UCF Judo Program:

Inspiring Confidence Through Movement

Help sustain and grow the UCF Judo Program:


The UCF Judo Program is an on-going research study housed in the Department of Health Sciences in the College of Health Professions and Sciences at UCF. This Judo program started at UCF in the summer of 2018 with a cohort of children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This research study explores the physical and psychosocial health benefits of judo practice on youth with special needs. Specifically, the investigators of the study are evaluating the effects of this program on physical activity, sleep quality, social skills, self-confidence, and academic performance. This program continues to grow, and has expanded to K-12 schools in Central Florida. The overall goal of the UCF Judo Program is to establish a standardized judo curriculum that can be implemented in K-12 schools across the country, where both typically developing youth and youth with special needs may benefit from this program.

78% of parents reported a noticeable increase in their child’s confidence.

The average minutes of sleep increase by 238 per night.

Daily percentage of time spent in sedentary behavior decreased by 8%

56% of parents reported that their child became more open to trying new experiences.

The percentage of participants who met daily physical activity recommendations (60+ minutes per day) increased 29%

78% of parents reported improvements in their child’s social skills


Upcoming Events




Jeanette Garcia's profile picture at UCF

Jeanette Garcia, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Health Sciences
Location: HS II Room: 210L
Phone: 407-823-3207
Keith Brazendale's profile picture at UCF

Keith Brazendale, Ph.D., MS

Assistant Professor
Health Sciences
Location: HS II Room: 210A

Student Researchers


Nicholas Leahy
Ph.D. Student


Caitlyn Perry
Health Sciences


Kimberly Bello
Health Sciences

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