Inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in judo: A systematic review of literature

Viktorija Pečnikar Oblak, Damir Karpljuk, Janez Vodičar, Jožef Šimenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and Study Aim: Material and Methods: Results: Conclusions: What do we know about the inclusion of judokas with disabilities? We find many different types of disability in judo and also diverse expressions in professional literature such as: judo for blind, judo for hearing impera-tive, judo for the deaf, g-judo, judo for disabled people, adaptive judo, special needs judo, judo for all, ID (in-tellectual disability) judo, inclusive judo, special judo, modified judo etc. An important division of disability is noticed considering mental or physical disability according to the disability medical model. Since judo for the blind is a Paralympic discipline, there are some more professional and scientific articles about judokas with a physical disability, especially blind, visually impaired and deaf athletes, but there are only a few about judo-kas with mental disability. The cognitive aim of our research of literature is problem the necessity of the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, which, according to the disability social model and human rights model, includes those who need more decision-making help in everyday activities. We used the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) in the National and University Libraries (NUK) in Ljubljana, which used data from entire text databases such as: Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, ScienceDirect, Oxford Academic Journals, SpringerLink, Taylor and Francis, SAGE, Wiley Online Library, PsycArticles, Emerald and data from the bibliographic collections MEDLINE, SCOPUS and Web of Science. Databases were searched by following the PRISMA [32] guidelines for systematic reviews. Additional articles from other sources were identified by examining the reference lists of the studies located via the database search. A total of 24 articles met the final inclusion criteria. The authors of the selected articles examined various aspects of the judo impact on people with diverse abil-ities. Articles address: 4 topics related to judokas with autism, 1 to judokas with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 1 to judokas with down syndrome, 16 to intellectual disabilities and 2 to judokas with behavioural disorders. Research relates to: quality of life; motor abilities and movement skills; measurements of grip strength; a level of hyperactivity and of impulsivity; health and physical activity promotion; analysis of judo matches; effects on psychosocial factors; ethics of inclusion; the impact of judo on aggressive behav-iours; effects on cortisol and stress; physical and psychosocial benefits of modified judo practice; effects of controlled intensity on the basis of lactate threshold on the blood oxidative stress status and motor coordi-nation; the effectiveness of judo sessions as a supplementary therapeutic method; balance; possibilities and limitations of judo and innovative agonology in the therapy; reports from festivals and championships and popularization of judo. Due to the small number of subjects and the small number of similar surveys, the results cannot be general-ized to the broader population. Research varies greatly by type of research and is therefore not comparable. Judo for people with intellectual disabilities is on the rise and is practiced as a therapy, as for recreation with an emphasis on inclusion, or as a sport with competitions at the level of the World Championships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalArchives of Budo
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adaptive judo
  • Disability models
  • Diverse abilities
  • Integration
  • Special needs
  • Therapeutic method


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