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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British Interservices Judo Competition 2007 + RWJL thhoughts. 

Last weekend I had the good fortune to attend the Interservices Judo Competition at the British Army PT college in Aldershot.

The event is one I have been to before both when hosted by the Army as in this case and down in Portsmouth when hosted by the Royal Navy. The event has always been one of my favorite Judo competitions. Unlike most events, the interservices has many many years of history and rivalry between the RAF, Army and Navy. The Team fights are the highlight and I always enjoy the competitions.

I enjoyed the event and the Navy did well despite having the smallest team there. The lack of players meant that the other teams had quite a few occasions where the Navy was unable field a full team and gave away fights in the team events.

The interservices is a great event that I think other tournaments could learn from. The team format is excellent and having both Dan grade and Kyu grade works well. Dan grade is actually brown Belt and up, separating the more advanced players from the lower grades is excellent as it gives the lower grades something worthwhile to compete in, where they can win fights for the team.

Mike, over at has been talking about hosting a competition and making it a team event, I hope he does as the more I look at the format, the more it makes sense to me. Another friend of mine helps run a team league here in the UK for juniors and it seems to work well as well.

One of the nice things about the Interservices is that the levels are fairly well matched. One of our Navy players has only been doing Judo for 4 weeks, yet managed to win 2 of his 4 fights. That is awesome!

Working on the WWW.RWJL.NET site/project has had me thinking about this sort of thing. The idea behind the RWJL is to allow us all to find people in our ability range to fight, the idea is to use the ELO ranking system to sort players by their results.

My idea is that you will be able to visit the site, find your name and next to you see players of your approximate ability. The ELO system basically gives starting players a standard base score say 1500. Then you get points for wins and lose them if you lose a match. The interesting thing is that it is not a fixed amount you gain/lose, the amount changes depending on how far above/below you the other player is.

What this does, is reward people who win fights against players who should beat them. It gives them a smaller reward for easier fights closer or below their level. The ELO system "should" prevent people picking on "newbies" or fighting below their ability all the time. It is a mature ranking system used primarily in Chess, but also in adapted forms in other areas including XBOX Live.

Progress on the RWJL is progressing slowly but steadily and with increasing pace. I am using the CakePHP framework, which I have not used in the past, so it has been a learning curve. I have however almost got it sorted in my head (associations are still not quite right in my head) and have not prototyped the majority of the basic code, except for the ELO ranking itself.

I foresee something "Alpha" getting finished over the Christmas period, so if you are interested in helping out with testing it, let me know.

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