This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at where I cover more geeky topics. Please do leave comments on what you read or use the Contact Me form to send me an email with your thoughts and ideas.

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Continental Championships season. 

This weekend marked the start of what I'm going to call the "Continental Judo Championships Season", it is the time of year when all the IJF continental unions hold their respective championships. It's a big deal as the points you earn at a continental championships are considerable and especially for the "weaker" unions valuable.

If you look at my home continent of Oceania, winning the OJU championships is probably almost enough to put you on the top of the pile for Olympic berths. It certainly was one of the key elements of the OJU athletes plans for London 2012.

I am fortunate that this year I will attend two of the championships (Asia and Europe). These are probably the two toughest events and in ways that makes them the least valuable for players. By this I mean that the players winning points at the EJU or JUA champs are likely to be winning points at continental opens (formerly world cups) and Grand Slam and Grand Prix events.
It is much less likely that the points winners at OJU or AJU are in the same ballpark at the other events. So the continental championship points are more valuable in effect for them. If you follow my train of thought.

I am really looking forward to seeing what the Asian championships is like, I have never been before. I live and attend more events in Europe; so my awareness of players and styles is greater in this area. So it will be very educational for me.

The EJU championships will be interesting in a different way. Will we see the Russian women take lots of medals no Gamba is at the helm? Will GBR have more success as it has enjoyed recently? Will the big names be there? Will the big names perform? Will the big names who have been fighting in higher weight categories be back in their "normal" category or are they staying up... for now.

Of course, the other interesting thing will be to see more of the new IJF rules in action. This will be the first time we see some of these players under the new rules. The top ranked athletes have gained some experience; so I am interested to see if the players who have not been at recent events are fully up to speed with the changes in the sport.
Equally, if the smaller/weaker nations are adapting as well/fast as the larger/stronger nations. I don't expect to see many problems from say the Russian men, but what about the Thai women? Has the IJF education efforts made it to all levels yet?

The downside of this amazing opportunity to see the Asian and European Judo Championships is that I will be away from home for quite a lot of the time. Away from my family and from my Judo clubs and players. They are being looked after by good people, but it is tough on them and me all the disruption.

Speaking of which; if you are a coach (Judo or otherwise) and live in or near Southampton and Winchester (U.K.) and are interested in coaching at either/both the clubs I coach at please please contact me ( ) as I am in desperate need of coaches to help realise the vision I have for the clubs and players.

I will try and write up some of my impressions of the events I am attending in one or more blog posts as my trip progresses.



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