive support
and guidance from the National Coaching Staff. Each
coach on the Staff will be responsible to a group of
athletes and will develop and implement annual
training and competition programs.

When you travel as a member of the National Team, you
will have a competent coach who knows you, has worked
with you on the mat, and who is accountable for your

  • Competent National Coaching Staff We will assemble a National Coaching Staff for juniors and seniors who can deliver results. The coaching staff will be responsible for developing an annual and four-year written development plan for seniors and juniors. They will be responsible for creating training programs for the top five athletes in each weight category on the National Roster.

A regular review process will take place to evaluate
the previous year’s performance. Coaches will be held
accountable for their performances. No longer will
athletes feel like they have no one to turn to for

My goal is to expand the number of qualified coaches
in this country that can genuinely help and contribute
to our teams’ success. The more qualified coaches we
have, the better our chances are of producing world
class athletes.

  • Expand Training Options It is very important that we expand the training options available to our athletes so that athletes who want to live and train in different regions, have an opportunity to do so.

Initially, we will encourage different training
programs around the US to apply to be regional
training centers. Through these regional training
centers, we will run training camps, bring Judoplayers
together for joint workouts, and start to build a
feeder system.

Regional coaches will be responsible for each regional
Judo center. Not only will that coach conduct training
sessions and run clinics, but he/she will attend
regional events and act as an additional resource for
the elite juniors and seniors in that region.

These centers will also start the process of
identifying talented junior Judoplayers and
encouraging them to participate in a more formalized
training program.

  • Apparel Sponsors
    When USA Judo athletes travel internationally, we will
    look like a team. My administration will solicit
    sponsors for Judo gis, apparel, and other necessary
    equipment that will be provided to qualifying team
    members and made available at cost to others. We will
    train like a professional team, look like a
    professional team, and fight like a professional team.

  • Communication With Club Coaches
    The majority of top athletes in this country come from
    local Judo clubs with dedicated, competent coaches. In
    the past, your coaches have largely been ignored
    during training and development activities that
    involve the National Coaching Staff. This will change.

I understand clearly the importance of including club
coaches in the development process. My administration
will invite club coaches to participate in the
national development process and we will solicit their
feedback and recommendations.

Those coaches who are successful and interested will
be invited to join the National Coaching Staff and
take on larger roles in the development program.

  • Better Administrative Organization Organizational support for overseas competition, training camps, and funding (e.g. grants) over the last couple of years has been unreliable at best. This will change. The National Office and the Development Committee will be responsible to athletes. Last minute planning will be substituted with timely notice, better communication, and advanced planning.

The Organization will communicate directly to athletes
and establish clear cut criteria for funding,
qualifying for teams, and for future training and
competition activities. No longer will it be common
practice, for example, to give an athlete one day’s
notice to accept an invitation to compete in Japan.

Training plans will developed in advance and
communicated to all.

  • Conclusion In my career as an athlete, I understand that you need the support of your country and your National Governing Body to have a chance at Olympic and world level success. Under my leadership, USA Judo will provide guidance, support, and professionalism to all athletes who are willing to commit themselves to being world class.

This is not just talk. This letter is my commitment to
you about how I will lead as President of USA Judo. In
turn, I expect each and every one of you to make a
commitment to be the best athlete you can be.
Together, with athletes, coaches, and administrators
accepting the responsibility to succeed, USA Judo will
become a world power in Judo.

I encourage you to come to the Athletes Meeting in
September at the US Open and vote for me. With your
hard work and my commitment, together, we will make
USA Judo a world class Organization.


James Pedro, Jr

I think it would only be fair to Post Dr. Tripps speech also. Unfourtunately I never recived it. If someone has recived it then please post it. Thanks

Definitely reenforces the need for the USJA/USJF. It seems from his speech that he is unaware that non-elite judoka exist. I'm not complaining, I think that it is a good idea for USJI to concentrate on the "world class athletes", but it does provide a solid argument against the people who say that we don't need more that the one judo organization (USJI).

Quest for Gold

FROM: Dr. Ron Tripp, President, USA Judo

Good morning friends and family of USA Judo

 I hope you are having a wonderful day.  As we move to
the future, I want to thank you for your support and
dedication to our administration and to our sport the
past four years.

 I was at a recent breakfast listening to Dennis
Hastert, Speaker of the House, talk about rewarding
people who step forward to lead and serve.  He said
good people who accept a leadership role do so for
love of a cause or a call to arms, not for money, fame
or personal gain.  So how do you reward a person who
makes this commitment for doing a good job?  You
reward them with the one thing you have that is yours
and yours alone.  You reward them with your vote and
support when they want to continue to work for you.  I
am asking today for your vote and support of a great
team of leaders devoted to a mission of success for
American Judo.  I am asking for your vote and support
of a team of experienced leaders with a proven track
record.  I am asking for your support of leaders who
have excelled off the mat, in the business world, and
world of real life issues, whose decisions can cost
jobs and affect lives forever.  I am asking for your
vote and support of our team.

 Many great things have occurred in this
administration that may go unnoticed, and I wanted to
share with you my applause for these successful
efforts.  Vice-President, Lance Nading, has done an
outstanding job for you.  Lance and his Budget and
Finance Committee have turned around the corporate
financials.  The corporation is financially liquid and
our budget is balanced.  Deficit spending has been
eliminated and the Foundation is earning money.  The
fiscal management practices in place are the result of
Lance's leadership.  We are very fortunate to have
Lance's business experience and financial leadership
working for USA Judo.  We must constantly address the
ongoing crisis of sky rocketing costs of all sports
related insurances and the challenges we face to stay
fully insured.  We have experienced leaders able to
combat the challenge to provide affordable and
effective coverage to our athletes and coaches.

Faced with the economic repercussions of September 11
and the Iraq war, we have survived very well during
these economically hard times.  Federally funded
grants targeted for our purposes are essentially at a
halt.  In late 2000, we initiated the grant-writing
project to fund teams to Europe and China based on
cultural international exchange.  These funds would
have sent both junior and senior teams along with
staff overseas and freed up dollars for USA Judo
previously taken from our budget for training.  This
program was an annual exchange and we had commitments
from the Israeli and Arab nations to participate, but
the program was halted with Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sherrie Phillips will be your next Secretary of USA
Judo.  This is exciting news to have her on our team.
She has outstanding grant writers at her disposal and
we intend on pursuing many new grants that we can
utilize to promote USA Judo on an off the mat.
Sherrie brings a war chest of knowledge and marketing

 I am proud of our Development Committee's effort in
staying focused on the target.  We qualified 12 of 14
weight categories for Athens.  USA Judo will have
athletes in Athens.  USA Baseball and USA Field Hockey
are two NGB's that will not.  Both sports did not
qualify to participate in the Olympics.  Can you
believe it? Baseball, the American staple of sports is
staying home. That is how hard it is getting. We will
have NBC television coverage in Athens and our Olympic
Trails were broadcast nationwide.  We have enjoyed
television coverage as part of the Titan Games the
past two years with several rebroadcasts of the event.
 In an outstanding performance at the Titan Games, we
defeated China.  Our entire team was poised, postured,
and intent on fighting like Americans, like champions,
and the type of hero's we want to cheer for.  We had
three special recognition awards in the event and the
Titan Hall of Fame reception.


 We set out four years ago to establish a national
team composed of members that reflected the medal
winning groups of the successful judo nations.  The
age range of our team now is moving in that direction
and this is shown by the increased number of young
athletes on our roster and on our 2004 Olympic Team.
I was proud to see Bob Berland, Brett and Marissa make
the commitment to give back to the sport and come as
the national coaches.  I am anxious to see who will be
the next American Judo Hero's to come into the
coaching program for 2008.

 Leo White will be your next Director of Development.
Tommy Dyer has agreed to stay on board and assist Leo
in continuing to raise our level of athlete
performance.  Jim Hrbeck has committed to stay and
continue the thankless job of statistics and juniors.
Jim is one of the best scouts in the work and Leo?s
program will target funds to get Jim scouting at the
top-level international events.  Tommy's team expanded
the athlete opportunities to earn national team roster
points by classifying domestic C-E level tournaments
regionally across the nation including the New York
Open, Liberty Bell, Swamp Classic, Midwestern, San
Jose Buddhist, and others.  The operations of
Development will move from the National Office and all
tasks for Development travel, etc., will be handled by
a Development secretary under Leo White.  This will
reduce the burden on the National Office Staff and
allow us to focus more time on service to our members.
 Leo has committed to further modifying and improving
the coaching model so that more and more coaches will
have the opportunity to participate.  I have placed a
motion for the fall agenda to establish a Coach
Commission Subcommittee that will have a positive
impact on our coaching program.

 Gary Norton has done an outstanding job with the
scholastic system.  This years High School and
Collegiate Championships in Florida were the largest
in over 20 years.  The total number of entrants was
approximately 350.  I am happy that Gary has agreed to
continue to take the lead in this program and stay as
a member of our team for the next four years.  His
ideas for expanding the program are exciting.  He
intends to have a high-profile international high
school team Tournament in place very soon.

 Under the direction of Fletcher Thornton, Standards
and Certification of this administration continued to
expand the Coaching Certification Program initiated by
Dr. Matsumoto to a functional nationwide program
continually registering and educating our pool of
national coaches from A to E levels.  I am extremely
happy to announce that Nestor Bustillo has agreed to
take the reins in the program and continue in the
footsteps of Corrine Shigemoto.  Nestor brings his
experience as an educator and administrator and will
be very successful in this new role.  Our many thanks
to Corrine for her outstanding service to us.

 Standards funded and continues to develop the Jr.
Rank System of USA Judo to a workable DVD product for
our members who receive the system free of charge.
Mr. Fletcher Thornton and his team have done an
outstanding job in the rank system and the
certification programs.  We continue to work hard and
remain optimistic of rank unification for American
Judo.  USA Judo will hire a national developmental
coach next year to give seminars and clinics
nationwide to promote the Jr. Rank Program and enroll
new members to USA Judo.  We will be looking for one
of our highly visible retiring athletes for this
position and will begin the interview process
following the Olympics.  We have earmarked the funds
for a coach's salary and will support it with a
percentage of the $$ generated from new memberships.

 Tad Nall's dedication to protecting USA Judo often
goes unrecognized.  The countless hours each day he
spends on USA Judo marks him as one of the hardest
workers in USA Judo, in my opinion.  His Law and
Legislation team is outstanding.  I was very happy to
seat Ms. Karen Mackey to the Law and Legislation
Committee.  She practices in Iowa and is a great
asset.  She is the first female representative ever to
serve on Law and Legislation.  Tad's team developed
and implemented a background screening process for all
coaches and club associates to protect our young or
vulnerable members from abuse.  The screening
processing numbers are approaching 500 at this time.
His team has successfully defended us and resolved
many issues.

 The U.S. Open is our premier event.  Previous to my
election to the Presidency, I asked many of the
countries why they reduced their delegations or chose
not to attend at times.  Straight across the board,
they were unhappy with the altitude of Colorado
Springs for competition, and had grown tired of the
same venue.  Vice-President Lance Nading and I, along
with Pat Amman, Chair of the Tournament Subcommittee,
set in motion moving the tournament to Las Vegas.
This was a "first" and our numbers, quality of
players, and attendance by international teams has
continued to rise.  The "internationals" love Vegas,
but the past year we have had difficulty with rooms
and venue. We are now looking closely at moving a
future tournament to Florida in August to follow the
Jr. U.S. Open.  Florida also has many points of
interest for the internationals and it will draw more
South American competitors due to the cost savings.
This would be positive in two new areas, it would
provide an additional tournament in seven days for the
17-20 year olds competing in the Jr. Open and give all
our players a shorter season with time for cross
training or injury rehab.  Currently, our team gets
about a month off after the U.S. Open if they are
interested in starting the European tour in January.

 We have greatly improved our international
relationships over the past four years in Europe and
Asia.  Mr. Yonezuka is our representative to the
Kodokan and does a magnificent job as chair of the
Kodokan Committee.  Kodokan ranks are now processed
only by USA Judo, through Mr. Yonezuka?s
recommendations.  I made three trips to the Kodokan
and met with Mr. Kano several times on other occasions
to bring this to a successful close.  This was a huge
success for USA Judo as far as our rank system.  I was
very happy our administration was successful in our
request of the IJF to honor one of our member's with
an International Judo Federation Bronze Medal.

 We established USA Judo Regional Training Centers who
provide certified coaching, referees, and host point
tournaments.  Our first training center at University
of Louisiana-Lafayette has been extremely successful
in membership, grants, and the Swamp Classic.  Great
job Connie.   We continue to review future sites and
are closing the final contract on the South Florida
Center that will pay USA Judo approximately $100,000 a
year for ten years as part of participation in the
Impact Zone Project.  Over the next four years we will
continue to strive to reach our goal of 16 centers.
Recently, I visited the Olympic Training Center in
Chula Vista and we are in discussion of utilizing the
OTC for judo athletes.  I have spoken with the USOC,
and they are supportive of this venture as well.

 As President, I mandated to the Sportsmedicine Chair
that a multidisciplinary professional team consisting
of medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors,
orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and trainers
comprise the Sportsmedicine Committee.  I want to
thank Dr. Robert Nishime and his team for their
support of our administration continuing the next four
years and their commitment to stay on board doing the
great job they do.  Dr. Nishime's team has made a
tremendous impact in the level of care, and our
athletes are in the best hands.

 In reorganizing many of the subcommittee structures
we have provided USA Judo with a better product and we
are so fortunate to have committed members who are
totally dedicated to you and our goals.  I met with
the Women's Sports Subcommittee and in addressing
their concerns moved their program from Operations to
Development to eliminate what many of the Women's
Committee members felt was locking them out of
participation in the Development Committee functions.
Our subcommittees are more effective than ever before.

 Our focus and intent is to improve our service to our
members and strive each and every day to put our
athletes on the medal podiums around the world.  As in
any venture, a big part of the success is dependent
upon funding.  We are presently researching the
opportunity to offer "family memberships" of USA Judo
to made membership more attractive and financially
feasible to families.  I continue to work on the
merchant vendor credit card processing project and I
expect this to close and be operational shortly.  We
have a letter of intent from Howard Pollack and PM
Group to co-venture a concert with a top name artist
and continue to work with potential sponsors to
provide the escrow money to move it forward.  I spoke
with Jay Warwick at the Olympic Trials, and again at
the Titan Games, and the USOC is very interested in
participating in this as well.  I am also in
discussion and attempting to secure Mobile Wireless
Security and IBID, as corporate sponsors for USA Judo
through 2008.

  I am seeking financial sponsors for our
subcommittees and for officer expenses.  Since 1996,
as Vice-President, and now as President, I have paid
99% of my own travel, rooms, meals, etc., when
representing USA Judo in the U.S. and internationally.
 I know this affects some of the other officers and
program directors and probably exceeds $10-20,000 a
year in personal funds to attend national meetings and
international events.  I understand this is also a
problem at many state levels.

 Bill Rosenburg met with the Executive Committee and
reported he will be retiring.  He has indicated he
will assist us in any way through a smooth transition
and make sure our next four-year Executive Director
has a full understanding of all the duties necessary
in our relationship with the USOC.  We are currently
modifying the Executive Director job description to
expand the position to mandate fundraising and
increase the focus on servicing the A and B members of
USA Judo.

 We will continue to work hard to accomplish the
mission of turning USA Judo into a world power.  Our
team is providing a cure, not a Band-Aid to the
problems.  USJF President Mr. Saito and I spoke at the
Olympic Trails and his comments were right on target,
"It took USA Judo a long time to get where it is, and
it won't get back on top overnight."  In the past
year, we have made significant progress. I will
continue to extend a hand of friendship and work with
the USJA and the USJF harmoniously to achieve our
goals as the American Judo Family.

 The next four years are going to be extremely
challenging times for USA Judo in our relation with
the U.S. Olympic Committee.  The changes you saw in
the Board of Director's of the USOC will matriculate
into all NGB's.  These changes will be mandated and
how we respond will dictate future funding and support
from the USOC.  I have spoken with the USOC, and I am
confident the Program Plan that we are currently
working on, and will present, will result in financial
success.  We are very fortunate to have our National
Office in the United States Olympic Committee
Headquarters for an unbelievable $200 per month.  Our
administration has worked very hard to develop the
strong relationship that currently exists with the
USOC Sports Partnership, and I am confident it will
continue to grow stronger with your current leadership
moving forward.

 If we are to be successful in overcoming these
upcoming challenges the next four years, it is going
to require the skills and knowledge of experienced
leaders and administrators to keep USA Judo at the top
of the game.  Our team is the best qualified to
accomplish the task.  In 2000, we committed eight
years of service to you in order to get American Judo
back on track.  We are on course and headed in the
right direction.  I am asking for you to reward this
great team with your vote and support for the next
four years. Thank you.

Yours in Judo,

Dr. Ron Tripp
President, USA Judo


Tough decision on your hand guys. I think that Jimmy's idea is better. My thinking is that you can change as much understructure of the sport as you want, if it isn't visible to the public it's not generating more funds and more people. If you concentrate on a program that will give everyone a chance to go to the absolute highest levels of Judo it may persuade more people to stay with the program and the results on international competitions will increase the new enrollments. You think US networks would not broadcast judo in fairly good slots of US had a chance to medal at every event. You could prolly even score showing worlds if US atheletes had great chances there. Through the increased interest in the sport everyone would be better off.

A couple of things run through my mind when reading these speaches.

1) Jimmy makes some painfully valid points. The level of coaching and support at the high levels seems very disorganized and poorly implemented. The best point he made was that fact that we need to utilize and develop the coaches at the local level. Local coaching is what builds the foundation of an athlete mentally, physically, technically etc. When players make a transition to the Elite level, they are expected to leave their coaches, and history behind them and trust in the OTC powerstructure. Not a great way to go IMO.

Including a players local coach in the Elite level coaching process will do nothing but help everybody involved and make athletes more comfortable throughout the course of their career.

2) Ron did a great job highlighting some of the accomplishments of his adminstration. Some of the things mentioned helped me remember all of the good things that have happened. And in true Japanese etiquitte, he highlighted the team effort of his staff rather than putting himself on a pedestal. It's pretty easy to throw stones to knock the guy on the top down. It's a lot harder to stand on the top of the heap, because the Buck stops there. Ron reminded us that there have been a lot of Pros to combat the cons we all like to bitch about.

One thing nags at the back of my mind though.....I'm pretty positive that 80% of the support staff will stay in place regardless of who wins this election. There's nothing in Jimmy's speech that makes me believe that any of the Leo White's, Sherri Russel's or Saito's of the US Judo world will stop doing their jobs if Jimmy's elected.

Just from the speeches, I'm thinking that Jimmy has the most fresh ideas on how to bring in more hardware (medals) from the big tournaments.

Just for what it's worth, regarding the team selection for the last Olympics, nobody on the team went through a trial. For some reason, they did not do a trial that time, and the people who were ranked number 1 as of a given date were automatically on the team.

Does anybody have the top 5 ranked playes in each weight class for the US at that time?