The JBBA is based on the Yudanshakai system established initially by Prof. Kano for the advancement of Judo knowledge and for the issuing of Judo belt rank. The term "Yudanshakai" translates to mean "Black Belt Association" and the JBBA is exactly that; an association of black belts on the national level with affiliated regional and local Yudanshakai.
The JBBA views earning belt rank in Judo similar to earning an educational credential. A useful analogy is to think of earning a Shodan (Initial or 1st Grade Black Belt) in the same way of earning a college degree. Prof. Kano was an educator and the JBBA retains an educational perspective in the issuing of belt rank.
Earning a black belt is a serious undertaking that requires hard study, effort, time and patience. The JBBA takes a strict and conservative approach to the issuing of black belt rank and uses some of the most stringent standards available. While we assign no blame to any specific group or individual, there have been abuses in the past in the issuing of Judo belt rank. It is the JBBA's position that rank should be earned on the mat through earnest and honest study and practice. The JBBA is independent of other Judo organizations and as a result of this, the belt ranks issued by us are not recognized by any other Judo organization or governing body. But honestly, in the competitive world of Martial Arts, the quality of the person's skills wearing the belt is far more important than who issued the belt that person is wearing. Someone once remarked that a belt simply holds the Judogi together, and it's the person wearing that belt that is the true measure of what he or she is capable of doing. It's the person who does the Judo, not the belt.
If you are happy with your current Judo organization, by all means, stay with that group; the JBBA is not for everyone. The JBBA does not wish to take members from other organizations or groups or supplant, replace or copy any other organization. In fact, the JBBA encourages everyone in Judo to participate in as many organizations and their clinics, tournaments and other events as possible. Many JBBA members are also members of other Judo organizations as well as other Martial Arts organizations. The JBBA offers an "old school" approach to the issuing of Judo rank. Our emphasis is on the total development of a person who does Judo using a conservative approach to the awarding of Judo belt rank. If you currently possess a high Dan grade, you most likely are happy with your current organization and there is absolutely no need for you to affiliate with the JBBA. However, if you are not satisfied with your current situation and want an honest assessment of what your belt rank should be, contact us. We don't guarantee a promotion (in fact, if you place more emphasis on your belt rank than you do the quality of your Judo, then the JBBA is definitely not for you), but we do provide an opportunity for deserving Judoka to advance in both knowledge and rank, especially for those black belts who are ranked below Yondan.
The JBBA issues ranks of Shodan and higher to deserving members. Belt ranks of Ikkyu and below are subject to the Coach, Sensei or Instructor or to the local/regional member Yudanshakai. We are a national Yudanshakai with local and regional affiliated Yudanshakai who have local and regional affiliated clubs under them. For information on joining the JBBA, contact Steve Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.