ID-Judo becomes Paralympics

The intermediate Phase to the Paralympis has begun!

For the sport of judo worldwide, a great time of further inclusion an paraticipation to paralympics beginns.
Judo Sport has no place for discrimination in its values – equality in judo sport –

(c) ID-Judo Parasport

On 25 October 2022, we submitted the application to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to participate in the Paralympic Games in Judo for people with intellectual disabilities. 

Judo has been part of Paralympic sport for many years. 

Judo by people with intellectual disabilities and their participation in the Paralympic Games not only complies in the deepest senses with the UN Disability Rights Charter but is also firmly anchored in the valid codes of the Paralympic Committee, which have been newly stipulated since mid-2022, in the sense of equal participation. 

At the grassroots level, the large international sports organization Special Olympics, founded by the US-American Kennedy family, has been involved in an exemplary way for many years in the sport of people with intellectual disabilities in all sports. 

Around the world, about 1 million people with intellectual disabilities practice judo – the best rehabilitation sport, for people with cognitive disabilities – also as a grassroots sport. 

Participation in competitive sport, as this must also go hand in hand within the Paralympic Games for people with intellectual disabilities, is unfortunately not yet a matter of course there. The latest codes of the Paralympic Committee, however, make it obligatory to disclose the honorability and the effort in the struggle for participation and inclusion. 

We, the IFoN, as the international federation of legal representatives and parents of athletes in competitive sport with intellectual disabilities, felt compelled to apply to the International Paralympic Committee for equal participation in competitive sport in accordance with the UN Disability Rights Charter. 

Competitive sport for people with intellectual disabilities in judo has existed worldwide for over 50 years, with around 10,000 competitive sport ID judoka and currently around 1,000 ID judoka worldwide with a Paralympic qualification, in over 70 nations. 

All the necessary prerequisites, such as Paralympic starting classes, competition rules and also comprehensively trained competition judges, are widely available in the sport of judo for people with intellectual disabilities! Here, the VIRTUS is the ancestral sports federation and is available to the IPC in the classification. 

This was already documented in an exemplary manner in the first IJF (International Judo Federation) ID Judo World Championships 2017 in Cologne and could be continued in the following years even before the pandemic time of Corona, through the European Championships 2018 in London and 2019 in Cologne. 

Here the competition rules of ID-Judo (IJF) and the Para starting classes (Virtus), according to the Paralympic Codes, were practically recorded and laid down. 

The excellent professional support of the World- & Continental Tournaments on the part of the World Federation IJF, through their representative ID-Judo – Mr. Peter Frese (DJB Honorary President) and the pioneer, Dr. Wolfgang Janko (7th Dan Judo), who has been scientifically active in the ID-Judo sport for more than 50 years, made it possible to realize professional and respectful events.  

The World News:  

  • The worldwide response was brilliant.  With over 4 million multiple streaming contacts at all tournaments.  
  • The halls were filled to capacity! 
  • We as IFoN accompanied all the tournaments.   
  • Great interest worldwide at the highest level in Para-ID Judo! 

We have applied to the IPC for Paralympic ID judoka to be able to show their skills to the Olympic public at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris as part of a demonstration. 

  • At the same time, a full integration of ID judo was requested for the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. 

We assume that the IPC will supportively exert its extensive influence in all nations to give competitive athletes equal participation of people with intellectual disabilities, as soon as possible and long overdue, in the sport of judo as well.  

We are sure that all nations, their federations, and ministries will join our motion and supportively work on many levels for the barrier-free implementation of the participation of intellectual impaired judoka in Paralympic competitive sport. 

The IPC has not denied our request to provide participation 

for our daughters, sons and legally supervised, more than  

10.000 ID judoka active in Paralympic judo! 

The path has begun: 

„ID Judo Becomes Paralympic“ 


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,

Dear ID Judoka, Dear parents and families, Dear coaches & trainers,

a very difficult time that we all must face in the last two years, worldwide.

Corona has very rarely allowed us to get together, our beloved sport the Judo, one of the most valuable sports for all people and especially for our people, with mental disabilities.

Here people meet in respect and joy in a very close contact with each other, in confidence in himself and his partner on the mat in visible joy.

The frustration that we all must accept because we cannot fight tournaments is great. For ID judoka, who belong to the vulnerable groups, the risk of contracting COVID 19 is much higher and the risk of falling ill and having to seek hospital care is much higher.

Alienation and, unfortunately, open aggression become palpable during this time of great sporting restrictions.

Of course, there are disputes, uncertainty, and fears in the families, in the clubs and among those responsible. It is important that all those who look after our ID-Judoka and accompany them are vaccinated. Of course, also and in the first place the ID-Judoka themselves.

Many of us know this.

Many are already vaccinated 3 times. Let’s talk to each other, we learn from each other, we are allowed to argue, we are allowed to be wrong.

Let’s protect our ID judoka on the way to the Paralympics and apply the highest level of responsibility and our own good judgment.

But everyone remembers that after the pandemic we will still be able to look each other in the eye and deal with each other in trust and peace.

The worldwide ambassadors of peace in sport, our ID judoka, wonderful people and equally fair, great fighters for peace and joy, in life and on the mat, need all of us.

I am happy to see you all again and to fight together with you for your participation in the Paralympic Games.

In the sense of participation in respect and equality.

In respect for all your great achievements in your life and on the mat.

In this sense, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year 2022.

Klaus Gdowczok

-The President of IFoN-

Cologne December 24, 2021

Mrs. Mady Holtackers-Bex become CEO

The Dutchwoman
Mrs. Mady Holtackers has since 1.7.2021 the CEO position of our internationally active federation, IFoN.

Mr. Klaus Gdowczok will represent IFoN in presidency with the same date.

IFoN supports ID judoka with intellectual disabilities on their way to the Paralympics.

Mady Holtackers will coordinate the entire international network and further expand it in the interest of mentally disabled competitive athletes in judo – with a view to participation in the Paralympic Games.

With this restructuring, IFoN has set the path for the future; women’s power at the top is being strengthened, which means new innovations at all levels.

Sustainability and equality, dignity and respect are the maxims and aspirations, in the spirit of the UN – Disability Rights Convention.

Board Member

  • The Austrian Alexandra Roßbach, sporting development and diplomatic relations.
  • The Hungarian, Timea Bencsik, coordinates the Eastern European relations.


  • Mrs. Salifatu Boukari, with the support of Prince Lorenzo ( Kouami Folly Kuegah ) of Togo, coordinates the African continent.
  • Mr. Shota Sunaga (Japan) serves as Ambassador for Asia.



Die Niederländerin
Mrs. Mady Holtackers hat seit 1.7.2021 die CEO Position unserer international tätigen Föderation IFoN.

Mr. Klaus Gdowczok wird in Präsidentschaft die IFoN mit gleichem Datum vertreten.

IFoN unterstützt ID-Judoka mit geistiger Beeinträchtigung auf dem Weg zu den Paralympics.

Mady Holtackers  wird das gesamte internationale Netzwerk koordinieren und verstärkt weiter ausbauen, im Sinne der geistig behinderten Leistungssportler im Judo – mit Blickrichtung einer Teilnahme an den Paralympischen Spielen.

Die IFoN hat mit dieser Neustrukturierung den Weg in die Zukunft vorgegeben, Frauenpower in der Spitze wird verstärkt, das bedeutet neue Innovationen auf allen Ebenen.

Nachhaltigkeit und Gleichstellung, Würde und Achtung sind die Maxime und das Streben, im Sinne der UN – Behindertenrechtskonvention.

v.l.n.r. Alexandra Roßbach, Mady Holtackers-Bex, Timea Bencsik


  • Die Österreicherin Alexandra Roßbach, sportliches Development und diplomatischen Beziehungen.
  • Die Ungarin, Timea Bencsik, koordiniert die osteuropäischen Beziehungen.


  • Frau Salifatu Boukari, koordiniert mit Unterstützung des Prinzen Lorenzo ( Kouami Folly Kuegah ) von Togo, den afrikanischen Kontinent.
  • Herr Shota Sonaga (Japan) ist als Ambassador für den Bereich Asien tätig.

IFoN – „Charta of Honory“ to IJF Präsident Marius Vizer & Peter Frese DJB

Verleihung der „Charta in Honory“

One year ago, in February 2020, the President of the IJF – International Judo Federation – Mr. Marius Vizer, was presented with the „Charter of Honory“ for the special commitment and support of ID-Judo –judoka with intellectual disabilities on the way to the Paralympics, by the IFoN President and CEO Mr. Klaus Gdowczok in Düsseldorf, on the occasion of the Judo Grand Slam. This certificate, which was also presented to the DJB President Peter Frese, is the highest award of the IFoN, for honorable support of ID-Judoka, in the sense of equality and participation of mentally disabled athletes in the sense of the UN CRPD, worldwide.

phoenix-voice blog 2-2020

WORLDWIDE LIVE TV-STREAM @SPORTDEUTSCHLAND.TV SAT1 +++ 2. Judo Europameisterschaft ID-Judo Cologne 19.10.-20.10.2019 +++

*Übertragung mit Unterstüzung der Gothaer Versicherung*


Dear All,

Presidents of all Federations in the World

to all sports federations of the world,

to all Heads of Goverment

June 2019


 „ID-Judo that´s Fire & Soul“


Equal opportunities: the competition classes do not have to be oriented to performance in order to create equal opportunities in the sense of para sports. Here ONLY the degree of disability, based on the INAS classification has to be established and registered!

Performance classification should not be in para sport, as the nations themselves determine the performance class and send ONLY THE BEST OF THE BEST to paralympic events such as EC/WC and Paralympics.

The competition classes in ID judo have to be defined similar to the physically handicapped field of the para sport: this means that an athlete with one arm and no legs cannot fight a blind man who has all his arms and legs. This is a different class!

The same goes for the ID judo field: minor impairments with an IQ grade of 70-75 cannot compete against judoka with an additional Down syndrome. So there should be a total of 3 para competition classes. These para classes have no relation to existing national competition classes, some of which are very well understood as performance classes and where the degree of the disability doesn’t matter in some countries!

There must not be any performance class in para sports! Only the best of the best start here, so “Best of Best from Nation”.

Here also no comparison can be made to the Special Olympics organization. For they clearly and sustainably pursue and organize the grassroots sport only.

The ID judo sport is another class, the world class of intellectually impaired people!

It should be emphasized that there must be NO discrimination in the sense of the UN Disability Rights Charter. That at all para sport events in judo no athletes are allowed to be excluded or para competition classes are omitted because of the disability. For example people with Down syndrome. This must be clear to all those involved in judo. Such a discrimination would inevitably discredit para sport and question all participation in Paralympics for years to come!

ID judo athletes have a great reputation all over the world and, because of their FAIR and CLEAN sportsmanship, are a true example and an honorable and high level ambassador of judo sports.

English scientist Langdon Down, after discovering Down’s syndrome (Trisonomy 21) at the beginning of the 19th century, said: “People with Down syndrome lack any kind of malice”.

This over a century existing scientifically known statement alone clearly describes the FAIR and CLEAN expression of the sport in its ideal form! At the same time, this scientific statement regarding non-malicent acting athletes, especially in judo sport, describes a directive and exemplary sports spirit, to be promoted in its current form, especially in todays sports world, punctuated by doping scandals and corruption, and to be supported in all its purity.

My vision and plea to the judo world, to all judoka of this world, to all Presidents of all federations of this world, to all sports federations of this world, to all heads of government: promote the ID judo in the sense of a better sports world! “ID judo, that’s Fire and Soul”.

„ID-Judo that´s Fire & Soul“.

Click here to german Language


Klaus Gdowczok

1st. European Id-Judo Championships London

The first European championships in ID JUDO came to an end.


(C) Photo BrainTrain -by Phoenix-voice cologne

A historic and great sports festival. For the first time in the history of judo sport, official European were held in ID judo. The European Judo Association, the EJU, IFoN and the INAS supported this event. The EJU was chaired by Vice-President Jane Bridge, IFon by its CEO Klaus Gdowczok.

The official organizer of this European Championship, the BJA under the direction of Kerry Tansey, could hardly present better.

One of the key points and factors: there were no injuries during the entire European Championship! Not a single judoka had to be treated at the edge of the mat.

Referees and sports coordination complemented each other in the usual way.

There was an exzellent Divisioning under Leadership of Dr. Wolfgang Janko (7.DAN), Rudi Verhagen and Frank Schuhknecht.

We thank you all very much for hosting this first European Championship on behalf of our daughters and sons. The judo sport for people with intellectual disabilities has taken another step towards Paralympics.

Thank you so much to Kerry and your team

Klaus Gdowczok