Collaboration of Partners to Host Visually Impaired Judo Clinic on February 12, 2022

by USA Judo

In an effort to introduce Judo to visually impaired individuals in preparation for the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games and beyond, USA Judo has partnered with Hollywood PAL, Sports and Recreation for the Blind (SRB) and Wayfinder Family Services to host a development clinic on February 12, 2022, from 9am – 12pm at the Hollywood PAL Dojo located at 6411 Hollywood Boulevard. Special guests will include US Judo Paralympians and the 2021 USA Judo Paralympic Head Coach, Heidi Moore.

“The Los Angeles area constantly has the highest number of Judo players in America, in both the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines,” said clinic organizer, Michael Verdugo, who also oversees USA Judo’s Play LA Program featured in 16 LA Recreation Centers and is a member of USA Judo’s Police Professionals & PAL (P3) Program. “I’ve been fortunate to work with several Paralympians and want to help build the Paralympic Judo Pipeline as we prepare for the 2028 Olympic Games here in LA,” said Verdugo, who is also a Board member of SRB.

“Working with these well-established organizations serving blind and visually impaired individuals will allow us to introduce Paralympic Judo to some new players while fine-tuning the skill of existing visually impaired Judoka,” said USA Judo CEO, Keith Bryant. “The beauty of Paralympic Judo is that it is essentially the same as Olympic Judo except that the visually impaired athletes start with a grip on each other’ judogis, rather than jostling for a grip. Our hope is that this clinic is the beginning of a longer-term partnership for Paralympic Judo Development Program in the LA Area,” said Bryant.

The clinic is free of charge and is sanctioned by USA Judo who will provide one-day temporary memberships to participants not yet members of USA Judo. Pre-registration is requested by clicking here, but walk-ups are also welcome. For more information, contact USA Judo’s Keith Bryant at or at 719-866-3681.

USA Judo is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. and is a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. As the National Governing Body for the sport, USA Judo is the only organization selecting, naming and supporting athletes, coaches and staff to represent Team USA in the Olympic and Paralympic sport of Judo worldwide. USA Judo currently has an active membership of approximately 8,500 and annually hosts and sanctions events nationwide for all age and ability levels enabling U.S. athletes to achieve competitive excellence on the local, national and international levels. For more information, please visit

Hollywood PAL drives positive change in the community we serve by partnering with LAPD and school-aged youth in programs that celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion and inspire personal excellence, social awareness, and civic engagement. For more information, visit:

Sports and Recreation for the Blind (SRB) is a new non-profit based in Southern California. At SRB we help the blind and visually impaired communities get involved with adaptable sports and recreational activities such as Judo, bowling, fishing and rock climbing. Our mission is “To empower and enable the lives of the Blind and Visually Impaired communities through sports and recreation”. For more information, visit:

Wayfinder Family Services has been helping those who are blind or visually impaired live full and meaningful lives since 1953. Starting with early intervention, and providing support through employment and beyond, our continuum of services ensures that family members are involved every step of the way. Services include a long history of providing adaptive sports, recreation and physical activities for children and young adults who are blind and visually impaired.